Welcome back to Through Stephanie’s Eyes. The last time we visited together I shared a video I found on Facebook that literally brought me to my knees. The bullying depicted in the video led to the child attempting suicide. Of course the video was a dramatization depicting a “what if” scenario, but the actions were very real. That type of tormenting does occur on a daily basis and is getting out of hand.

It horrifies me to see more and more of these type of stories in the news. Just within the last few weeks two Florida teens were arrested for their part in the vicious cyberbullying that lead to the suicide of one of their classmates. Now another beautiful young woman is being harassed mercilessly by other students and strangers because she’s different. 

Shea Shawhan is an 18 year old high school junior in Texas. For the last eight months she’s been receiving horrible texts calling her ugly, whore, wishing she would have a seizure and die already.  Yeah, that sort of sick crap is going on by people who think they can say anything they want under the guise of being anonymous over the Internet and in text messages. 

Who does this sort of crap? Why on earth do this other than to get your rocks off out of deliberately hurting another human being?

It’s time we all stood up to this sort of childish, mean spirited and ILLEGAL activity. These people think they can get away with doing this to Shea and others because they don’t think they’ll be found out or turned in. 

I’ve got news for you asshats. Sending threats and harassing messages over text, phone, or the Internet is a crime and they authorities do have the ability to trace where these messages originate. You will be brought to justice and the book thrown at you. No longer will you be able to hide behind the idea “kids will be kids.”  The judicial system has ZERO tolerance for this sort of thing.

Whether you are an adult or a minor, you will be punished to the full extent of the law. Those of us with Shea will accept no less.  

If you are the target of this kind of harassment and bullying, don’t keep quiet. STAND UP.  Tell the local police. Tell your story so others will do the same. Bullies only have the power if we stand back and let them have it.
I’m with Shea and all the others like her. Are you?

To learn more about Shea and lend your voice with hers and her mother’s, follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Quiet One Speaks Out #BRAVE #MyWANA

As the “good girl” alter ego, I’ve taken the backseat to Tammy and Lia. I’ve let them take the center stage with their writing and socializing for the last two years and it’s been for the best. Now, it’s time to find my own voice. I have opinions too. I may not write erotica or go on about BDSM, but I do have things to share.

While they’ve stood up and voiced their opinions about authors behaving badly, the arguments between what is and isn’t romance or erotic romance to be specific, I’ve kept up the silent support. No more. I have very strong opinions about the same topics, (Don’t get me started on Fifty Shades! LOL) but I feel Tammy and Lia can handle that part of our publishing world.

I’ve been involved in several author support groups and have to say most of them are okay. Some folks actually do support other members while there are those, more than a few really who just take all the group has to offer with little or no reciprocation. Whatever. I’m not going to get all bent out of shape if all of my tweets with a specific hashtag aren’t retweeted. Geez! I’ve got bigger fish to fry and so do the rest of the people in that group. We all have to WRITE.

When did it all become about the number of twitter followers, likes on Facebook, followers on blogs and reviewing each other’s work?  What happened to the WRITING??? With all the fancy “time-saving” tools out there now, authors are supposed to be able to tweet and update Facebook posts in advance by scheduling them to go off at specific times around the clock. Not only that, but many groups expect you to share every single post the other members make every single day. How do they do that? They set up the “shares” to go out at specific intervals, be it every 15, 20 or 30 minutes…around the clock.

Ummmm…that sounds a hell of a lot like commercials to me.  What do we all do with commercials on television? We tune them out or fast forward through them to get to “the good parts.”

Well what happens when you fast forward through all the promo only to find…nothing. Not one thing the author posts is personal or in any way social. There is no engaging with others on Twitter and Facebook. “I don’t have the time. I have to schedule my tweets for tomorrow and make sure I have the next posts in Triberr edited and shared to go out too. Oh and of course I have to set up all my direct messages with the thank you and please go like all my pages right now messages.”

I’m just as guilty here. I post once in a while in this blog and every single day I make sure I share every post of my tribe mates on Triberr. The tweets from that go out every 15 minutes. Being the silent pen name of the three of us, that’s all my feed has become…promotions for other authors and their works. Where is the SOCIALIZING???

Social media is supposed to be social. You’re supposed to find new friends and connect on multiple levels and not just cram your new books down their throats. Sure we all want sales and wish to the Goddess someone sees our tweets and actually buys our books because of them. Why should they?  We’re no better than those mindless commercials we choose to ignore. I mean I change the channel whenever the Humane Society ones come on. Seeing those sad eyed animals doesn’t make me pick up the phone to donate. I see enough of that in my day job as a veterinarian.

What I’m trying to say is let’s stand up and take back all the social media sites and return them to what they were intended to be—online gathering points to share bits and pieces of our lives and not endless commercials selling our books. Okay so I’m not published under Stephanie Ryan yet, but I am as Tammy Dennings Maggy and Lia Michaels. I do know what I’m talking about here. All three of “us” have gone about this all wrong…at least for us.

Won’t you join me and buck against the crowd? Come on. Let’s be BRAVE!

See you around!

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