Thursday, 20 March 2014

Chapter 1: If You Leave



18th of March 2014.

“A year ago today Daughter released their ten-track debut album ‘If You Leave’.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the record over the past 12 months. Here's ‘Smother’, the first single to be taken from the album.”
                                                                                    -Daughter’s Facebook PR team

A year. 
What is a year to a person?
It was a year ago today that I sat in my darkened hallway to listen to this album. You could say that I had the tissues out, but firstly, I’m nowhere near prepared enough for that, and secondly, I don’t know anyone who carries about a packet of tissues at the ripe old age of 17. But on the 18th of March 2013, I found myself with the (metaphorical) tissues at the ready in preparation to listen to Daughter’s new release. It was to be ‘our’ album. Smother was ‘our’ song.

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s your typical teenage angst and your typical teenage break-up. When I think about how clich├ęd I was, I want to throw up as well. You are not alone. But please, I beg of you, stay with me -at least until the next paragraph.
If You Leave, as ridiculous and simultaneously pathetic as it sounds, was my last chance. My last hope – the last rope I had to hold onto, frayed and splitting as it was, to pull me back to the shore. It was the last anchor in the sea of distance that was holding me to the boy that I loved; and under this wave of pretense and sick anticipation, it was the last mode of contact that I clung to. Or better yet, it was the last thing of sentimental value that I had that would ignite his motivation to contact me again. This sounds normal, doesn’t it? A heartbroken girl makes the linear arrangements in her distraught head of the events bearing sentimentality, in the hope that it would be enough to have her other half pick up the phone, and give her that call that she so desperately sought for.

There was no call. There never was any call. That too is normal. But what if I told you that when I say there was never any call, I mean there was never any call – not at any point in the year and a half relationship? Never any face to face (or voice to voice) communication? This person that I so loved – you guessed it – I had never actually seen before. He wasn’t real; to the living, breathing, human world, he simply did not exist.

***

I'm Carla, from Glasgow. I'm currently almost at the end of my first year at University studying English Literature, and one day I hope to be a writer. In my last year of school, starting when I was 16 (and a half) and ending when i was 17 (and a half!!) I was 'Catfished.' This means that I embarked on an emotional relationship with someone whom I had never met - and yep, you guessed it - this person (I don't think) was real. Or at least, they weren't who they said they were. This happened ago a year ago this week.

I've decided to start writing about my story for a number of reasons. I thought that the memory of this betrayal I have suffered at the hands of today's modern day technology would evaporate almost as quickly as the person behind it did; I was wrong. The prospect of Catfishing is something that is becoming more and more popular today - even the CSI I watched tonight was about it. It's so big in today's society that even MTV has a programme about it - it's all about supply and demand, and I hope that in giving you this, a part of me that is still quite raw and close to the surface, that I can help put a stop to others using the internet and it's anonymity as a platform for exploitation. 

Over the next few weeks, i'm planning on releasing a variety of articles about 'Catfishing' to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet for young people. Yeah, I know that it sounds really tedious, like i'm one of those people who come and give school talks. But the difference is that this happened to me. I personally went through and was a victim of the internet, something which is a saviour and a killer for all of us. I'm also going to post on this blog, bit by bit, my story, and any developments I have that come from this. You could say it is my way of dealing with what happened to me (and it is cathartic, i cannot lie!) but ultimately I want to help put a stop to this, and make sure that no one is put in the same position as I was. There is no excuse for emotional exploitation in today's society. 

So please follow me in this! All I ask is that you read with an open mind, try not to judge,  and share my posts - I want to prove to myself and others that the internet can be used as something positive; something good for us all. This is a new development of mine and i'm not too sure where it's going to head. But all I ask is that you join me in spreading awareness of both the pros and cons of using social media so that maybe even one less person is in my position, and that i'm not alone on my road to finding closure for this ordeal. 

Thanks so much!
Carla.