Teen runaway McKenzie Church gets a bit more than she bargained for

You know the typical teen runaway story: parents try to discipline their kid over a poorly thought-out relationship, who then thinks they’re the worst people in the world and decides to run away with their lover. Usually it only lasts a couple of days until the kids realize they’re completely not prepared to strike out in the world, and sulk home in shame. Usually it’s only the immediate friends and family who ever know about it, because teens running away is relatively common enough that the larger world doesn’t notice it. Usually.

Not in the case of one McKenzie Church, however. Her worried parents are Internet savvy, and are using the full power of Twitter, blogs, and now Digg to track her down, even though her situation may not merit such a level of public involvement. Even the police are classifying her as not being in danger, and aren’t devoting any resources to looking for her. For no compelling reason, McKenzie Church’s parents are quickly propelling her down the road of becoming “Internet Famous” — the consequences of which will stick with her much longer than the consequences of running away ever will. Just ask Allison Stokke about her experiences with becoming Internet Famous.

The situation with McKenzie Church started with the online posting of a simple Missing poster by her parents. Then they put it on Twitter. Fanned by missing cute white girl syndrome (and her three-years-older boyfriend, to be fair, kind of looking like a douchebag), it’s currently being retweeted at a rate of greater than once a second. The story made the top-rated section on Digg, where Internet culture nerds have taken it upon themselves to stalk the ever-loving-hell out of the private Catholic school girl with the flimsy pretense of trying to help locate her. They’ve dredged up her profile on Facebook, as well as that of her boyfriend. Commenters have offered up suggestions to look through every one of her listed friends on the online site and contact them one by one in an effort to track her down.

This is quickly ballooning out of control. Long after McKenzie Church returns home, she’s going to have to deal with the fallout of becoming Internet Famous in the process. A lot of her personal information is going to get out there, a lot of which she’d probably rather have remain private. It’s not that long before we start seeing photos from her online networking sites hitting the web — a.k.a. “the full Amanda Wenk”. And you can bet that every Internet culture nerd out there is praying to Jehovah that those photos will turn out to be very juicy.

Kenzie is most definitely going to regret ever having run away, but her parents are going to regret even more the hell they’re putting her through by searching for her in this fashion. The Internet is a triple-edged sword.

16 Responses to “Teen runaway McKenzie Church gets a bit more than she bargained for”

  1. William (green) Says:

    Between the two, I’d totally say Allison Stokke is the hotter.
    I mean, if I were asked, that’s what I’d say.
    Definitely.

  2. William (green) Says:

    But she’s also not a kid, which helps.
    You can’t be entirely certain that she’s alright, I think. I mean, how can we be sure she ran away and that she wasn’t kidnapped?
    If something bad happens, will it be on you conscience that you didn’t do anything to help? Or do you view this as helping in its own way, or maybe will in that event?

  3. Cyde Weys Says:

    I won’t have anything on my conscience for having written this blog post. People go missing all the time and I never feel personally responsible for not having “helped”; why would this be any different? Besides, how would I realistically help in this case anyway? There isn’t anything I can do.

  4. drinian Says:

    So, I’m not sure, are you suggesting that her parents don’t go looking for her in every way possible?

    Do you think that having your private Myspace profile exposed is worse than not knowing how much your parents care about you?

    For that matter, what on earth is wrong with using the clues left, for instance by your list of Facebook friends, to try and track her down?

  5. Cyde Weys Says:

    Frankly, no, you shouldn’t go looking for someone in every way possible, because when you’re dealing with someone who has run off of their own accord, many of the actions you can take will make them less likely to come back. Kenzie may very well not be enjoying all of this attention right now, having all of her friends listed on social networks bothered repeatedly by random people on the Internet. It may well be making her resent her parents more. Oftentimes the best way to get someone back who’s run away is to make as little of a fuss about it as possible, and promise them nothing will change when they do come back. Well they’ve made it a bit hard for Kenzie to do that now. She may decide staying on the run where nobody can find her is easier than returning home.

  6. William (green) Says:

    I don’t mean to be rude, but are you secretly an expert on runaway children, or is this just what you’ve gotten from various reading?

