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.