Skip to comments.Imaginary People Are More Real Than You Know
Posted on 01/20/2013 3:37:25 AM PST by Kaslin
Who hasnt laughed at the revelation that Notre Dame football star Manti Teo had a fake girlfriend? I meant to spend five minutes on the subject on my radio show and ended up doing an hour and then making fun of it randomly throughout all three hours. As funny as it is, and it is pretty funny, its also not foreign to me.
A friend of mine (who I wont name) has fallen for this several times. The hoaxes perpetrated against him eventually evolved to the point of fake woman needing money to get out of some horrible situation that this guy was the only one who understood. My friend denies ever sending money, but I suspect otherwise.
He was always secretive about the women he was talking to online, but he did show me a bunch of pictures on his phone once in an attempt to prove she was real. They were real pictures of a real woman several pictures but they were obviously of an unknown model from a catalog. But all the logic in the world wasnt going to convince this guy of anything he didnt want to believe. And he wanted to believe.
Hes finally moved into the real world (for him anyway), and is now talking with real women.
But this episode also reminded me of something from my own past, something I hadnt thought about in nearly 10 years. No, I wasnt taken by some fraudster online I was the fraudster.
Fraud isnt the right word because it conveys a criminal intent, which this wasnt. Mine was more simply being an immature jerk bored and wanting to see if something I thought was right.
It was somewhere around 2003 or 2004 the heyday of MySpace and Live Journal (if those two sites had a kid it would be Facebook) and I had a girlfriend who was into both. She told me about random people, mostly guys, who were hitting on her in messages and comments through these sites. But they werent just hitting on her. They were talking to her with a familiarity that most people wouldnt even talk to their friends, and certainly not to a woman in a bar for fear of having a drink thrown in their face.
The girlfriend went away, but the curiosity over what would possess someone to contact a stranger online in a way they never would in real life didnt. This was the time of dial-up Internet and the infancy of text messaging. Most human interaction was face to face or over the phone. Impersonal, anonymous cyber-lives hadnt yet become common.
I wondered how much someone would tell a complete stranger (one that didnt exist) simply because they believed the Internet was real.
I found a LiveJournal of an attractive girl who posted a lot of pictures of herself, downloaded them and then, with a couple of friends, created a MySpace account. Created a name, biography, placed her in a city far away from where the real girl lived, made up likes, dislikes and interests provocative enough that theyd be what we thought of as jackass bait.
The friend requests rolled in, men and women. I never had a MySpace account so I had no idea friend count was an important thing, I naïvely thought people were friends with their, you know, friends. Nope.
Within a few days this fake person had more than 100 friends and people were posting messages on her page like, Hey girl, thanks for being my friend. It was easier and weirder than I thought it would be.
Then the messages started.
We made the profile bisexual to see if there was a difference between how men and women talked to someone they didnt know. There was.
Women were very much like someone striking up a conversation with a stranger on a train. Men were like drunken frat guys walking the red light district in Amsterdam.
Ive always been pretty quick on my feet and able to rip someone apart verbally to shut them up. That happened in these messages too.
As the unbelievably forward (to put it mildly) messages came in, my buddies and I would rip them apart, and theyd either apologize and go away or just go away. I had thoughts (and still do) of writing a book about it called I Was An Internet Girl because all the stories taken as a whole are hilarious, including how we actually used it quite creatively to meet women too (women trust other women, even when one isnt real, too. And get your mind out of the gutter; it wasnt exactly what youre thinking).
About a month or so in we lost interest. Id check it only occasionally, and my friends never would. What Id thought was pretty much proven through the aggressive messages it had gotten.
But not all messages were aggressive. One time when I was checking it there was one guy whod sent a message dripping with desperation for someone to talk to.
After a few messages it was clear he was gay, but he continually denied it. He would tell this fake person in writing things he wouldnt confess to anyone. I wasnt a jerk to him (Im sure I made a few people reassess their lives with some of the mean, but funny, things I said to them in responses). I tried to help this guy become comfortable with who he was. And ultimately, he did.
