Harassment can come in many forms and includes:
- Threats of physical harm.
- Demeaning or insulting comments.
- Any comments after you have informed the sender that you do not want to communicate with them.
- Other forms of harassment can become a very gray area, sometimes defined by the target more so than by others. If the message makes you uncomfortable, it may be harassment.
What is NOT Harassment?
- A polite invitation to chat. If you feel comfortable contacting the person, respond with a "Thanks, but I'm not interested.", otherwise, ignore it.
- A "compliment" is not necessarily harassment. "You're pretty" or "You have nice hair" is not always harassment, but "You're hot! I want you!" is. Continued unwanted compliments is harassment.
We do have to be careful not to be TOO overly sensitive, nor to react too quickly when it is a case of uncertainty. It can be difficult to communicate via text only and some people just have poor social skills, so the sender may not realize that their message is offensive to you.
But if you feel harassed or uncomfortable, by all means, tell someone. They can help you determine the intent of the message(s) and advise you as to what further steps to take.