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instagram is my favorite time waster app i spend a good chunk of my free time browsing it, i’ve gotten my fair share of creep edms i’ve learned to ignore them so when i got a notification from instagram that some random account requested to dm me i didn’t sweat it i did however just open the dm because i always do out of curiosity the dm was a link to another instagram profile named perfect always with a z i pressed the link and it opened this page with a bunch of pictures of girls like young girls seemingly varying in ages from 13 to as i continued to scroll through the account i picked up on an unsettling fact that all the pictures seemed to have been taken in secret like one girl was on a school bus one was sitting on a park bench one was taken from behind a bush of a girl walking on a sidewalk one was taken of a group of girls at a college campus expecting to find perverted comments on the posts all i found were positive comments like keep up the good work and nice there were also some comments with random numbers like 500 and that’s it and every single account that commented appeared to be spam accounts like no profile pictures and no followers it was a weird and creepy account so i reported it and sent a link of it to my friend ali then i went about my business i was at school when all this happened so i couldn’t give it too much attention to begin with it wasn’t until after school when i got home that ali finally texted back saying omfg who did that that’s crazy i replied i know it’s so creepy she seemed more concerned than shocked than i was expecting her to be she replied saying you need to report that to the police right away i replied back why me it’s not exactly my problem she replied back with nothing but question marks mixed with exclamation points so i said why are you freaking out she said why don’t you care about someone posting pictures of you on their instagram my heart sank i immediately rushed to click the link again and view the profile this time there were two new photos uploaded to the page one of a girl in the passenger seat of an suv and one a picture of me walking home it was taken from inside a car parked on the side of the road i remembered seeing that car and i remembered noticing someone sitting in it this just seemed unreal i called ally at once freaking out i told her why i didn’t understand it first and explained how some random account dm’d me the link ali told me to report it to instagram and the police i told her i reported it to instagram already and told her to do the same i stayed locked in my room talking to ali for at least an hour as i was home alone the next time i refreshed that instagram page it said this page does not exist first thought okay it blocked me so i asked ali to refresh it as well and it said the same thing for her we both used our finsta accounts to confirm that it was removed and it was the account no longer appeared i still don’t know if it was taken down by instagram or if the creator of the account deactivated it i also have no idea what those numbers in the comments meant either way it seemed like one big setup thing and i’m scared to know any other details about what was going on with that instagram page this situation happened in my first year of high school i was 15 years old and lived pretty far from school which resulted in me taking public transportation to and from there my instagram was set to public back then and i never really cared much about who followed me which in retrospect being a young teen i should have my page was pretty standard i was visible in most of my posts posing by myself or with a couple of my friends for the most part i also post a lot of my story which for those of you who don’t know allows users to share photos and videos to their story for 24 hours in those stories i would sometimes include a shot of me waiting for the bus or at the subway with music playing in the background i remember posting such one day and randomly looking at my stories and seeing who viewed them i had around 120 views most of them from people i knew one account in particular stuck out the profile pic showed an unfamiliar middle-aged man the selfie was taken at a weird close-up angle like those cliche parent selfies he had seen every one of my stories posted i didn’t really think that much of it and continued about my day hours later when i was nearing sleep at around 2am i got notifications that that same man had requested to dm me followed me and liked all my posts i had about 12 posts so it wasn’t a crazy amount of notifications i opened his dm and it just said hey with a smiley face i definitely found this crazy weird so i didn’t respond and checked his profile his username was odd sam with a bunch of numbers he only had one post the weird angled selfie with two likes i finally got a decent look at his face he was pale and bald with dark tinted sports glasses he seemed to be wearing a ripped white t-shirt he had five followers and was following around 400 people which mostly consisted of teenage girls young women and a few celebrities realizing what an actual creeper this guy was i blocked him plain and simple in the morning i got off the subway stop that’s next to my school and took a seat on the bench in the middle of the platform to adjust my backpack upon doing this i felt someone watching me the platform was packed with people so i thought maybe it was just my anxiety i rose up and turned to find the now familiar middle-aged creep staring at me his eyes were a glossy blue color sunken and droopy he stood a good 20 feet from me just gawking with an angered frown i felt the strong urge to throw up and cry at the same time my skin prickled and my whole body filled with fear everything i was feeling was multiplied by a thousand as i realized he was slowly walking towards me no one paid him any attention no one batted an eye and i remember breathing hard and heavily wishing someone would pick up on what was happening i turned and speed walked around and passed people trying to lose him though with each step i took back he took two