It was an eye-opening experience to realize how one human being would open up to and trust another theyd never met, never spoken to on the phone and never would. How theyd do that rather than talk to someone they knew, no matter how close to them they were, either as a trail run or simply to relieve themselves of the burden of never telling anyone.
So while I, too, have difficulty believing Teos story, part of me knows how it could be true. Time will tell whether it is, but to simply dismiss the possibility based on how outlandish it is would be folly. I know first-hand how trusting someone can be of a person who doesnt exist simply because they desperately want to believe they can.
Teos just lucky his girlfriend wasn’t a vice squad cop.
Way too much coverage of this Manti Te’o fake girfriend whatever. Like media people and sportswriters never had an imaginary significant other? I mean, most of them are whack jobs anyway...
When will the media take as much interest to learn more about our imposter President?
“The hoaxes perpetrated against him eventually evolved to the point of fake woman needing money to get out of some horrible situation that this guy was the only one who understood. My friend denies ever sending money, but I suspect otherwise.”
This happened to a female friend of mine.
> The hoaxes perpetrated against him eventually evolved to the point of fake woman needing money to get out of some horrible situation that this guy was the only one who understood. My friend denies ever sending money, but I suspect otherwise.
Sadly enough one of my own friends fell for this once until I proved to him these were scams pulled by convicts serving time within the federal penitentiary! He also believed he would get $400K transferred into his bank account from someone overseas if he just gave them his banks routing number and account number....sheesh. Yes he was a liberal. Haven’t talked to him in years (since O ascended the throne)
(BTW: I'm an avid Notre Dame football detractor, by the way... but this kid deserves a break, in my opinion. Further, if he is handling it correctly, this has been exceptional training for him to play on a large-market team with rabid sport reporting, like the Jets or Eagles.)
When you see a silly-assed story being over-exposed y the MSM just look to see what came out recently they don't want you to see.
In this case I think it was the admission that no "assault rifle" was used at Sandy Hook.
“In this case I think it was the admission that no “assault rifle” was used at Sandy Hook.”
Did I miss something? I thought they were still claiming they were all shot with a Bushmaster .223.
Oh, but this is a grand story because it demonstrates how awful sports announcing and reporting has become. They think they have to “soften” sports to make it more appealing (I suppose to women), so they constantly harp on these stupid human interest stories they attach to athletes.
They have about ruined the Olympics with all their scmaltz. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous spectacle of jocks wearing pink in October. Gag.
The Onion did a great satire on this wallowing in the maudlin. It was about an athlete who would not make the Olympic team until he (or she, I can’t remember) could come up with a compelling personal story.
Please! He’s a complete phony, and the sports writers and announcers are fools. Manti made this up, because he knew that sports isn’t about competition any more; it’s about who has the best sob story. He thought it would help him with the Heisman.
While the story itself here is interesting about people you only meet on the internet, it really has nothing to do with Te’o and his boyfriend, youth choir director Ronaiah(Lennay) Tuiasoscopo.
Te’o and “Lennay” had not only had met face to face, they went out together on dates, according to Te’o’s family. Heck, Ronaiah was even in “Lennay’s” car accident. The imaginary “girlfriend” was just a cover story to hide the fact that these two guys were dating. With increasing media attention, they had to do away with the “Lennay” identity. Simple.
As for all this FB hoo haw, that’s it... hoo haw. No one needs to know my emotional state this morning or if I’m having coffee, tea or oj. I certainly don’t give a rat’s behind that they liked a pair of yellow polka dot shoes online or that their parakeet chirped when he got fed. And I certainly do not care to pour out my deepest most personal thoughts to some online stranger, real or fake, for the entire world to criticize. Oh, ok, since y’all are all on the edge of your seats I’ll give you one - hussein is a buffoon.
Sorry. I went back to the article. Ran in Dec. My bad. But the MSM premise holds true.
I don’t know who this freak is but he should be locked up!!
Bingo...why is this so hard for people to see? The kid thought that a sad back story would manipulate the Heisman vote...instead he got exposed and deserves the same scorn that Armstrong does...he is a loser who tried to cheat the system in order to win.
Yes. There is one in the Oval Office.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.