Aggression comes in many forms. It is a human feature that had evolved and adapted to society’s changes. Although many of its forms had been suppressed, it always finds new ways to manifest. Nowadays, cyberstalkers are more numerous than ever, thanks to the boost of social media. The more the surveillance has grown the subtle, or better said perverse, the aggression has become.
Knowledge of psychology had left the cabinet of psychologists, and people learned to use it to protect themselves. Common people can recognize patterns in other people’s behavior that helps them foresee what those people’s hidden intentions are. Not always, let’s be realistic. People are still being abused, but not as more straightforward. Aggressors had to refine their skills, as society became more and more aware of them. They had to evolve into more and more intelligent and charismatic species.
One of the most favorable environments for aggressors is the internet’s shades. An aggressive viral act can be devastating in a way physical aggression can’t, by exposure. For digital aggressors, one of the most thrilling forms of manifesting their hostility is by exposing them to the entire virtual world materials that embarrass or humiliate (pictures, messages, rumors). They might also engage in introverted aggressive acts such as sending unwanted sexualized, threatening, and/or violent photos or messages. Up to 65% of the users have been a victim of an aggressive act.
A new study on digital aggressors and cyberstalkers
Researchers recently analyzed the means that trigger digital aggression. Using Twitter and an online gaming environment, they tried to find a psychological pattern that fits the typical aggressor’s profile. What they found is that individuals predisposed to aggressiveness in the online environment are extraverted and neurotic, and they lack conscientiousness and agreeableness. If you observe those patterns in a conversation, then stay away, no matter how fascinating that person might seem – because they can be highly intriguing.
Dull aggressors don’t meet the number of victims needed to sharpen their skills. They will be aggressive from the start, so they can’t do as much harm. But those that possess charm and intelligence will make you trust them, and in the end, it becomes hard to forgive yourself for being “so stupid.” There are many cases of online aggressivity that ended with the victim’s suicidal act.
Cyberstalkers might have changed their ways, but their profile stays the same as with any type of aggressor, the study reveals. In essence, they have low consciousness and agreeableness but high intellect, imagination, and expressiveness. This is a powerful combo that leads to predictable emotional instability.
No matter the environment, everything an aggressor wants is power. They will use you in any possible way to make him/her feel that he/she has power over you. Usually, aggressors are people that lost their control at some point. They were aggressively abused. So, they have become just as aggressive or even more so to regain that lost power.
We might have adapted to their existence and learn their ways and psychology. But so, did they. They have a way of knowing how to choose their victim, usually because they use to be one so they can “feel you.” In psychology, there is such a thing as a victim’s profile. Some of us are more prone to becoming a victim to digital aggressors and cyberstalkers than others.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.