Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

This past March on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss, host Donna Lyons addressed a critical topic in the digital age: cyber bullying. While many of us tend to think of it as a problem that affects mostly teenagers, the truth is, anyone can be a victim.

Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins know from personal experience that this is true.

First, a little background.

I “met” Jefferson in cyberspace via Donna, when she mentioned his interest in being a host on the Writestream Radio Network. As with many other solid, genuine people I’ve met online, I developed an easy friendship with him. Having known Donna for several years (even though we’ve not yet met in person), I trusted her judgement and after several conversations with Jefferson, had no doubts about the depth of his character.

Soon after, we made plans for him to broadcast The Formula: What Is It?  The show airs on the fourth Tuesday of the month, featuring entrepreneurs at various levels of experience, who reveal their unique “formula” for success.

However, as Ima stated in the interview, it’s natural in the Digital Age for people to conduct internet searches on others. I’ll admit I did that with Jefferson, mainly because I was impressed by the scope and depth of his career and wanted to know more. Intuitively, I knew I was dealing with a decent, honest person, which is why it was so disheartening to come across several slanderous posts about him.

Jefferson Keith Langley.

As the owner of an internet-based business that collaborates with a variety of clients and personalities, I’m aware that anyone at any time could take to their keyboard with the intention to slander my character and harm my company’s reputation. For that reason, I save all email correspondence and document all communication with every client. I won’t pretend I don’t make mistakes; I’m human, after all. But I do my best to explain the self-publishing process, maintain a schedule, and deliver a quality product. When necessary, I own up to my errors and correct them asap.

But Jefferson and Ima’s harrowing story is definitely a wake-up call, whether or not you own a business. It’s too easy for an individual to destroy good people and companies just by taking to their computer keyboards and publishing outright lies. Because the burden of proof falls on the victim and not the cyber bully, it’s nearly impossible to remove the offensive posts — and sadly, most people are quick to believe the worst.

In Jefferson and Ima’s case, this meant a significant loss of income and clients as their business dried up. Worse, the damage to their reputations made it difficult to even find a “pay the bills” job to support their basic needs. To their credit, they persisted. I highly recommend listening to the interview by clicking below.

When I came discovered the negative internet posts about Jefferson, I recognized them as a desperate attempt to discredit a good man and his business partner. Yes, I thought about calling him up to discuss it. Then I figured he’d already dealt with enough garbage and let it go.

What was the point of dredging it up with him when I’d already concluded that this was the work of a deranged individual?

As I got to know Jefferson better over a period of several months, my faith in him was vindicated. Because I produced his monthly show, we maintained regular contact via phone conversations and text messages. I’ve also seen the multiple glowing testimonials on Facebook from happy clients who have experienced amazing results in their businesses, thanks to his expert coaching.

I support his efforts to change the laws to adjust to the Digital Age. I’m a huge proponent of free speech, but free speech should not condone personal and professional destruction by dishonest, amoral people who leverage the easy opportunity the internet provides for “revenge.” In Jefferson’s case, the perpetrator — a woman — became obsessed with him in a classic case of “fatal attraction” (though thankfully, he’s alive and well today…unlike the wife of a CEO he knows who was the target of a smear campaign, a story he shares in the interview with Donna).

Again, I highly recommend listening to Jefferson and Ima’s on-air account of their experience with a cyber bully who nearly destroyed them — personally and professionally. It’s a cautionary tale for everyone, especially business-owners who work closely with clients. Thankfully, they managed to turn things around and have gone on to achieve greater success. As a result of what they have endured, they are also determined to draft legislation and petition Congress to address this crucial issue.

I’m grateful to Jefferson and Ima for their courage, honesty, and willingness to take a stand for integrity. Circumstances reveal character, and in their case, their horrific experience at the hands of a sick individual has proven that they each possess a strong, solid, and inspiring one.

A final word of advice: question EVERYTHING you read online, do your homework, and, if necessary, confront the person with the information you find on the internet. Give them a chance to defend themselves. Don’t just blindly trust “anonymous” sources who may have nothing more than an ax to grind, simply because they can get away with it.

In the Digital Age, the Golden Rule applies more than ever.

Discover more about Jefferson and the services he provides at ABETHIA.com and Artitechtronix.com.

Follow Ima Sumac Watkins on Instagram and about.me.

Need help with copy writing, independent publishing, or ghostwriting? Contact me here.

