I’ve been watching Catfish online lately. It’s sort of a dumb show, and sometimes it seems fake, but I can’t be bothered to care. I just like having things to listen to while I do nothing.

Some parts seem pretty legit, at least. It’s not hard to believe that someone could scam someone else on the internet. After all, hardly anything is legit on the internet. I could go reverse search any of the pictures on this site and find out that they were taken from some obscure place.

I have this internet friend from Australia who I’ve been contacting for years now. I met her on this dumb monster-avatar-gaming website, and we’ve been talking since… I was fifteen? Or fourteen, I think. I can’t even remember. She’s nice, into gaming and art… ordinary stuff. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if she’s real. I believe she is, but what if she’s not? I’d have no way of knowing.

Sometimes it even depresses me to think that no one on this site has any REAL idea if I’m actually a weird teenager or if I’m just some really bored thirty-year-old who gets kicks out of pretending to be a weird teenager. Do I sound legit to strangers? The internet scares me the way you can never be certain of anything. Sometimes it terrifies me to think that so much of the internet is untraceable and so much evil goes on in the dark web, where no one can see it, where it can remain there, catering to the sickest of people. I’m sorry, I’ve been watching too many crime/mental illness documentaries, and it frightens me to see what happens to people who suffer. I wish no one had to suffer like that. The internet makes it so much easier for children to be abused and I wish it didn’t, wish it couldn’t.

Still, I think it’s funny how I write everything on the internet. When I really think about it, it’s bizarre that someone very far away–maybe in another country–can read what I write and have opinions about it. That’s magical, in a way. Sometimes I wonder how much I read on this site is genuine. I’m being honest about what’s happening in my life (although of course I could be lying because no one here can verify that it’s all true) but I wonder about the rest of you people. I’m not trying to be rude or overly paranoid– just curious.

I don’t even know what the heck I’m talking about. I feel like a fish sometimes, when I’m online, or even just looking at pictures on Instagram. I hardly do anything there, yet I already feel like a fish swimming in a bowl. I feel like a small snake on, minding my own business, sneaking bits of bright flashy things, while all the while getting circled and stalked by some enormous snake. It’s weird. The internet is weird. It’s bits and scraps of thought from everyone, and it scares me, feeling so small, yet not realizing it until after I post some vague comment that gets a reply from someone I don’t even know. In theory, I know: of course people can see my comments and activity. But I don’t process it until something odd happens.

I feel like a fish swimming in circles. A little fish in a mask, swimming with millions and millions of fish and more fish, all wearing little handmade masks.

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