07/05/00: Yesterday was the 4th of July. Cara and I had lots of fun plans and I was very excited, but she was sick. I ended up going with my parents and sister to watch fireworks and play cards. I still had fun, though. Today I started my period and had cramps, so I didn’t get dressed. I just lazed around and got online. I made a few new friends, so that was nice. Yesterday I met Chris, a guy who is so totally nice! He sent me two emails already. I like guys who write to me. Then I got online at 4:00 and didn’t even know why because I usually never get on that late in the day. Then some person messaged me and said, “Hi, do you know who this is?” I said I had no idea because it was a screen name I had never seen before. Then they said, “Guess. It starts with an ‘S’.” I was like oh, no way! I’m like, “Sam?” and it was!!! He was using his brother’s screen name. He NEVER gets on at 10:00 his time! He said he didn’t think I would be on, but checked anyway. We had a really nice conversation today. He said he feels like he can tell me everything, which is weird since he doesn’t trust many people in his life. I was so touched by that. Awww diary! I know this sounds crazy, but I really think Sam could be my soulmate. We both know it deep down, I think. Well I better go to bed before I bore you to death. Sorry I talk about Sam all the time, he’s just the coolest guy ever!!! Nighty night!

Commentary: Looking back on this phase of my life when I talked to guys in chat rooms, I realize how lucky I was that nothing bad ever happened. It seems like there weren’t as many online predators back in the day compared to now, but it still isn’t a smart thing to do!