New Twitter Accounts

Hey Everyone,

while I’m loving life here in sunny Palm Beach, and my amazing husband has allowed me to not work and just be one of those ladies who goes to pilates everyday, I’ve decided it’s time to get my other passions going again. You know, the stuff I was trying to work on before I was forced to put everything on hold for four years.

GDI’m going to slowly start diving again, and I’ll post up my adventures on my other site, Going Down. There’s a new twitter handle to go with that site, @GoingDownOnline So, if you’re into scuba stuff, or just wanna see me drowning, follow along there.

My other site, ShrimpTank, which was my old company is going to get re-done as a fashion blog. Not just any fashion, but about clothes for tiny people like me. Do you know how hard it is to find clothes when you’re 4’11” and have a DD bust? I’m going to keep my Shrimptank Twitter account for that. The site isn’t really going yet, but it’ll get there eventually. Hopefully one day my own clothes will be up on there!

allegedlySo that leaves this blog, which has really become the place where I rant about the entertainment industry, or about other stuff in general. So for my everyday, just Sarah stuff, I started a new @TheSarahMonahan twitter. I hate @TheWhoever accounts, but it was really hard finding a name I liked. Apparently there’s a LOT of Sarah Monahan’s out there.

So well done to the couple of people who noticed me starting new accounts. I wasn’t going to say anything yet, till I got some new content up on both sites, but also don’t want to worry anyone that people are impersonating me.

So, if you’re on Twitter, and you like the sound of any of the above topics, go follow my new accounts.

@TheSarahMonahan and @GoingDownOnline



Look Up

Look UP

I saw this video quite a while ago, and I just saw in again in my FB timeline.

The first time I saw it, it made an impact on me. I’m not as obsessed by my phone as a lot of people I know are, but I knew I looked at it too much. This made me realize even the small amount I used it was too much. So I stopped looking at it so much. The problem was, I became like the girl in the bus stop. I might not have my phone in my hand, but everyone else does….

These days, I try even harder to only pull my phone out to answer a call, or check it when it beeps. If the moment calls for it, I might use it to snap a shot. I don’t spend 20 minutes trying to get the perfect selfie, it’s a one, maybe two shot deal. If it takes longer than that, then it wasn’t worth taking. I have Instagram set up to push out to FB & Twitter, so I just upload it, and then put my phone away again.

Life has been much more enjoyable since I’ve given up staring at my phone. It is kind of lonely though, when you’re the only one who isn’t. So go ahead, watch the video. Let the message sink in. Use your screen to meet up with your friends in real life, and then put the phones down to just enjoy real life time together.


Crazy kids….

Beliebers and Directioners, what’s wrong with them?

Male singers and boy bands have always had legions of screaming fans. New Kids on the Block, Westlife, Boys to Men, even way back in the age of The Beatles and Elvis, girls were crying hysterically and fainting at the sight of their chosen singing Idol. Girls packed airports, hoping to catch a glimpse of their crush as they landed for a tour. They saved for weeks to buy tickets to see them in concert. Groupies devised ways to get a little closer to their chosen tasty treat. There’s all kinds of movies depicting what went on behind the scenes of bands that catered to the  18-30 crowd.

But I wonder if women were always this psycho and bitchy about bands, or if we’re only just now seeing it because of social media. Did our mothers threaten to kill another girl because Elvis smiled at her. Did we tell a girl to kill herself because Marky Mark said hi to her at a party?

It seems like every week there’s an article about Beliebers or Directions mass hounding someone because they went on a date, said hi to, or unbelievably, because they were retweeted… Yes, Beliebers are threatening death because a girl got retweeted and she wasn’t a previous fan.

Seriously girls, get a grip. I hate to break it to you, but no matter how much you think you’re in love with a singer, he’s probably never, ever going to go out with you. Even if you were to meet, the first time they see you flip out and go all cavewoman on another chick he’s talking to, he’s not going to just ditch you, there’s going to be some serious restraining orders against you.

Now, in some cases, singers do go out with regular girls. The Hanson brothers all married groupies, I mean, girls they met at concerts. Maybe boys these days are better, but it wasn’t long ago that singers would be married, but still be tapping everything they could on the road. Do you really want to be with a guy who isn’t faithful? I don’t care how famous someone is, if they’re not keeping it in their pants, it ain’t worth it. There’s way too many gross things out there that don’t wash off…

Then there’s the question of how are these kids on social media and issuing death threats without getting a serious whipping from their parents? Shouldn’t parents be monitoring their social media use? How are girls on Facebook and Twitter and just going all kinds of crazy? Parents need to be monitoring their children’s social media use. They need to explain to their daughters that it’s not OK to tell another girl to kill herself, or threaten to kill her because she was seen with a singer.

