A Narrative of Lynn’s Experience

Lynn is a young lady from Kampala, Uganda. She is a leader in her community and uses social media a lot for different reasons, she posts and uploads on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. On the morning of 15th February just after a lovely Valentine’s date, Lynn woke up to what she referred to as the biggest shock of her life .
During her routine morning social media checks and updates, her eyes met a different profile picture on her Facebook. No sooner had she seen this photo of a red bearded white man than she noticed an overwhelming amount of message notifications in her inbox. In utter astonishment, Lynn went ahead to open her inbox only to find harsh rebukes from her Facebook friends. She was quickly prompted to open the links which her friends had replied to.

Her phone dropped out of her hands as soon as she tapped on one of the links because her eyes met pornographic images. After gathering herself, Lynn looked through her inbox to investigate which people had received the same link. Her parents, workmates and pastors among other people had received this link. She became shocked , angered and frustrated. Having been born and raised in a church-centered family, Lynn was in disbelief of the quickly changing perceptions people were having of her. Firstly her mother called her and said ”Lynn we raised you better than these things you are sharing on Facebook.” A number of friends called her rebuking and blaming her for daring to share such content. Lynn made efforts to explain herself to her friends and family but most of them did not believe her.

Hope, Lynn’s best friend, is one of the few that stood with her . Hope said she had heard of a similar occurrence in the past, she advised Lynn to change her passwords on all her social media accounts and post a disclaimer informing people that she had been hacked.

Heeding Hope’s advice, Lynn went ahead to change her password, profile picture and to post an update on her timeline informing her Facebook community that she had been hacked. Lynn’s post stated ,”Dear Facebook family am sorry for the disturbing images messaged to you, Kindly note that my account has been hacked. The shared content doesn’t reflect my interests.”

The first two comments were polite and comforting but the third and fourth were disheartening. One male user said ” I would like to have you ” Another said ,” You dirty whore stop playing saint. ”A number of mixed reactions kept on flooding the post. Some older people blamed the younger generation for being immoral, others said she needed to take down all the posts about church because she was the devil’s little ange . A number of sexist comments about how she should consider recording a video of her naked self were all posted on her update. After making this effort and experiencing more abuse, Lynn decided to take a social media break. She logged out of all her social media handles due to stress. This experiencet followed her all the way to her church and her daily life because she found it disturbing to attend church since people judged her. At her work place she often noticed nonverbal sexual cues from some make colleagues. Lynn says that if it hadn’t been for the social media break and constant encouragement from Hope, she would have failed with work and other responsibilities. Lynn has since changed church and is still in active with updating her social media handles. Lynn says the worst part of this experience is that she will never know who hacked her and the reason as to why they did so.

By Whitney N

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