Being Women

Digital Deception : A Teen’s Tale

A young college student in Paris harnesses the power of social media, AI, and beauty apps to transform into an online sensation. However, as the quest for fame escalates, the lines between reality and fiction blur, leading to a chilling revelation of the dark side of digital influence.

I sat in the luxurious hotel room on the 15th floor in Paris.

 As the light flooded into my room from the flickering Eiffel Tower, I scrolled through the flood of notifications on my phone. It’s not like I could ever afford it as a college student, all you can do is hope, then. Well. But, guess I got lucky. 

Lucky or smart? 

You got to know the game well, you see. 

Beauty really is everything in the scheme of things these days. And of course, I didn’t have beauty. I was never conformed to that idea. I was never told, or complimented. I was never bucketed that way. 

And so. I knew I’d never make it. But I did. Woah! But how?

Thanks to AI, thanks to beauty apps, thanks to my amazing makeup, I did transform myself online into the next coming of Aphrodite. The damsel you were gearing up to ogle on. 

And then I began. 

All it took was a few snaps. Dress. Make-Up. Pose. Click. Edit. Post. Repeat. Simple and there you go. It starts slow. Ah, not as slow as a sloth. But slow. And then it picks up one day. The numbers talk. It startles you in the beginning. But then you know you are being watched. One snap a day. Showing. Faking. Making.

 Eat it. Drink it. Breathe it.  Have fun, damn it!

Money and I laughed together. It really was that easy.

3 million followers in 1 year, just by looking pretty. Endorsement offers. Modelling offers. Job offers. I got them all. 

I smiled at myself as I went through my inbox. I do not care about the pathetic fans begging at my feet for shoutouts. I don’t care about any of my fans in general, I must admit. I just watched. I stared. I scrolled. 

I relish. It’s sumptuously appetizing. 

However, being an 18-year-old influencer wasn’t just about posting pretty pictures anymore; it was a high-stakes game of maintaining perfection while staying relevant, being relatable to the people.

Or was it about staying alive?

I knew I needed to up my game. So I did. 

I reached out to them, them that I can never name. They helped me. I started off innocently enough—creative photos depicting dramatic makeup, pushing the boundaries of my image. The response was overwhelming, and that’s what I needed. 

That little nudge beneath my skin!

Gradually, the staged scenes of faux blood and ways to harm oneself became more sinister, more real—thanks to advanced computer programs that manipulated every pixel of my posts. Gory, yet tempting.

I knew I was in control. I knew that by agreeing to look like the desperate, mentally ill young victim online, I’d gain more views. Oh traction, they say, in their lingo. I did what they spelled. Was I slowly getting ruled by their spells? 

No, I wasn’t, I was always under control.

But, one day the lines between reality and fiction blurred.

I knew something was not right. But did I care enough? I tried to scathe myself but remained unscathed. 

Oh come on now, do you even know where this will take you, I berated myself. 

And I laughed. Loudly.

I stood and scanned myself in the mirror. The ravishing me. The desire. The destiny of many. 

The turning point in this saga dawned when I received a video. It showed me, or rather, a perfect replica of me, in a situation so terrifyingly real that my heart froze. I gaped at the video over a hundred times. ‘’Unfathomable.’’ I muttered. And then it had a message for me- “You know what to do.”

I knew. 

The social media raged with the news. People mourned like never before. It was as if everything was torn apart for my fans. And the buzz wouldn’t stop even after seven odd months. 

People grieved my death, all over the world, it was on the news. 


But if I’m dead, how am I writing this, hm?

By Aditri Paul 

(Disclaimer : This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental)

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2 Responses

  1. My God…what an article!!! Thought provoking and very very distressing….am sure this is happening all the time. Writing an article like this needs a lot of courage …you rock girl

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