Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What should I do?

Dear Sam,

I'm 11 and 1 year ago I created an account on a website called pinterest. I really liked it and I quickly began to make friends through similar interests in terms of a band that I really like. Then I found out that people at my school have it to, so they asked for my account name and I gave it to them, but I deleted all my boards related to the band to avoid bullying.

I wanted to continue to talk about the band, so I created another account using a variation of my email adress. This time I didn't ask my parents. I quickly made friends and gained followers again, but at this time I was feeling very upset about my appearance and my weight, so I stopped eating 3 meals a day, which I still do. To help myself I used my other account to pretend to be a gorgeous, thin and fashionable person. I pretended that I was 13, that I was american and that my dad was a famous singer, although I didn't say who. I began to gain more followers and started to message people.

I don't know who these people are, but they are my best friends. I feel like they're lying to me and I know that I'm lying to them. I can't tell my parents because they'll get mad, and it's getting out of hand.

What do I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Social media is a great way to connect with people all over the world and make new friends. It’s also good because you can share your feelings more freely without having to say who you are. But this can cause problems as you get to know people and want to share your real identity. It’s important to remember that you don’t know if they’re who they say they are.

Creating an online identity and gaining followers can put pressure on us, too. It might feel like you have to be perfect in order to keep those followers and to gain new ones. It feels good to have people like what we post about, but it’s also important not to let that get in the way of safety.

I’m worried that you’ve said you’re not eating as much as you should. Eating less may lead to serious health problems. So it's a really good idea to talk to someone about this.

Taking steps to keep your identity secret is a great step and it’s always good to tell the people who look after you, just in case anything goes wrong. You don’t have to tell your parents everything but keeping them aware is always safer.

Creating a fake online profile may have seemed like fun at the time, but can easily get out of hand. It’s always better to be ourselves, because people who don’t like us for who we really are not true friends.

One thing that you could do is to slowly change from the person you are pretending to be and start introducing more of your own personality. Sharing how you look or your real personal details is never something you have to do. But you can let your personality come through so that people are getting to know the real you, even if they don’t know your real name or age.

Remember that you can contact a counsellor about anything that’s going on.

Thanks so much for writing to me,

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