I never, ever click on links in Twitter direct messages. EVER. But this morning I had this one: "Hello... some person is posting nasty things about you :/" (and then a tinyurl link)
I obviously didn't follow the link, because clearly the person got hacked and was sending these messages automatically to their entire address book. But I did write down the URL and check it out in Tor. Nothing that I could see, so probably a script. But that's not important.
I keep thinking about my physical response. I felt all the blood rush to my ears and neck, and my skin got all prickly. I could feel a little sweat form on my brow. It was 100% lizard brain fight-or-flight based on... what? The thought that someone, somewhere is saying bad things? That someone is out to get me? That someone could be conspiring to give me a bad reputation? Who? A disgruntled ex-student? Someone I crossed long ago? Someone I don't know?
Even though I never fall for those links, I could feel this one almost get me. The fear of someone, somewhere, hating me. The sidelong glance smiley that mimicks the "humph, shit happens" shake-your-head gesture that feels genuine. That I could believe that it could be true.
I realize how easy it is to overlook positive things/people/feedback and obsess over a mean gesture, bad review, thoughtless comment. Mindfulness is not yet autonomous for me.