You could be a victim of digital abuse and not even realize it. While teenagers are frequently targeted, it can happen to people of any age. And also of any sex.

This kind of emotional abuse can be difficult to recognize.  But the effects can be just as long-lasting as physical abuse.

Let’s look at some warning flags for abuse:

Someone tries to control your contacts

If someone tells you who you can be friends with on Facebook or who you’re allowed to follow on Instagram or other sites, that’s not a good sign.

I’m not just talking about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. If a friend or relative also attempts to exert that type of control, you may have a problem.

I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about parents of minor children here. When you’re a kid, it’s the parents’ job to keep control of these things.

But this behavior is not acceptable from friends or lovers.

Insulting comments and messages

We all get angry sometimes. But if someone continually expresses their unhappiness with you by doing any of the following, it’s abuse.

Negative, threatening, or insulting:

  • Posts or Tweets directed at you or your friends
  • Comments on posts
  • Texts or private messages to you or about you
  • Emails

And if you do any of this, you’re being abusive. Like I said before, this doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. So-called friends shouldn’t do this either. And if relatives are pulling this, you need to set them straight.