steps forward he was getting a lot closer to me by the second it was all happening so fast and i honest to god didn’t know whether to continue to run or attempt to draw attention to him i ran into a woman with a seemingly friendly face on the stairs and that’s when i decided on the ladder i told her that guy in white is following me as i spoke i heard my own voice quiver and that’s when i realized how afraid and panicked i actually was she noticed the man i was referring to at the bottom of the steps and right away she called him out she told him to stop following me or she’d call the police her shouts made him freeze as others began to stop and take note of the situation she stood protectively in front of me waiting for his next move i took the opportunity to snap a quick pic of his face that i would later use to report him in my head all i thought was he’s not going to do anything with people watching me he can’t be that stupid and i was right he turned around and got on the next subway train the woman walked me to my school and on the way i couldn’t help but wonder how that man could have possibly found me and then i remembered i posted a story of the subway stop i got off that realization alone made my skin crawl and taught me a very important lesson to never reveal your specific location to your public social media after the woman walked me to my school i thanked her and actually gave her a hug i don’t know what i would have done if she hadn’t stepped in i wasn’t brave enough to say anything to the man so frozen in fear but that woman was and i’m forever grateful for her and i hope that if anyone is ever in her position that they will step in and use their voice to help [Music] the internet and social media can be a very dangerous thing this personal experience of mine is a prime example of what i mean i’ve had an instagram account for like seven years now i used to post on it a lot more when i was younger these days i really don’t post at all and i only open the app like once a day just to browse my friends posts or whatever well recently i lost my phone i figured it was time for a new one anyway though i did try the whole find my iphone thing but it said my phone was like 30 miles away it just wasn’t worth it for that old phone moving on one day not too long ago i got a dm from a kid from high school that i hadn’t spoken to in years in fact i didn’t even follow him i peeped what he dm’d me and it was a heads up message he was bringing it to my attention that someone was using my pictures on a fake instagram account he shared the profile in question with me so i had a look and realized he was right there was this entire account pretending to be me just using a different name there were pictures i’d never even posted on instagram before on there pictures exclusive to my old phone my head was spinning i actually felt sick over this i immediately assumed whoever found my old phone somehow bypassed the password the account had 50 followers and it was following around 150 people the posts all got like 5 to 10 likes most had no comments but some had basic comments like a flame emoji or whatever this account was literally pretending to be me it had a story posted so i went to check that and i felt even more sick to my stomach it was a boomerang panning from my house to my car over and over as if they were showing off both a boomerang is basically just a looping two-second video that goes back and forth from one point to another this meant whoever was doing this knew where i lived and had any other information i may have still had on that phone the story was posted only a few hours ago i immediately thought to go to find my iphone settings and turn on lost mode i regretted not doing that the second i lost that phone now when i tracked my old phone one last time i was in for another horrible surprise it said the location of my old phone was right outside our house somewhere there’s a lot of space between houses in our gated community so there was no mistaking that person was still out there on the property somewhere i turned on lost mode on the old phone then ran downstairs to get my roommate corey’s attention it seemed he was already occupied though by his husky barking at something in the backyard corey was standing by the door watching his dog i explained it as few words as possible because i felt the situation was dire he stepped out into the yard together to call his dog in he was out in the grass barking rather viciously at someone or something out of sight the dog was barely visible because it was so dark out we went together to grab the dog by the collar and as we got hold of him we saw someone in the bushes run away into the patch of trees that separated our house from the next house it was like a jump scare moment in a horror movie that dark figure i saw run into the trees had to be the stalker pretending to be me on instagram i just knew it we brought the dog inside and locked the door you may ask why didn’t we let the dog chase down whoever it was that’s because corey’s dog is all bark no bite he wouldn’t ever harm a fly at some point in the middle of the night the dog started barking again downstairs by the front door this was very unusual behavior so corey and i both checked out the windows and then stepped outside it was the most scared i had ever felt in my life standing on the front porch looking out into the dark night knowing someone was out there probably watching us we went back inside and for the rest of the night silence i think whoever had my phone turned it off or smashed it after i put it in lost mode to avoid it being tracked any further i say this because it would no longer update the location i checked everywhere by the last known location but it didn’t turn up after dming that account that i knew who they were and was filing a report to the police the account disappeared only a few minutes later i don’t think it was deactivated i think it was completely deleted my threat seemed to work like i said this was recently though and i’m still staying very aware of my surroundings

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