Scrolling on my phone for hours at night got tiring so I decided to go to sleep. However, my thoughts kept me from doing so. I’m a junior in high school who lives a low-profile life and only has two friends, Ayesha and Elena.

All of a sudden, I started receiving a bunch of text messages. 

I’ll reply to them in the morning, I thought, and went back to sleep. However, five minutes later Elena started calling me.

“Hey, Elena, what’s wrong?” I said, worried.

“Go check Twitter right now.” She hangs up the phone. 

I anxiously go check Twitter. 

Scrolling through my timeline, I see that an anonymous user is trying to imitate me and tweeting things that are full of hate. Suddenly, people are messaging me things that I thought no human would be capable of.

 I immediately called my friends. 

“Guys, that isn’t me!” 

“We know, but why would someone want to pretend to be you?”  asked Ayesha.

As blunt as she sounded, she was right. Saying “it’s not me” doesn’t help my case.

“Don’t worry, Zara, all of this will be over by tomorrow and no one will even remember what happened. You know better, new day, new obsession,” Elena said.

“You two are right. I’m going to go back to sleep,” I said and hung up. 

I knew “cancel culture” was something that happened to celebrities all of the time. I never once thought it would happen to me.

My friends were no help. Afterall, they were born in the same generation as me. I wondered what my mom would do if she was in my situation. 

I broke down into tears and ran into my mom’s room for help.

“Zara, what’s wrong?!” she said as she was getting ready for bed. 

“Mom, it’s really bad…,” I said and explained everything. 

With belief in her eyes, she said, “You know when I was your age, social media wasn’t common and stuff like this wouldn’t happen. The best advice that I can give you is to not act in the heat of the moment.”

Confused, I said, “But if I don’t act now what if it gets worse?!”

“That anonymous user can go for only so long. Saying anything now will only add fuel to that person’s fire,” she said in her reassuring tone. 

Still distressed, I listened to her. At 4:30 AM, my mom fell fast asleep. 

I checked Twitter again and saw that the anonymous user had stopped tweeting. So, I made a tweet clearing things up. I think no one my age sleeps anymore as, in a matter of minutes, people started to apologize for jumping to conclusions. 

The spirit of relief fills my body as this living nightmare comes to an end.