I watched a couple of odd documentary films recently about online relationships and deception.
The first film was called Catfish, about a guy who discovers that one of his online Facebook friends was not who they claimed to be, and was actually posing as a dozen different people, using other people's pictures and names as if they were their own. He even went so far as to talk to this person on the phone, thinking he was actually talking to two different people, because they had different phone numbers, one the mother, the other the daughter, but in fact it was the same person. He actually decides to locate this person and drop in on them one day, and discovers that just about everything the person said about themselves online was a lie. Very weird stuff.
The other film was called Talhotblond. Of course, the woman behind the name was neither tall, hot, or blond, but a rather short and frumpy forty something year old married woman, going by the online moniker of "talhotblond", pretending to be a single woman half her age, and using her daughters picture as if it were her own. Two men fall in love with her online, one of them was a married man in his forties also pretending to be half his age, using an old photo of himself, and the other guy really was in his early twenties. It became some kind of online love triangle between three people who never actually met, and two of them were pretending to be people they really weren't. One of the guys gets jealous of the other, and actually murders him, only to find out that the woman he killed over was a lie.
Watching those films almost made me want to delete this blog and have nothing to do with social networking and blogging ever again. The thought that some of the people I may have interacted with online are not really who they claimed to be, is a bit disconcerting to me, especially the ones that may have posted pictures of themselves that may not even be them. I'm not accusing anyone here directly, but just wondering in general about all the people I've interacted with online in some capacity over the years, how many of them may have been fake. I'll probably never know, but it just makes this whole online experience seem all the more unwholesome, and makes you want to never post another picture of yourself ever again, in case, you know, some freak decides to use it and make you a member of their pretend family, or even worse, assumes your identity.
For the record, I haven't ever lied about anything here. My pictures are true. Everything I've said here is true, or at least was true at the time that it was written. Yes, my name really is Cym. Yes, I really do live in the desert. Yes, I really do exercise and read a lot and am a very health conscious person, but who also has the tendency of drinking too much beer. Yes, I really do look ten years younger. Yes, creativity and self-mastery and life extension is something I regularly think about and am actively committed to.
Other than my tendency to sometimes exaggerate and procrastinate and dwell on the negative, everything I've written about here matches reality, at least as I see it. You see that "as I see it" is the key, that my description of events may be completely true, but being a matter of opinion, other people may describe the same events completely differently, and not be any less true. But I have never intentionally fabricated anything, or made up stuff just to tell a good story. I do not say one thing, and do another. The only lies, if there are any, are those committed through omission. What I have not said, may conceal more than what I have actually said. Which means that it is quite possible that people may have formed erroneous ideas about me, by filling in the blanks and assuming things about myself that are simply not true. But there's really nothing I can do about that one.
It's easy to imagine a person in a certain way, and then when you meet them, they are nothing like the person you imagined them to be. Sometimes it is a pleasant surprise, sometimes it is a major disappointment. It's very difficult to know a person from a blog, or from a website forum, or from the written word in general. Same thing with celebrities. You think you know somebody from watching their films and reading their books, but in reality the person may actually be much different. I would say I'm very much the same person here, but in actuality, I'm a very quiet and serious person who speaks very little. So in that sense, the blog may show a different aspect of myself than you would see otherwise. It's still true, but may differ slightly from my outward personality. That's just the way it is.
But for those people living double lives, who actually go so far as to create fictitious entities online, using fake pictures, fake names, fake resumes, and fake ages...the moment you start interacting with others using your fictitious identity, whether it is online, on the phone, or in person, even if it's your job to lie, even if you're some kind of researcher or special agent, if you are intentionally deceiving people online you're a very sick person. That is all I have to say about that. Just thinking about it makes me want to pull the plug on everything. But I won't, at least not just yet.
The Value of Honesty
I Am Not a Gadget
Why I Blog