Monday, October 19, 2009

so. how will this change you?

the internet is all a flutter. and in all honesty, i wouldn't have known a thing about it if becky hadn't had told me.. you know, so blame her for this post. ha! i have no idea who the chick is that wrote the post about TSA taking her child from her during an airport visit (i mean, i had never heard of her before, and i don't think i'd ever read her prior). but i've read her post now. and i've read tsa's response and i've watched the video footage.

i think it's really easy to forget that we don't know probably 99% of the people we read online in real life. we have no idea if these people are who they say they are. or if what they write about is anywhere close to the truth. but we think they are. we believe in them because we project our personalities onto them. we think the people we read everyday are telling the truth, because that's what we do. we assume the blogs we read are honest and not exaggerated, because what we write is honest and not exaggerated. we assume that these people we read everyday aren't liars... because we're not.

but that's the not the reality of the internet folks. the internet is like the fucking breeding ground for liars- and lies. it's so easy to write whatever you want and not have any consequences for what you've written when it's not the truth. i could make up some total crazy ass story and you'd all believe me- because why wouldn't you? why would i take the time to write something so elaborate and emotional if it wasn't real? and plus i'm awesome, so anything i write could totally happen to me.

listen, i think the whole situation sucks. it's like a sucker punch right to the gut when something or someone you believe in and feel like you fought for disappoints you.. or lies. or you find out that the story you believed and shed tears over, was not even close to the reality of the situation. you realize just how much of a friend you consider someone you've never met before, but engage in conversation with daily. it's a painful realization when there's hurt involved. these relationships we've all formed with one another online, are very real. we feel the same way when we discover a lie, as we would in real life. the disappointment, hurt and betrayel is one in the same. it's doesn't hurt less because we've never met. we consider one another friends. real friends.

but should we? i'm not saying one bad apple should spoil all the others. ... but is there something we should change? should we not be so trusting of one another online? just because we have things in common like maybe we're both moms... or maybe we both have blonde hair.. or we're both women. i mean, is it really enough to just assume that everyone else is just like we are and would never lie in a blog post? do we give people the benefit of the doubt because that's what we want in return? should we question everything now?

"i baked cookies today for little jimmy's class!"

"LIAR! you don't even know how to bake!!!!! and i bet jimmy is your neighbor's kid!"

i'm curious if this situation will change you? or if it has already....

19 comments:

Angry Julie Monday said...

I could tell so many stories about the net. I've been on parenting and birth forums since I was pregnant. The lies, oh the lies. I have a forum where there are a few people that they call "the detectives". They usually call bullshit on people. I wrote a post today basically about what you write. Not about lying technically, but if you were "googled", would you want people seeing this information. Kinda be accountable for your words.

Sometimes, I want to be random anonymous person and write about all the crazy shit that I see at work. And the batshit crazy people I work with...But sigh...I don't...

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

It's not so much what happened that has astounded me (I don't know the blogger that well, we've only reciprocally commented maybe a handful of times at most), but the reaction - across the board. I've seen some of the crassest, most denigrating characterizations of the blogger in question. Yes, if she fabricated her story (I've read both of her posts concerning the event as well as everything the TSA posted about it) it means mommy-bloggers/bloggers in general take a huge hit when it comes to integrity...but all this "piling on" doesn't help our image either.

Oiy!

I still haven't taken a side and probably won't. I wish I could explain how I feel. I've been burned out here, big time, and that's my own fault because apparently, I am quite naive...but I really hate feeling like I have to read everything out here with a fair bit of skepticism. It sucks.

I posted about the situation over on my blog...again, not taking sides, but trying to shed a little light on what it feels like to be a woman with depression/anxiety issues and to be called out for it.

Great post Jenn!

Kelly @ The Miller Mix said...

I regularly read Nic's blog and really feel for her, both because of the story (whatever the result) and the Internet's reaction to it. I haven't chosen a side, and I worry about how the reaction will affect her considering her severe anxiety and depression issues.

Personally, I enjoy getting to know other folks online but I've yet to become so invested with anyone that I'd need to lambast her publicly. I think it's because of what the others have mentioned - people who lie about babies and births and who create entirely fictitious lives...

I hope that more people learn to a) think objectively when they read wild and dramatic stories and b) be cautious with the people they meet online.

Katie said...

I think it is stupid that people feel the need to lie on blogger. Do you really have NOTHING better to do with your life than make up things and blog about bs?

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I heard about this whole situation, but I've been so busy taking care of my H1N1 sick kid I haven't paid that much attention. I'm always full of shit so it doesn't change much for me.

JUST KIDDING FOLKS!

Love You Jennster! MUAH!

SUEB0B said...

If anything, it will just make me trust my own instincts MORE. Because when I read her post, I kind of held myself back from commenting that she had behaved quite badly. I didn't say anything because I am not a parent and don't understand the freak-out factor in being separated from your child by government agents for a few moments. In my mind, it's like - well, these people aren't CRIMINALS, they are law enforcement agents and until I have evidence otherwise, I will assume they haven't abused my child, but are just following some procedure.

