When tweets go viral, it’s extremely easy to make snap judgments about the accounts in question — and most of those judgments will likely be unflattering. However, it’s important to remember that none of us ever really know what’s going on with an online stranger, and are rarely privy to the in-depth backstory.
One teen is currently trying to set the record straight on the story behind one of her tweets from two years ago — and people are actually paying attention.
In May of 2016, Kendra Agrey Corona, California turned 16 and received her first car — a Camaro. Agrey took photos with the car and posted them to Twitter, saying, “Being 16 has [its] perks.”
The photos subsequently went viral, with many using the tweets as an example of white privilege and a testament to Agrey being “spoiled.”
Two years later, the original tweet has started gaining attention once again, with many criticizing Agrey and her parents.
Though Agrey, now 18, was quiet about the controversy in 2016, she recently spoke up to BuzzFeed about the real story behind her original tweet.
Agrey says that the “perks” she referred to in the tweet were “that as a 16-year-old I can finally drive — not that I got a car.”
She also explained that the car came with certain parameters from her family. “The main conditions of me getting a car was that I had to play a sport, have a 4.0 GPA, and it had to be a used car.”
Agrey also pointed out that her grandparents were the ones who made the payments on the car — not her parents.
“People were saying it’s because I’m white, rich, and spoiled,” she remembers. “Other people were saying that I will crash it within a couple of months.”
“At first it bothered me, but then I stopped caring because those people didn’t know me or the story behind me getting my car.”
Agrey admits that, at the time, she never responded to the negative comments to correct any misconceptions because she simply didn’t want to engage. “I never responded to any of the comments because I didn’t want to make the situation bigger than it already was.”
Other Twitter users have since come to Agrey’s defense, pointing out how unfair it is to drag parents for being able to give their kid nice things.
Other also pointed out that having a certain amount of privilege does not automatically make someone irresponsible or ungrateful.
“We as parents do the best job we can for our children,” Agrey’s mother tells BuzzFeed of the online backlash. “In the beginning I was very hurt by a lot of negative comments that were being stated about my daughter, but quickly realized that these people do not have any idea who my daughter is. Reality is, she is an amazing young lady that has by far exceeded all of my expectations of her. I am excited to see what the future has in store for her.”
And, for the record, Agrey says that she still has her Camaro, and that she’s been very responsible with it — just in case the haters were curious.
“In the last two years that I have had my car, I have thankfully never gotten in an accident and haven’t gotten a ticket. I also appreciate my car and I take very good care of it.”