By Jenna Tocatlian.
If it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen
Today’s teens really value what they see on social media. What a person posts offers a glimpse into the life they live, what they have, and inevitably their happiness. But sometimes the reality couldn’t be further from that. Just because someone may look like they live a glamorous life on the surface doesn’t mean that they’re not struggling on the inside.
The fictitious diary entries in this article were originally posted on Teen Ink. The story received high marks from the readers and was subsequently featured on the front page of the Realistic Fiction section on November 16, 2014. I hope you like it too.
Kelsey’s Diary: Part 1
Today was just another day in the life of a high school girl. I went to school, got bored in class, and then left that class for an even duller one. During lunch, I went to the library as per usual. It was quiet, as a library should be.
The library got a little brighter when a bunch of smiling friends came in. I like to call them “The Unstoppables” or the “U-crew.” The U-crew is made up of three gals, Kendall, Hannah, and Laura. They have the most perfect friendship imaginable. They do absolutely everything together; if they’re getting something to eat, they’re together, if they’re at the movies, they’re together, no matter where they are, they’re always together.
Seeing them as they waltz their way into the library, giggling, gossiping, and grinning really makes me wish that I had a friendship like theirs. After my average Friday afternoon, I went home and had a raging night with my 10-year-old brother, Scott. My night included me watching him play Mario Kart, while I stalked the U-crew on Instagram. They had – yet another – exhilarating night in NYC as they dined at a fancy restaurant, shopped around So Ho, and got into a trendy club to flirt with college guys! I mean, how much more exiting could a junior in high school’s life get?!
I know mine could use a little more spice considering I passed out on the couch around 10 o’clock and woke up an hour later to my face covered in artwork, all thanks to my lovely preteen of a brother. Now I’m off to the bathroom to scrub off the marker residue from my face; what an exciting night to be me!
A little hello to my little world,
Last night Hannah, Laura, and I went into the city. It was nice to get out because of my extremely stressful school week. However the night did not go as I had hoped. Hannah, Laura, and I ended up going to a club in So Ho for the night. It started off nice, we found some cute guys that we were able to hang out with. Turned out that they were not the nicest guys in the bunch, as most guys are, they were only out for one thing. Sex. And they went to the extent of drugging Laura.
Luckily, we were able to get her out of there before anything actually happened. When we tried to hail a cab to the closest hospital, the conversation went as followed:
“Rush us to the nearest hospital!” yelled Hannah.
“What happened?” asked the cab driver.
“Our friend was drugged, now please, hurry!” I exclaimed.
He looked back at Laura, her limp and disoriented body, foaming mouth, and blacked out eyes and said, “Please get out of my cab, I cannot help you.”
My mouth dropped open, just because she was drugged by some inconsiderate horny guys meant he could not help us, I thought it was some kind of sick joke until he began yelling at us to get out. So there we were, three helpless girls stranded in the city.
We were able to call my brother and get him to pick us up. Our parents kicked us out of the house earlier this month because we were just “bratty kids that needed to learn to care about more than ourselves,” so we had been staying in a motel right outside of town.
When we got ‘home’ we showered her and somehow got her to a healthier state. The night left me completely dumbfounded. Unfortunately, it seemed as though things were only getting worse in my life.
After they were done hitting us, my parents occasionally kicked us out. Sometimes I liked it better though. My brother is the only person that I can truly trust. He’s the person that always has my back. I’ve broken up with boyfriends, been kicked to the curb by friends, and have never been able to depend on my parents, but my brother has never left.
He really gets me. In high school he was perceived as having the ‘perfect’ life, when really he was going through all of the struggles that I’m enduring, too. What annoys me the most is that people genuinely do not care. No one from school needs to know so we aren’t telling them, but if they were to find out they would be like, “oh it’s no big deal, their lives are still so perfect.”
Our lives are nowhere near perfect! My parents abused my brother and I to the point that we were kicked out because they’re so twisted. Hannah’s parents are going through an awful divorce. And Laura is failing out of most of her classes so she’s not sure if she’ll even graduate on time. But the thing is no one knows that stuff about us, nor do they care enough to find out because people only seem to care about what meets the eye.
Kelsey’s Diary: Part 2
Today I experienced a major plot twist. I walked into the girl’s bathroom at school and heard someone sobbing in the stalls. I wasn’t sure who it was so I stayed to uncover the secret. It was Kendall. She walked out; mascara streaming down her face, completely mortified that someone saw her in this state.
“Are you okay?” I asked, completely caught off guard. I always thought she had her life so put together, I guess I was wrong.
“I mean, clearly I’ve been better,” she replied with a little chuckle as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
“I know it’s not my place to ask, but do you want to talk?” I whispered.
She sighed. We exchanged numbers and decided that we would talk later since we were both in class. She smiled at me as she walked out of the bathroom. After school we met up and talked about our issues over some frozen yogurt.
I learned a lot about Kendall. Her life is not as perfect as social media makes it seem. Her and her friends go through serious issues and do not have fun, perfect lives 24/7. Kendall hit her breaking point. It turns out that the amount of likes she got on an Instagram picture didn’t reflect her happiness; it was really all just an illusion.
I never would have thought that the U-crew was just a group of girls that were going through their own issues if I hadn’t run into Kendall in the bathroom. It made me reflect and appreciate what I have. I may only have 25 Instagram followers, but that’s ok. And Kendall’s hundreds of ‘likes’ don’t mean as much as our newfound affinity.
Other Posts by Jenna Tocatlian
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.