What happens when pretending to be someone else is easier than being yourself?
As a teenager, she boosted her own popularity by making a fake MySpace account of a guy called Joey and writing comments on her own account saying things like, “You’re so pretty”.
No one suspected Joey was a figment of her imagination.
And then she became hooked.
As the life around her crumbled – she suffered abuse, her father was in prison, her mother a drug addict – she began creating more and more fake online profiles to manipulate others (a practice known as ‘catfishing’).
“I wanted to be anyone but me — I wanted a different outcome, a different life. I wanted to be a different person. And with MySpace, I realised I could,” the woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told Vice.
Her next attempt was not so successful.
She stole ten photos from the page of a beautiful girl called Samantha and created a new persona, Amanda Williams.
“Amanda, the fictional character I’d created, was the version of me that I so desperately wanted to be. She liked the same music that I did and shared the same general interests; but unlike me, Amanda was confident and bubbly,” she said.