A few months ago I received a very interesting DM on Instagram. It was from a woman who I didn’t know (let’s call her Morgan) and she simply sent me a message asking:
“Hey, are you good?”
In my head I said to myself, I mean I’m a little stressed with school, but I’m alright. Did I make a suspicious post? I responded to her, reassuring my well being. She then responded by saying :
“Okay, cool text me when you get a chance.”
I paused. I never met or communicated with this woman in my life, how could she just assume that I had her number? Well, once I questioned Morgan she revealed that she’d been talking to a girl who was using both my name and my pictures.
My heart instantly shot to my stomach. I felt a mix of anger, embarrassment, and a lot more anger. Why in the world would someone steal MY identity? Of all people there was no way I was that interesting, but sure enough… I found myself in the middle of a situation straight from MTV’s “Catfish”.
I continued to do some prying, speaking with Morgan about the “fake me”. She explained that the account contacted her first, claimed to attend my college, and that they had even spoken on the phone numerous times. When she sent me the phone number of the “fake me” I was even more shocked to find out the area code was from the same location I was in at the time!
I immediately suspected almost everyone around me. I even suspected Morgan! It was such a gut wrenching feeling to know that someone was using my image to tell lies, and provoke people. It was even more painful that I couldn’t immediately do anything about it. I reported the account literally every minute, but of course Instagram took their sweet time deleting the account.
My friends picked on me about it, claiming being the bait for a Catfish proved I had the ultimate amount of “juice”, but in my head I just wanted it all to go away as soon as possible. I mean who knew how many people were out there like Morgan, thinking they were talking to me but they really weren’t? Quite frankly those people STILL may be out there!
Luckily after a few days, the account was gone. Oddly enough, as much as I wanted to stay angry and go after the person behind this…. I couldn’t. After learning more about the conversations the “fake me” had with Morgan, it was clear the person behind the account was suffering from an emotional disturbance and was just looking for someone to care about them and listen. This doesn’t excuse what they did, but it helped me find peace with the situation.
Sometimes all we want is for someone to listen, and we feel people will listen if we pretend to be someone who’s prettier or more popular than us. But at the end of the day when you log off that fake account, you still have to look in the mirror and deal with yourself. And that is where the real work needs to be done.
So to whoever you are that stole my identity, I’m not angry. I just hope and pray that you have found the help you were needing. My life is not all together either and believe it or not sometimes I wish I wasn’t me, but often we face circumstances we just can’t change. And since we can’t change them, all we can strive to do is change our attitudes about those circumstances instead.