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Lately with Layne: The Colleen Ballinger situation is a reminder that the internet isn’t perfect

Colleen Ballinger, also known as Miranda Sings, was accused of grooming teenagers online. Adam McIntyre is the victim with the most evidence from group chats and messages he has shared with Ballinger. Many people are also coming out revealing words she shared with them, but her comment sections on vlogs from weeks ago are flooded with concerningly loyal fans telling her to come back. I’m not here to restate everything that the victims have come out and revealed, but this is to further prove just how fake the internet is. 

In a way, everyone on the internet is fairly aware of how dishonestly the internet portrays everyone's lives. I say it that way because I don’t believe it is user error – I think social media only continues to thrive because of its way of promoting and helping such dishonesty succeed. Despite that, it is fairly simple to fall victim to this dishonesty and forget that you don’t know everything about somebody, even if they make you believe they do. 

In Ballinger’s case, she was often labeled a pure, honest family vlogger and comedian that was impressively unproblematic. However, we now know what was going on when she turned the camera off. I will admit that she is one of the most open people on the internet about mental health and motherhood struggles other than those whose sole purpose is to discuss that, but now it all boils down to just being things that blindly led her fans into thinking that they knew everything about her life. 

In other words, people being honest and vulnerable on the internet does not mean that you know or could even guess what goes on behind the scenes.

This doesn’t even always have to be a bad thing. Most recently, Lexi Hidalgo, a social media star, soft-launched her boyfriend on her platforms. Her followers, myself included, assumed she had kept a few months of them getting to know each other private, as she posts videos on TikTok multiple times throughout her entire day. However, she just posted an adorable TikTok revealing that they have known each other since 2018. While this is a more wholesome and respectably private part of her life, it goes to show how little we actually know despite daily videos and posts. 

This is just a reminder that social media is a highlight reel. Despite its ever growing nature, It only has the capacity to capture a glimpse of what is really going on whether that be good or bad. Don’t fall into the trap.

Layne Rey is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Layne know by tweeting her @laynerey12.

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