 

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SMART Growth Marketing ~ Lead Nurturing: Strong Relationships End with the Sale

SMART Growth Marketing ~ Lead Nurturing: Strong Relationships End with the Sale

Please tune in to The Writestream on Wednesday, October 18 at 11 AM Eastern when SMART Growth Marketing founders Darien Hill and Jody Layne return to discuss how to close more sales by building solid relationships.

They met for coffee one day to discuss collaborating on a project and they realized quickly there was something there. Armed with years of experience on their own, plus a genuine passion for helping people achieve their dreams of success, Darien and Jody joined forces to create SMART Growth Marketing.  SMART, which stands for Strategically Marketing at the Right Time, is the foundation they build their clients’ campaigns.  It’s about putting relevant messages in front of prospects at the right time when they are ready and interested to see them. This dynamic duo believes that authenticity and relevancy is what makes all marketing generate limitless results.  And, of yeah, they always have a great time, too!

To ask a question during the broadcast, dial (347) 945-7246. Stream the episode by clicking on this link.

For more, visit www.smartgrowthmarketing.com.

UPDATE: After some brief technical difficulties, we created another excellent, informative broadcast. Missed it? Click below to listen.

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SMART Growth Marketing on Lead Conversion: Advertising vs. Starting a Conversation

SMART Growth Marketing on Lead Conversion: Advertising vs. Starting a Conversation

September 13 is the second Wednesday of the month, which means my friends Darien Hill and Jody Layne from SMART Growth Marketing will be joining me on The Writestream at 11 AM Eastern.

Selling is about relationships. But, how do you build a relationship with someone you’ve never met? And, convince them that your product or service is the answer to their needs? It’s not easy. However, with the right attitude about your marketing, it can be done. Spend time with Darien Hill & Jody Layne from SMART Growth Marketing and learn the secrets to building amazing relationships with total strangers that can lead to customers for life!

During the episode, Darien and Jody will explain the difference between advertising and starting a conversation, and share their tips for how to convert your leads into happy clients. To listen by phone and/or ask a question on the air, please dial (347) 945-7246. Stream the episode here.

About Darien Hill

Darien is passionate about inspiring individuals to unleash their inner champion.  He was born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua. In 1996 he received a track and field scholarship to Murray State University in Kentucky, where he received  his degree in marketing.

Darien loves to help small businesses and organizations tell their story in a unique way and to inspire their customers to action.   He has trained over 100 banking professionas from companies such as Suntrust Bank, BMO Harris & BB&T on how to leverage social media to increase customer acquisition. He is a highly sought after speaker and has been featured on Central Florida News 13 as a social media correspondent.

 

 

About Jody Layne

Jody Layne loves people and loves to talk. Her passion is working with clients and brainstorming what will work best for them. She also loves to teach what she knows. After 25 years as a professional marketer, Jody has worked in lots of mediums, but it is the SMART marketing concept that she loves best.  She believes that consumers don’t want to be sold to anymore.  They know what they need and when they are ready to buy, they will do their own research.  The products and services that are most relevant and the companies that provide the most value will be the ones that win the sale.  Jody has presented her ideas to a number of groups over the years and loves to work with businesses who understand the value of marketing.  She also owns a software company with her husband, is a marathon runner and she is a mom to the coolest 13 year old ever.

UPDATE: Missed the live episode? Click to listen.

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Coming Soon ~ The Writestream with Daria Anne: Write. Publish. Succeed.

Coming Soon ~ The Writestream with Daria Anne: Write. Publish. Succeed.

After attending an excellent seminar the other day on The Business of Speaking, I was inspired to get back on the Writestream Radio airwaves with a new program geared toward busy professionals who know that writing a book is good business, but don’t have a clue where to begin with the writing and/or self-publishing process.

Click to listen to the new promo:

My target debut date is April 5, but I will post updates as we get closer.

According to Forbes, Writing a Book Is Good Business. As an entrepreneur, would you like to leverage a book to expand or enhance your business? If so, this is the show for you. I hope you’ll join me every Wednesday at 11 AM Eastern Time. As always, my guests and I will welcome your calls at (347) 945-7246.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the air with The Writestream with Daria Anne ~ Write. Publish. Succeed. Join me every Wednesday at 11 AM Eastern, beginning in April – and stay tuned for updates on the debut of the first episode!

Ready to write and publish your book now? Click here to set up your no-obligation consultation.

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