  7. Airrun wesker Says:

    HA HA!
    She wanted attention, and she got it!
    The people at DIGG have proved to be very usefull, and she also went up against her internet savey parents!
    She should simply return home now, and learn how to change her facebook privacy settings!

    We are the Kingdom of nerds!
    I am proud to have her internet savey parents in our ranks!
    If she doesn’t want all the attention, and internet stalkers, then “don’t run away” and don’t act like a BABY!

  8. Scgirl11 Says:

    i think that wat you are saying is not only sick but unexcusable. i am a friend of kenzies and we all of hurting from her going missing. and by comparing which run away is hotter is disgusting and cruel. you should be worrying about her safety and sympithizing with her family. my whole school was hurting and we were all worried sick. you don’t know anything about her except for what you read. you haven’t had conversations with her and seen the pain she has gone through. so until you get your facts straight i would suggest you keep your mouth shut.

  9. Nathan Hull Says:

    I agree that this is disgusting. So it may be just a runaway case. Does that make the fact that her parents are suffering go away. If I had a 14 year old daughter and she ran away with some 17 year old boy I would be worried sick and do everything in my power to find her. Just the comments to this post is proof enough that there are heartless a*holes in the world and gives plenty of reason for those of us who are concerned to do everything in our power to help. I pray that she returns home safely and that her parents may rest at ease.

  10. Cyde Weys Says:

    Oooof, here comes the morality parade. Just to address some points:

    1. Nobody is comparing McKenzie Church with other runaways. None of the other people mentioned in this post were runaways, they were just examples of the kind of obsession that Internet culture nerds can develop for particular females. I don’t think it’s disgusting or cruel to bring up relevant examples.
    2. Nobody is claiming that her parents aren’t suffering. Please point to the specific line from my post where I said that. The only point I was making was that exposing this situation to the whole Internet might not have been the best way of handling it.
    3. Prayer doesn’t do anything. Spend the time you’d waste praying for her and actually look for her instead.

  11. Ea-SCgirl Says:

    We are just thankful Kenzie is home.I go to school with her and she is the sweetest girl. By the way Cyde Weys, prayer does everything everyday we prayed and now Kenzie and Ryan are home. Praise Jesus Kenzie is safe and thats all that matters.

  12. William (green) Says:

    If prayer did do something, though, brevity allows you to do while you wouldn’t have time to do anything else of use, so if you believe that kind of thing, I don’t see why not to do it. I’m thinking of the I’m-lying-in-bed-going-sleep and I’m-waiting-in-line-at-the-bank kind of prayer here.

  13. XxX Says:

    I am a personal friend of Kenzie’s in fact she is one of my closest friends and one thing that really bothered me about this post, amongst others, is that you are saying that Ryan is her boyfriend. Just to clear that up he definately isn’t. I will just say that Kenzie is the kind of person that will take things to extremes and i’m sure she was willing to go with anyone who had a car and was willing to take her. I think that you were underestimating the stiuation. With a car and money she could have been states away doing god knows what. Anyways, thankfully they were found on Thursday afternoon and they are safe.

  14. Knacker Says:

    lol vin diesel

  15. Cyde Weys Says:

    We’re all glad that she’s now safe at home (as, I hate to rub in, I kind of predicted from the very beginning, seeing as how she chose to run off in the first place). Now hopefully, for her sake, the Internet fascination with this case will disappear as quickly as it appeared.

  16. afroman Says:

    Her reasons for running away might seem petty to u because u dont know what she lived thru. my girlfriend tried to run away from home. she told me y and i could see y she did it. just becasue her parents are looking for her now doesn’t mean they gave her a home that she would want to stay at. My girlfriends parents would invite people to their house to call her a whore. they told her she wasn’t worth being thier child and that if she ever wanted to leave she can they dont care. so she did. now she is on probation for it. her parents were mentally verbally and emotionally abusive to her and that can be part of y this girl chose to leave. hopefull now her parents are treating her well and are understanding of y she left. and all u sick ass perves out there saying dis ones hotter than dat one shouldn’t even be able to leave ur house god that is just wrong.

    aite im out peace