It’s not over until I say it is. Sleep tight while you still can. –A

http://giphy.com/gifs/pretty-little-liars-JpxdaqcO27bG Simultaneously, all four girls receive the same text message. Cyber stalking on a major scale.
http://giphy.com/gifs/pretty-little-liars-JpxdaqcO27bG
Simultaneously, all four girls receive the same text message.

Anonymous sender.

Threatening undertones.

A constant flow of messages.

Today’s society is currently in the midst of the technological age where conversation is merely authenticated by the touch of a button and the only face to face confrontation is through the means of a screen.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” –Charles Dickens. (Tale of two cities)

But isn’t this the exact purpose of new technologies and media—to connect the world? Gone are the times of the phonograph, typewriter and the uses of letters now replaced by mobile phones, laptops and email.

However, with the introduction of these new technologies–said to make our lives as modern citizen easier–does too call for new anxieties to surface—cyber stalking.

Cyber stalking is the act of deliberate taunting via social media or text message made possible by the accessible online presence of 74% of the world. Smart phones—for some—have become a sort of limb where many feel ‘lost’ without it, making it extremely easier for individuals to use this as a means of stalking.

The anxieties linked to cyber stalking are exploited by the media world through the ongoing cultural phenomenon of ‘Pretty Little Liars’.

First airing on June 8, 2010 as a pilot from the successful book series by Sara Shepard, it quickly appealed to the teen-young adult audience through its prominent themes of mystery, drama and crime. The central motif throughout its current five seasons is the reliance on a phone and its purpose as a prop for cyber stalking. Thus, the audience is able to witness firsthand the life threatening outcomes that cyber stalking pose within the world that is Rosewood.

This world could very much be our own; where death, heartbreak and the liquidation of state of mind are reoccurring outcomes due to the malicious efforts of ‘A’ –the stalker in the series.

What’s to say that this too won’t happen in reality?

Many believe it is easier to just point the finger at technology and likeminded television shows as the source of today’s cyber stalking rather than putting the blame of humanity and their choice to abuse the privileges of technology.

Thus, Kristen Pratt’s story reveals this as her reality where she was cyber stalked over the phone, facebook and youtube by her former classmate. Her stalker was sentenced to four years imprisionment, however this still does not give her a sane state of mind.

‘The fear never leaves me.’- Kristen Pratt.

This social anxiety is extremely justified though the medium of Pretty Little Liars as it conveys not only the process and the symptoms of cyber stalking but also the social and mental consequences it has on the victims. It is also justified due to its prevalence in todays society. Thus, the issue impacts the lives of individuals on an international scale,where individuals are faced with this anxiety that they too could become the cyber ‘stalkee’.

Really, how hard is it?

With one refresh of a page a whole new identity is born.

The click of a button.

The release of an incriminating video, picture or threatening message could very well mean the destruction of the life of another.

Does it have to end this way?

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/apr/08/cyberstalking-study-victims-men

http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/

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