The ‘Other’ Me (by Keeley Gorman)

 

I am only 15 years old, so technology has been around my entire life and so has social media.


Being as social as I am, over time I completely immersed myself into the world of social media. At first I didn’t see any harm in putting my basic information out there. I gave out my full name, phone number, email address, maybe some small details about my life and of course I posted pictures.  Putting this kind of information online isn’t uncommon; most of these details are just the basic requirements in making an account. Everyone did it so I didn’t see an issue with it.


But one day, while avoiding my homework, I began the daily ritual of scrolling through my Instagram newsfeed. Of course I had already done this at least fifty times that day. I looked through all the same photos and quickly became bored of the duck faces and cheesy filters. “I wonder what would happen if I looked up myself” the random thought popped into my head. I had never tried it before. Deciding the English essay I had due tomorrow could wait I proceeded to look myself up because that’s, of course, the priority. I type in my name and scrolled through the first couple accounts of random girls who share my name.  The thrill of this experiment began to wear off till I came across a peculiar account. It said my name like the other ones but as I looked closer at the small round profile picture I recognize this person. It’s was me! I immediately click on this copycat profile. Photos of me popped up; photos stolen from my REAL Instagram, a couple photos from my Facebook and even some pictures with me from my close friends’ profiles.  Extremely confused I scrolled through the photos. One of them, a photo of my friend and I sitting by the pool is captioned “another beautiful day in Miami” I have never been to Miami. It was so strange…After scrolling through the rest of the photos I was left with a creepy feeling. There is definitely something creepy about someone using your image to create an imaginary life.


This account didn’t have many followers so I posted a small status on my Facebook with a link to the account and I also posted a photo on Instagram tagging the account. Exposing them so that nobody mistakenly thought it was me. I also reported the account and it was quickly taken down. Luckily for me this account was innocent but it opened my eyes as to what could happen when I put my life out there for people to see. Someone could have easily made a negative account about me and could have really caused some trouble. I realize I need to monitor my accounts more closely and be careful about what I post.

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Written in an easy conversational style, this beautiful 200 page book, filled with beautiful imagery, is designed to inspire and engage the young reader. Educational and empowering, JBYG teaches girls how to recognize and handle the influences that can affect their self-perceptions so that they ultimately learn to look within themselves to find their strength and beauty.