Parents should also be monitoring their kids social media for other reasons. There are just as many psycho cyber stalkers targeting these young girls as there are young girls targeting other young girls. While the girls are going crazy, there are devious men out there who will use social media to try to groom girls online. There are people who will hound a celebrity, hoping to get a message back, then make it look like they know a celebrity. The young girls will be naive enough to talk to the pervert, thinking there’s some connection there. In some cases, girls are kidnapped because they believe the creep and will agree to meet somewhere, thinking it will lead to meeting the celebrity.

Girls, if you have been contacted online by some perv pretending to be friends with a celebrity, it’s not real. Tell your parents. Tell the police. Remember you’re not the only one being targeted. The pedo is going to be trying to contact lots of girls, hoping one will fall for his bullshit. I hear of girls who don’t want to tell their parents when they’ve been contacted by someone online who turns out to be scamming them, because they’re worried about losing rights to social media. But I need you to tell people if this happens to you. You need to know you’re not the only one targeted, and someone else may not be as smart as you and find out before they get hurt. I know you’re fighting over trying to get to the boy, but you will feel terrible if another girl really is raped and killed because she believed a boy online could get her to a celebrity. Never believe someone who contacts you online pretending to be able to hook you up. If someone online engages in inappropriate conversation with you, take a screenshot of it, and show it to your parents. Parents, observe your kids online behaviour and make sure they’re not being targeted by internet predators.

Be nice to each other, and be safe online.


Social Media & Celebrities

Connecting with famous people through Social Media.

I love the internet. I love Social Media. I even used to work at a SEO company, and actually got to sit on FaceBook and Twitter all day long. I wrote blogs for several companies and helped  others understand Social Media and how to incorporate it into their business.

Since going public with the past a couple years ago, Social Media has been a mixed bag of fish for me. It was pretty vindicating using television as a medium to share my story. I had been abused in a television environment, so using it as the tool to go public and share what happened to me was a great way of taking that tool and re-purposing it.

As the story broke in Woman’s Day, I was still in Texas. I didn’t even know it had been published, till I saw it online on the WD website. Internet forums starting to go crazy with the story. I was watching the ACA and TT websites as they had coverage of interviews with other people. Then ACA sent Peter Stefanovic to my house in Texas to interview me. We used Skype to stay in contact with people in Australia, trying to figure out just how crazy big things had blown out of control. We were all watching forums like Whirlpool Hey Dad scandal thread. (Which is now several hundred pages over 3 different threads) Twitter went crazy. Hey Dad actually trended for a little bit there. People made all kinds of FaceBook pages. It seemed like everyone who had access to a keyboard had an opinion on the issue.

I got lots of emails, both good and bad. I had people commenting on my website. I was watching the twitter feed to see what people were saying.

I am now very sensitive about what I say about other people on Social Media. I know that people, even celebrities and famous people, or those like me who are simply in the news, do actually read the internet. We do use Twitter. We can see what people are saying about us. Unfortunately, about a good 80-90% of it is negative…

Before saying how much you hate someone on Twitter or in a forum, think about how YOU would feel if someone said that about you. Then imagine you’re reading that while you’re already under a whole heap of stress. It was hard enough going public, laying my soul bare, telling people about my past, without then having thousands of people judge me and post everywhere that I was simply a money grubbing publicity whore seeking an extra 15 minutes of fame and a way to sell Going Down. I was trying to do the right thing. I was trying to speak out about abuse. I was using the medium I was comfortable in, since that was what I knew. I was trying to make an impact, getting the message out there. I had expected there to be some negative reaction, I didn’t expect to see people slamming me on places like Expecting Mothers message boards. I could only imagine what they would be like if their kids came to them for help one day….

Anyhow, over the last couple of years I’ve changed a lot. I have a new outlook on life, and a new outlook on Social Media, as well as celebrities.

I just want to remind people that celebrities and other people in the spotlight are people too. They have good days and bad days. They have feelings, just like you and me. Just like you wouldn’t like it if a bunch of people talked shit about you, celebs aren’t immune to people talking smack about them. I’m sure Liesel doesn’t appreciate people talking about her figure while she’s preparing for the Olympics, (she’s a fucking swimmer people, not a Victoria’s Secret Model) or even Rihanna tweeting that her performance sucked in Sweden, when they didn’t know her Grandma had just died. There are so many cases I can think of when people are coming down on others when all they really need is a hug. I love that Sophie Monk, Piers Morgan and Ricky Gervais are witty in replies, but I’m sure they’re not totally immune either.

