Emily's Teen Diary: 'Um... So... Casey Anthony.'

Having just moved back into my childhood bedroom in my parents’ house after graduating college, I’m in a whirlwind process of going through all of my old stuff. I was always the kind of person to start a diary, write in it for maybe a week, and then give up, which is why I’ve come across a bunch of barely-used notebooks in my purge.

As a child of the internet, I used Tumblr and Twitter as a stand-in for a traditional diary since starting in 2011, after I decided that DeviantArt wasn’t cutting it. Thankfully, my Tumblr is gone from the internet, but being on the internet like that when I was 16 apparently had an Effect on me, based on one of the more filled out journals I found.


My two best friends and I were going to be in different states the summer after ninth grade and wanted a way to keep in touch while we were apart. We went to Build-A-Bear at the Roosevelt Field Mall, made a teddy bear modeled after our bio teacher, and decided to do a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-type thing where we would keep the bear for a few weeks, write in a journal about what we were doing, and mail it to the next person.

We managed to do this for two summers before my two best friends got in a fight, decided to not be friends anymore, and stopped talking without me noticing for two months. LMAO!

The first summer was after I decided I was OVER Twilight and was going to be a Harry Potter fangirl instead. Somehow this was pre-Tumblr but obviously concurrent with my long relationship with fanfiction.net.

I still wanted to see the movie version of Eclipse, my favorite installment in the book series, but it’s clear from my journal that I was trying really hard to distance myself from how obsessed I had been with Twilight in eighth grade (yes, my Edward Cullen cardboard cutout came to my bat mitzvah).


Parents, don’t let your teens become memers. (Especially a 15-year-old memer who didn’t know in 2011 that the meme she used was ableist.)


Especially good was my margin illustration, which definitely was inspired by this (surprisingly well-edited?) YouTube video.


Love too be both Firee and Iceee.

The next summer, I took a stab at another pop culture critique by describing how I felt about the Casey Anthony verdict.


Let’s be honest, though: the only thing I knew about the OJ Simpson trial at 16 was that my mom watched the verdict on TV when she was pregnant with me. Unfortunately for us all, none of my other pop culture hot takes from the time survive.

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About the author

Emily Lipstein

social media editor @ gizmodo + earther