Yesterday I started reading a novel called “Socially Awkward” by Stephanie Haddad. It's about a Sociology student who often finds herself wishing she led a more exciting life, so she channels her life's desires into her graduate research program: a fake Facebook profile that allows her to study the world's reaction to perceived beauty… Interesting, right? I thought so too. I don't know if that's been done as a method of research before, but fake profiles in social media sites are very common nowadays.
There are people who create fake profiles on the web because they feel more confident without the 'face to face' communication because it allows them to act and say things they wouldn't normally do or say. And also if they are unhappy with the way they look the Internet kind of removes the possibility of being judged based on their looks because they can easily use photoshop to airbrush a picture of themselves to impress others…. I have to be honest and say that even I have done it, not creating a fake profile but a fake personality for a couple hours in a chat room on a boring day. Sometimes it's fun to be someone else, there's no harm in that, unless you get caught up in that fake life and you start to lose yourself, or you play with people's feelings like in that MTV show 'Catfish'.
On the other side is the people who create fake profiles to cyber bully others. It's well known that anonymity increases the possibility of people behaving badly and gives them the courage to be rude, hurtful or thoughtless on what they say to other people without the fear of consequences. And this is a horrible thing because they don't know how their victim is feeling or what they are thinking, what they're going through, if they are mentally stable or if that's the push they needed to end their lives. It's scary how 'normal' (that's probably not the right term) cyber bullying has become these days, it's getting bigger and bigger the number of teens involved in it as a bully, a victim or a bystander.
The point that I want to make with this post is that on the Internet everything is not what it seems, the people who you meet on the web could be someone else entirely, people who you think that are your friends could end up being the ones bullying you on media sites, we need to be more careful. But remember that there are also good people out on the interwebs, sometimes we just need to trust them.
I haven't finished reading that book, Jennifer (yeah, we share the same name!) is still working on her project and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next, I'll let you know how that ends… In the meantime, I want to know if you or anyone close to you have been involved in cyber bullying or having a double life.
Talk to you soon,