Being mean on Twitter is just another form of cyberbullying. Celebs aren’t immune.

So, I thought these Jimmy Kimmel clips were funny. It’s a great way to remind people that Celebrities are human just like us. It’s presented in a funny way, but it has a good meaning behind it. There’s a few of them on YouTube. Go watch, and next time, think before you tweet.

BTW, I’m @shrimptank on twitter.


The Power of Social Media

Make friends in Minutes.

When I was a kid, I had penpals. The kind you had to actually use a pen to write to. Then, you’d send the letter off, and a few weeks later, you’d get a letter back. Sometimes I miss the days of real letters.

I’m also very grateful for new technology. If it wasn’t for Facebook and feeling like I’m still a part of the lives of my friends back in Australia, I think I’d be a lot more homesick. I love that I can read the Australian newspaper everyday and I love that there’s an app for the 2DayFM radio station so I can listen to Aussie accents here. I enjoy watching the Aussie news over the internet, even if it is in small 3 minute blocks.

When I’m having a bad day, I can email someone and get a response back and feel better in minutes. When Corey Feldman did his interview, it brought back a lot of memories and some heavy emotions. Then I got an email from another child actress. She had famously gone public in the US and pissed a lot of people off. She had been following my case in the media, and another friend on FB put us in touch with each other.  She wrote me a couple emails and put everything very matter of factly. In the first email she talked about the balance of power in assault cases. She called it “sexual abuse vs fame public reaction mathematical algorithm” The public’s belief in and support of a victim of rape/sexual abuse is directly proportional to the fame and “likeability” of the victim, and inversely proportional to the fame and “likability” of the perpetrator. In other words, when a victim goes public with her story the response she receives will have nothing to do with the severity of the rape, number of occurrences or age at when the crime occurred. It will be based solely on her fame/power vs the fame/power of her perpetrator. She had several examples, and it was kind of a downer, because I’m not the famous/rich one in this case….

Her second email however was like a revelation and has helped me tremendously. Also: Something to remember – that I had to learn – is that the apprehension, conviction and incarceration of your perpetrator is NOT actually YOUR responsibility. It is the responsibility of law enforcement.

But remember, when people attack you for speaking out: any trouble the bastard is in, is entirely HIS doing. You didn’t “get him in trouble” – HE DID when he started assaulting children.

By the same token, when those on your side harass you to do more, you are not on call to “put him in jail”.  You called the cops, it’s THEIR job to put him in jail.

This was the most empowering thing anyone has ever told me. It lifted the weight off me. She was right. I had done my duty and told the police. I gave them my statement. I invited them into my home in Texas and continued the investigation here. When they email me or call, I answer them the best I can. A lot of people may not agree with the way the investigation started, but it was MY journey, not theirs.

I have been laying low in Texas since the investigation started, because I was told I should. It was “duty” to go crawl back under a rock till it was over. I had to make sure there was a conviction. If I didn’t stay quiet, it was my fault if the case for the other girls didn’t pan out.

I’m sorry, but it’s NOT my responsibility. I will do my best to help the police in any way I can, but I’m not going to stop posting on my blog, or be social on twitter, or talk to people on FB, or have conversations with people in real life just because there’s an investigation underway. I don’t know how long it could take. Nobody does, and people can’t realistically expect me to withdraw for years if it drags out that long. As long as I’m not talking about the investigation, there’s no reason I can’t also be an active member of social media.

Meanwhile, in the twitterverse, I think we’ve all been following what’s happening with Andy. His blog is now down off the internet, and he’s currently hiding hoping things will blow over. I’ve been amused that people have been so upset that I was quoted in the Sun as having laughed when I saw Andy in there. With the way Andy dishes on others, he has to expect that people give it back. And apparently he does. I got this PM from him this morning after someone called me a “nasty piece of work” on Twitter.

I’ve had some really interesting conversations with people over the last few days thanks to Social Media. It’s nice to be able to communicate instantly with people all over the world, instead of waiting till it’s already old news. That being said, I would still caution people to be careful what they say on the Internet. It’s easy to take things out of context. Sarcasm doesn’t convey well in 140 characters. You can still be taken out of context. Private doesn’t really mean private. Andy used to love grabbing screenshots on my PM’s to him, as I have done above. But, it also lets you communicate instantly and be able to check in on someone and make sure they’re OK.


