I Catfished All My Friends in 2008

When I was 12, I made 3 fake Facebook profiles that could have gotten me into serious trouble

Dr. Casey Lawrence
Modern Women

--

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Content warnings: catfishing, suicide, internet predators, child sexual abuse material

Picture this:

The year is 2007. My family has dial-up internet and I have to ask permission to use the family computer, which runs on Windows 95. It takes three minutes to connect. I use mainly use NeoPets and AOL messenger, play Disney flash games, and read Star Trek fanfiction.

I am a 12-year-old girl in the most awkward phase of life: at six feet tall, I am gangly, clumsy, pimply, and socially awkward. I have braces and greasy hair. I haven’t figured out makeup yet. I am the first of my friends to make a Facebook profile. For weeks, I have only one friend.

When I get my own laptop for Christmas, I suddenly have a frightening degree of freedom. With that freedom comes responsibilities I am unequipped to handle.

As part of the first generation to “grow up online,” my adolescent mistakes were made in the very public, and very permanent, arena of social media. Despite every warning from adults begging me not to trust anyone online (everyone on Club Penguin is secretly a paedophile in disguise, every DeviantArtist is…

--

--

Dr. Casey Lawrence
Modern Women

Canadian author of three LGBT YA novels. PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Check out my lists for stories by genre/type.