But I stopped, because maybe it is totally normal to throw a screaming hyperventilating fit whenever you can't see your kid even though you know where they have gone. But it felt sketchy to me.

And I guess I was right. I don't feel any better for being right, but I guess I know to trust my spidey sense (though I am willing to admit I don't have all the facts, the video may have been tampered with etc etc etc end of disclaimers).

Karen said...

Wow. I knew there was something brewing this weekend, but I didn't know what it was - I don't tend to follow many of "the mommy blogs" so I miss out on a lot. SO thanks for sharing.

I think I take most of what I read online with a grain of salt. I've done enough online dating to know that what you read isn't always what you get in reality. But at the same time I have made a few really good friends online who I trust completely.

I don't think incidents like this change my outlook on the world. But I was cynical before.

Smug said...

I sometimes wish that I had enough of a creative mind to make up stories about my non-real life or to create a different life for myself online, but I am just boring ole me...

I wonder if Nic (who I had not heard of before this incident) was not really making things up but reporting the situation as she felt it happened and TSA responded with what they feel happened. The truth is generally somewhere in the middle of any argument - just a thought.

Becky said...

lol i'm glad i could shed some light on this for you. it was all over twitter but i know you're not on there all day like i am cuz you're not a loser like me lol

seriously though i DID cry after reading that post. i empathized with her. i was outraged. and then to hear it was fake really upset me especially because i talked to her daily. i think it changed me but not drastically. i've already been pretty careful and i try to not share many personal info about myself like addresses or last names. but i am pretty open about my life and my girls. and now i question that slightly. i dunno. i'm evaluating right now.

Becky said...

also i didn't want to pick a side either until she gave her response. but after her response left SO many questions still there and then the TSA posted 9 NEW videos showing no gaps in time--documenting the whole event...well then i pretty much realized she DID lie and that's what's so upsetting to me. because none of us know WHY.

and this is what she said... said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I like yours a lot too.. I agree... Its pretty stupid to lie about things... Just seems so childish.

J from Ireland said...

On some of the blogs I read I do think they are bullshitting about how brilliant their lives are. I wouldn't think for one minute someone would bullshit about something so awful. I was outraged reading this and then disgusted when I realized it was lies.
I don't give a shite if people think I am lying on my blog because I know its boringly true!!

Heather said...

As far as blogs go I still feel like I am a good judge of character even though I know hardly anyone, except the few friends that blog.

If I come across a blog that seems a little too well written and scripted, or way over the top fabricated I move on. I don't really care that they are doing that but it bores me because I seem to know it's not real.

So I hope I'm right - or you are WAY good at bullshit. :)

Lara said...

I don't think it will change me, but I admit that it might be different if this blogger were someone I read regularly and trusted. As someone I (like you) had never heard of before, I don't think it will make me less trustworthy of the people I do read.

So basically if you're a big fat Liar McLyingPants, you can totally keep lying to me because I'm not going to stop believing you.

And now I have "Don't Stop Believin" in my head. Rock on!

Jenn said...

Very interesting. I am out of loop on it too. As I read her blog I felt for you, but also felt there are two sides to every story. Then watching the video I was a little shocked that it was so different. I was waiting for someone to come and take her baby from the stroller.

Sometimes our recollection of what happens to not what really happens.

Jenn

Alison said...

How 'bout them Dodgers? Oy.

Nyt said...

I'm not a regular reader of hers, but when the insanity happened, I surely had to check everything out.

When everything is said and done, this woman outright lied. The reasons are pretty much unimportant. It appears that, just like "balloon boy", this is a publicity stunt gone wrong. While I'm sure her hits have gone through the roof, it's fleeting and will die off as soon as the controversy fades. I suspect that all of this just validates my "monetizing the blog" position.

What has happened to us that we have become the people who live vicariously through the internet? The people who are emotionally invested in the phantom folks behind the screen. I cringe each and every time people refer to their internet circle as "friends". These people are not your friends, they are your acquaintances. They are pleasant to talk to, fun to read, but unless you've met them IRL, unless they've brought you soup when you're sick, held your hand through tough times, gave of themselves selflessly...they are not your friends. They are the drive-thru, not the gourmet meal.

The internet allows people to be whoever they think they would like to be. Between the narcissism, insecurities and outright whoring, who's painting a true self portrait of themselves? It's interesting to me, that folks talk about the internet allowing them to make connections with other people, but who are you really connecting with? You are connecting with "idea" that a person has of themselves....not a person..

chelsea said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! You are a hilaaaarious writer :)

corrin said...

Wow - I follow her on Twitter and saw her initial Tweets that the TSA took her son, but I never heard the full story. Unlike the others, I will go ahead and pass judgement, because I think something has to be seriously wrong with you to use your child as a pawn for a blog story.