Social Media v’s Political Correctness

If you can’t be a good example, you’ll have to be a horrible warning.

I know what it’s like to be in the media. After going public last year, I really know what it’s like to be in the media. I know what it’s like to have every thing you say dissected, questioned, checked over and then be re-quoted incorrectly.

There’s thousands of pages on forums and blogs with people talking about what I did last year. A lot of them aren’t nice. If you have a few hours of your life to waste, drudge through the 100+ pages on the Whirlpool site. Do a Google search on me or the Hey Dad Scandal and then click blogs or discussions. It’s amazing at how many sites there are. Some of them are very supportive of me, some of them are downright scary. Like a site for expecting mothers who all call me a publicity whore. I hope their babies never come to them looking for help…. Then of course, there’s Andy Blume.

Now, at first look, Andy really is a professional c*nt, as he puts it. The first time I found his site in April of last year, as I was in the middle of the media circus, I couldn’t believe what he wrote about me. Then, as things settled down, I read through the rest of his site, to see what kind of troll he was. To be honest, a lot of Andy’s posts made me laugh, as they do a lot of other people. Andy says what a lot of people think, but don’t have the balls to say. Sure, he’s rude. Yes, he’s tasteless. But 10 years ago when I left Australia, being Politically Correct wasn’t in full swing yet. People could still take the piss out of themselves. My favourite are when he writes letters to big companies complaining of their terrible service or products. I never know if he really sends off what he’s written on the blog, or a toned down version of it, but a lot of us wish that’s what we could say. It’s what we tell our friends. It’s what we’re thinking as we write the polite version. So, after about 6 months, I forgave Andy. I understood his posts about me were part of his online character. If he had said something nice about me, people would have said, WTF Andy? We tweeted back and forth and when I did the one year update on ACA, he actually sent me a message warning me he was now going to have to do another post. I was prepared for it. It was actually pretty tame. Some of his friends made fun he had gone soft….

I’ve been working in SEO and Social Media for a few years now. Maybe it’s because I get to read so many white papers and sites on What Not To Do in Social Media and how to not lose your job with what you post on Twitter, but I thought everyone understood that what you do online affects what happens to you in real life. Employers are now looking at what you post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites before they hire you. What you do online can get you fired. Maybe it’s not fair and maybe it’s not catching on that fast in Australia, but in the US, many companies will give you a fact sheet on “appropriate use” of social media, and give regular reminders throughout the year. Lots of people here are laid off because of something they did online.

You don’t have to be tweeting at work. You don’t have to say anything bad about your employer. But, if you post pictures of your late night binge at some club and then call in sick the next day saying you have the flu, expect someone might see it and you’re going to get called on it.

Back in the day, there was a lot more anonymity on the internet. Today, it’s all open. A lot of young people don’t realize that what they post now will come back to haunt them. The best phrase I ever heard was “Once tweeted, never deleted” because even if you delete it off your stream, it’s cached somewhere for someone to find. You don’t even have to post something, one of your buddies could do it and tag you. Or, you could post something anonymously, but through the powers of IP tracking, the IT gurus can still work out it’s you.

Pictures on FB are held on a server for over 6 months, even if you delete them. Pick a photo, copy the URL of that page, then delete the pic. A month later, go back to that URL… Your pic is still there. Also, a lot more people have access to your private pages, and even private messages than you think. I know the police have been reading my private messages. Basically, never say anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want on a postcard or displayed on a billboard.

I’m conflicted on the Andy Blume situation. At first I thought it was funny he got caught out. But I also felt bad for him. I try not to harbor resentment against anyone and I made my peace with Andy and his blog posts about me last year. I think he should have known better than to tweet while tramming, but he was called up on it a month ago and had stopped. I give him credit for using his real name on the Internet instead of hiding behind some fake alias to be such a huge douchebag. It’s a sign of how politically correct Australia has become when you can’t just have a laugh and move on, but instead have to get offended over every little thing. All of us have done something that someone else would think makes us a horrible person. ALL OF US. Before we judge others and hate upon them, we should think about ourselves and what we’ve done in life that others might not approve of. (You know, that whole glass houses thing)

I’m sure Andy will be OK. Someone will probably offer him a job on TV…. but it’s got to suck being fired in this economy.

At this point, I’m not sure if everyone will see Andy as a warning not to tweet about their jobs and make sure they’re always PC, or if this will make people go back to having anonymous avatars and fake names. Frankly, I’m not sure which of the two is worse.

Good luck Andy. I hope you find a new job. Just remember, people are watching you now….