We all have social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and other such platforms and are vulnerable to gaslighting if we don’t know what it is or how to face it. So, apart from focusing on increasing your social media popularity through Instagram growth service, you must know what social media gaslighting is and if you are being a target. If you have been emotionally abused or bullied online over a long period, you most probably have experienced gaslighting.
As per Wikipedia, gaslighting is “making someone question their own reality” by manipulating one’s thoughts and trivializing emotions. The term was first used in the play called Gaslight in 1938 where a husband manipulates his wife into thinking that she is insane in order to fulfill his ulterior motive.
Gaslighting behavior is damaging and falls in the category of psychological abuse and personality disorder. It is a type of manipulation that may implant doubt in the mind of an individual or a group of people who are targeted. This process forces one to raise questions about his sanity, perception, and even memory. This fundamental is used by people who are toxic and abusive. They use gaslighting to diminish people’s perception of themselves and gain control over their psyche. Unfortunately, it is hard to identify gaslighting.
Robin Stern, PhD, Associate Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, opines that gaslighting can be done in personal and professional relationships, and sometimes even by public personalities like political leaders. For example, Stern has added several examples where gaslighting has been done by the government of Donald Trump in his book.
Gaslighting is very common on social media. If an individual or a group is constantly facing accusations via comments and conversations on social media, it is social media gaslighting. It is one of the most discreet tactics used against one’s partners, business associates, group, community, or nation. Initially, one may not understand that he/she is being gaslighted by another person or a group.
Motives and Effects of Social Media Gaslighting
When one doesn’t understand the difference between what is real and what isn’t, then there are high chances that he is vulnerable to gaslighting. In such a case, one may even start believing the other person or group. At times this may get worse and one who is being gaslighted may start doubting himself. Sometimes, it can also lead to negative feelings, resulting in depression. Such feelings are common outcomes of gaslighting, and they can bring serious personal and emotional damage.
Gaslighting is used by people to punish someone by making them distrust themselves, it can destroy their character and identity. It is one of the most malicious tactics used by dangerous minds to control other people.
More reasons to gaslight someone is to hurt them mentally and emotionally to take revenge, influence public opinion, make a particular group or community appear inferior, etc. They also use this tactic to take out their anger on the victim. It is mostly narcissists who use such tactics to gain emotional control over another person. They use it to feed their fragile egos and to make themselves look victimized.
How to know if an individual, a group, community, or a nation is being gaslighted on social media?
It is tough to recognize that one is a victim of gaslighting, but if one is a little vigilant, one can easily spot the red flags. So how will you get an idea if you are being gaslighted? Here are a few things that can help you stay on your toes and take suitable action to stop gaslighting or being victimized.
· Posting constant comments and posts to accuse someone baselessly
· Blaming that one/group is not aware of the reality that is far different
· Presenting a different version of the events without any proof or evidence
· Sabotaging by being unkind, rude, and unsupportive
· Disturbing one’s sanity through social media posts
· Getting offended if the other person responds sternly or takes a stand
· Feeding false ideas in the victim’s mind
· Constant effort to make the other person believe the gas lighter’s side of the story,
· Influencing one’s mindset or belief system
· Disregarding the feelings or comments of the other person or group
· Making one feel inferior through false accusations
· Denying what one said or did
· Twisting discussions in one’s favor
· Questioning the credibility of the other person
· Using negative stereotypes of one community, nationality or race, etc.
One must be strong mentally, stay aware and not lose control over one’s emotions and sanity to ensure that gaslighters don’t emerge stronger than oneself. In other words, one must not be vulnerable to gaslighters on social media. Don’t allow anyone to sabotage your life and happiness by being their gaslighting target. Not responding or reacting to gaslighters, locking your social media profile, using privacy settings suitably are some ways to avoid them.