At approximately 10 p.m. last night, I logged onto Twitter and glanced at the trending topics. I noticed that towards the bottom of the list was a single name: Kara.
Intrigued, I clicked on it, wondering why this name would be trending nationally. It turned out that she was a missing person. Further intrigued, I googled her name, Kara Alongi, and discovered that she’s a 16-year-old girl from Clark, New Jersey who tweeted that somebody was in her home, and then she subsequently went missing.
It took a while for that to register. This is easily the first time I could recall somebody tweeting during a distressful situation. Natural instinct calls for you to dial 911 during such occasions, but it never in my wildest dreams would occur to me to access Twitter in an emergency.
Regardless, that was the story.
The tweet is obviously supposed to read, “There is someone in my house call 911,” except she misspelled ‘somone’ and she put an ‘r’ instead of an ‘s’ for house, and hit the space bar one letter too early.
Actually, the typos only added more credibility to the situation, because it made it appear that she frantically typed it out, leading to the typos. Nobody is going to go back and fix their grammar when they think their life may be in danger.
Well, 24 hours later, it turns out it was a hoax. New Jersey police discovered that a taxi picked up Alongi around the same time as the tweet, and then her parents also said that their daughter has a history of running away from home.
My first thought after discovering the truth behind this story?
In Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts becomes a mini-celebrity after running away from several weddings on her wedding day. Obviously in the movie, the fictional character did not mind the attention.
And in this case, neither did Kara Alongi.
In a span of 12 hours, Alongi went from an adored sweetheart who everybody was worried about to an attention-whoring degenerate who everybody wants to seen be brought to justice. The article says that Twitter has exploded with backlash towards the 16-year-old girl. It also said that Clark County police received 6,000 calls last night regarding the “missing girl,” which probably consumed all of their time, thus allowing actual robbers and criminals to roam Clark, New Jersey freely last night.
But let’s be fair here. As of right now, Alongi is reportedly still nowhere to be found, so there’s that.
Secondly, how in the world could this girl have anticipated the reaction? Yes, she was indeed attention-whoring, there’s no question about that. But you can also blame the millions of idiots across the world who actually started campaigning for her discovery simply because they read the tweet.
Also, Alongi probably shouldn’t have been taken too seriously, considering her previous three tweets read, verbatim, as “lmao jk luh you,” “I’ll cut you,” and perhaps the most eloquent of the bunch, “your a fat slut. so die.” Shakespearean.
So, she definitely did write that tweet for attention. But you know who else in this world tries to gain attention with their tweets? EVERYBODY.
Isn’t that what Twitter is for? To bring attention to yourself? Like isn’t that the whole point?
On paper, what she did looks really, really bad. She ran away from home, lied about it, incited a national search party, and wasted valuable police time and manpower. One might go as far to compare it to the infamous Balloon Boy fiasco from three years ago. They’re similar in the fact that they captured the nation’s attention, and police got involved in both instances — with both ending as a hoax.
However, in the balloon boy case, the idiot parents knew exactly what they were doing. They intricately planned to obtain media attention, and they did. And now they’re in prison.
There’s no way in hell that Alongi thought she would become a top news story with her tweet. And if she did, she might very well be an evil genius, and I could be completely underestimating her right now.
The whole thing did sort of set a precedent, and I think it has officially disproved Twitter as a life-saving social network. Next time somebody tweets, “I need help. Call the fuzz!” Who is going to believe them now? Not that they should have believed them the first time, though.
People are also going to take this opportunity to decry and antagonize Twitter, and between sensationalizing “missing person” cases and creating fake deaths, I suppose you can’t blame them. However, I place the blame on the morons out there who conducted the sensationalizing to begin with.
Remember the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? When Ferris faked sick, and as word spread of his illness, the entire city — including friends, strangers and the like — joined together and prayed for his recovery? Well, that was written as a completely satirical perspective on the gullibility and naivety of our society. That was 26 years ago, and yet, that is exactly what happened in this instance with Kara Alongi. That movie nailed it.
So in conclusion, I think that everybody — wait, what’s that noise? Is someone there? Oh my God, I think somebody is outside my bedroom. CALL 911