Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lies, Damn lies, and MySpace

If MySpace ever had any value (I don't know if it ever did; I found about it on TV. They said its where teenage girls go to get hooked up with sexual predators...or something like that) that value is totally used up now. I just checked out the MS page of a girl I work with. I bookmarked it with "comedy" in the title of said bookmark.
This lead to an interesting discussion on the topic of human psyche yesterday at work. Hey, I can't always be doing what I'm supposed to do, can I? At any rate, its become common knowledge that this kid we work with has an MS account, because she tells lots of people about it. That's a separate issue that will be discussed later. Here's where this gets interesting.
She claimed her height was 5'7". I think she may be fudging that, but we'll give her the benefit of the doubt. However, she claims her body type is "average". Ummmm...yeah, as long as "average" means "shaped like a barrel". She weighs at least 200 lbs, and probably a lot more. That's definately where the fudging comes in...along with cakes, ice cream, bacon triple cheeseburgers...and diet Cokes. She claims a religeous faith, but according to her MS friends, she sparks up the chiba and drinks to excess.
I bring all this up partly for comedic purposes, but also to illustrate the discussion of yesterday. She's hardly the only one. If anything, I'd be surprised to find out anyone on MS had a truthful, honest account. The question becomes, then, is she lying to attract someone that couldn't attract before, or is that how she sees herself?
Remember "Collateral" with Jamie Foxx and that short guy that jumps on couches on TV? The cabbie always made it sound like he was working towards his dream goal. It turned out that he was doing nothing of the kind. That would seem to be more the case with the majority of people in the world. So many people have dreams that they could reach with some work, but either through fear, lack of confidence, or lack of desire, they don't even try. Yet, they'll talk about it as if they do, or have, or are actively working on it.
What is it about people that they just can't be honest, with themselves or anyone else? What drives them to have to lie about themselves? Or do they really believe their "cover story"?
Because I work in the tactical gear industry, I run into people on a fairly regular basis who claim to be what they're not. One kid I heard about came back from the Army on leave, and told his dad that he was the was the youngest kid to graduate "Special Forces Sniper School", and that he was with 10th SFG. Dad got all chuffed and contacted the newspapers, who sent a reporter to write a story on this kid. The article got published. One of the members of the forum I am an admin on found it, and posted a link. Now, this particular forum is mostly .mil and LE types, who don't take kindly to people claiming stuff they haven't done. This kid went home to a weekend with the family, and came back to work to find out that members of our forum had used their contacts in the service to let the kid's platoon leader, sergeant major, and company commander know what he allowed to happen. He claimed to be something he wasn't, and ended up with a maxed field grade Article 15, and had to write a formal letter of apology to 10th Group. I heard that his extra duty (45 days of it) consisted of being given to 10th Group to do whatever they wanted to with him, but I can't confirm it. I suspect he ended up polishing things that were never polished before. All that because he couldn't be truthful with himself, his family, or a reporter. He still had three years to do in the Army. One forum member described it like this: "remember having that dream where you show up at work with no pants? That's his life for the next three years."
I know a guy who claims to have been a Ranger. Except that he called the obstacle course at Camp Darby the "Queen Darby" (its real name is the Darby Queen). That fact, on top of many others, got called. Then he had to backtrack and lie some more to cover it. In the end, he lost all credibility with the people that he was trying to build credibility with. Oops.
Why is it people feel the need to do that? I don't understand. I won't claim that I've never lied, but I've tried to always be the person I appeared to be. I'm a low speed, high drag nobody with a pretty cool job that I got because I had developed some useful skills that were needed by my employer. In my job, I get to meet a lot of people who are bona fide heroes, badasses, straight up shoot-you-in-the-face killers, and would be celebrities if what they did for a living was celebrated in the press. Its no wonder so many people want to be them, but its also no wonder that so few can be. Those same "can't be's" are the same ones that "wannabe" and "claimtabe". For the life of me, I can't understand why. If you wanna be one of them, then go do what they did to get where they are. If you can't, be honest with yourself and say "I can't". If everyone could do it, everyone would do it. There are more jobs than I can count that make the world work everyday. If they didn't need to be done, they wouldn't be paid.
I guess what I'm getting at is that if you're not happy where you are, do something about it. This is America. Opportunity is there, and so is copious amounts of help. If you don't wanna do it, then don't. Just don't claim that you did. All that happens in the end is that you lose a whole lot more than you were willing to bet, and gain a whole lot less than you wanted to win. Its too high a price to die unhappy because you spent your life as a lie.


Anne said...

Odd that you should bring this up.

A friend of mine just sent me the link to her Space, with tremendous pride and glee, and I was interested to discover she was actually somebody else . . . on MySpace, at least.

Go figure.

The Husband also had a similar experience, with a new manager who came through his store. The guy had everyone all freaked out by his extensive military experience, as well as an alleged stint as a merc.

I was there when he showed up for the first time.

I looked at The Husband. The Husband looked at me.

The guy was way too soft, for lack of a better word, to have been in the Army.

He was later proved to be an idiot, and wandered away in disgrace, but it certainly was interesting to watch.

ExistingThing said...

Most of the friends I know who have MS accounts (I refuse, of course) are rather truthful... Though I feel compelled to note that all their REAL friends know about their pages and would definately call BS if they smell any...

So, is it just people who have no friends in real life??? :)

What do people think, sending people who know them to a page full of lies about them? I'd be ashamed, and hide it from those who know the truth! (obviously why I don't do that)

Great post!

Haji said...

That's a good question. The person I mentioned appears to have a few friends, but reading the blog that person keeps is rather telling. Apparently, she gives "it" up pretty easily. That would explain how that person gets "friends", I suppose. There's only a certain percentage on MS that...embelish, so to speak...thier pages, but its somewhat amazing to me how over the top it can be.