William White (aka Whiteyy18) and the Women He Awakened

Sasha Stone
9 min readJun 19, 2021

I have been online half my life. I turned to the internet and away from real life in 1994. William White, aka @whiteyy18 on TikTok would not be born until a year after I launched my own website around 2000. I’d already lived a whole life by then, a life that had turned out badly for me. I’d dropped out of graduate film school to chase a man who was recently dumped by his wife — what I didn’t know then was that, as Meg Ryan says in When Harry Met Sally, “he’s never gonna leave her.” My friends, they very rarely do. Lesson number one.

Feeling like a very dumb female and a hollow shell, I found my way online. I was an early immigrant to what would become ordinary life in our country, and our world. Life online. We live through our imagined avatars. We can be anything we want … online. It was easier to navigate everything … online. It was easy to be beautiful … online. It was easy to be confident … online. I was a shy person so business meetings were hard for me, but if there was a barrier of internet wire between us I could handle them. Email was easy. Selfies always make you look good. Nothing about it is real.

I figured out pretty quickly that the internet was made for people like me, who aren’t really made for the real world. I have tried to stay up to date on the latest internet platforms. I got on Facebook and Twitter around 2006. I use Instagram. Flickr. But TikTok was a platform I avoided. It was like Tumblr to me. A sea of too many young people who are like baby rattlesnakes: they don’t yet know their poison or their power.

It was all going really great, until it wasn’t.

This past year has soured me on Twitter and Facebook. Their algorithms push outrage to the top of your feed. They are really just ways to keep the lab rat pushing the red button for a drop of sugar over and over and over again. Twitter altered its algorithm in 2017, just in time for the Trump presidency, which would guarantee all of its users would lose their minds by the end of four years.

We have never hated each other so much. We have never spent so much time trying to destroy each other. Twitter is most like the Roman Colosseum where a new sacrifice is dragged out daily for a ritualized beat-down and then tossed aside. They either survive it, career…