Thursday, June 17, 2004

fraudulent connection.

why is it so hard for some people to recognize diary frauds?

a diary i had perviously never heard of went bust these past days.
the regular readership of that diary shows the usual behaviour: outraged/amused/upset or still in denial. the apparent facts uncovered by that readership show that the creator of that diary lied, faked, lied, faked and lied some more, and has done so in at least one, possibly two previous incarnation(s).

with some time on my hands today, i read what is still left of that diary.
while i could see why that diary gathered a big following, it made me wonder how anyone could believe that those writings were real in the first place. - the thing simply had all the usual signs of fraud written all over it.

there was drama, drama and more drama. there was an endless string of crisis, emergencies, borderline personality type behaviour, all over the place. there was simply too much happening, too. people taken into the house, babies being born, an internet start-up, affairs, affairs, even more affairs.
there was enough sex for to fill a bunch of porn-scripts. the character was lesbian, and within a week apparently bedded 3 straight women.
the language was very descriptive, abundant with adjectives and monologue. while some online writers use prose-like language and lots of dialogue. most of the time their personality shines through the prose and the dialogue. to me, real diary writing is usually..well, personal. lived. call it real, if you wnat.

nothing written on that diary seemed "lived" to me. it seemed dreamed, wished for, essentially imagined. crafted.
apart from the elaborate wordings and strange descriptions, to me, the sex scenes gave it away. they were so..impersonal. the girl on girl sex sounded like the script for bad porn aimed at men.
i don't doubt that there are lesbians in minnesota who love sex and enjoy strap-ons and who have lots of sex - i know that for a fact actually, because heather is one of them, - i just doubt that a minnesota lesbian that enjoys strap-ons would write about her sexual adventures as if she were a bloke, with bloke language.
read heather. she's real, and her strap-ons, girls and sex are, too.

scarleteen taught me a lot about realizing when someone is fraudulently posting.
it was usually the drama that gave them away. the stories were usually outrageous and so complicated that they made the mind boogle.
strangely enough, all fraudsters somehow managed to come up with eerily similar stories. "pregant at 13 by mom's boyfriend, being thrown out of the house" is an old favourite. the bored middle class girls in front of their computers who post that and similar crap don't realise they are diverting attention and time from those who actually are in trouble and need help. and that they are numbing the communities they troll at for the unfortunate few girls that actually are in that awful position.
a pedophile once made up a drama prone lesbian teens that was into videotaping sex, trying to coax real teenage lesbian board members into swapping pics. a middle aged man once went to extraordinary lenghts to establish a college-age lesbian persona in the online erotica and sex-ed communities as well, tricking many people in the process, making an austrian girl travel to the us to meet "her", later claiming that he was a pre-op transsexual. he didn't explain though, why there was that 30 year gap between his male and female personality. duh.
back in the old opendiary days, i remember a diary that was quite similar in style of this recent fraud. it was about a harvard-studying, world-travelling, beautiful, genius teenage girl. on top of that, she had a rare disease, was still a virgin, did a triple degree, was bisexual and had an entourage of equally talented good looking boys who all kept diaries at opendiary, too! how useful! she comitted suicide by drowning herself in the canale grande in venice on ash wednesday, by the way. it was a captivating read, actually. - but oh. so. very. fake.
strangely enough, all those people managed to draw copious amounts of people into their fabrications, getting them emotionally involved through and into their lies. sudden deaths, long breaks and disappearaces are essential to getting people worried about you, too.
those fake people seem like vampires to me; sucking the attention out of too well-meaning, easily believing onlookers, feeding on their care.

it might be a hard realisation for those who feed the needs of those who keep fake diaries, who are drawn to the drama and want to help, urgently: real life is generally pretty boring and, well, normal.
unless you are salam pax, i guess.

life is about family and love and work and what you do on the weekend. it's about what happens in your city, in your community. it's about the things you enjoy, the things you hate, what you cook for dinner and where you holiday. it's the odd scene you passed by on your way to work. the ex-boyfriend you saw at the pub. whatever.
"life" is what happens to someone every day.

sure, some people write only about certain aspects of their lives online, events they think will entertain others, events they enjoy sharing, things that present an image they like. - who could blame them? selecting what to write online is a way of shaping your memories and a way of shaping the image others have of you. i do that, too, and i think everyone does, more or less.

of course, everyone has times of drama and crisis and big events.
good grace, if i think back to last year, even i had lots of drama. in the span of about 2 months, i split up with a boyfriend of almost 4 years who i had wanted to marry and move countries for; had an affair with someone from another country that i had met through diary writing (hurting him in the process, which i still feel awful about) and meeting dirk, essentially moving in with him within weeks.
yeah, that was some drama. it was all real though. because it was so real, and because it was so weird and strange and hurtful for real, actual people, i never told the full story online, and never will. i left out things, edited myself, because i knew people involved were reading. and i still made awful, awful mistakes in the whole process.
that's real life to me.

life for most people is not piggyback rides in the sunset just hours before you die (which another diary fraud claimed) or turning three people in a week into lesbians. not that i don't wish that life *should* be like that for more people.
maybe that's another appeal of fraudulent diaries: people would love to have lives that exciting as well, with world travels, dinners on barcelona rooftop balconies, an ivy league college and more lovers than one can handle.

just today i got an email from someone telling me that even though he is a bloke, he can relate to what i write. - that's a fabulous compliment to get, i think.
to me, it's a given that men can relate to what women write, and women can relate to what men write. at least to what we all write with an open heart.
to me, the essence of writing and putting personal things online, and reading the personal things others put online, is connection. connection through universal feelings and events.

i read about someones experiences, and even if they are totally different to anything i have or anything i will ever experience, if it was written it with an open heart, i'll be able to relate to it.
it doesn't matter if it's someone unlike me: a bloke with dyed hair in socal working in porn; a woman in australia worrying about her dying father; a mother writing about life with three young kids, describing her days, and how she and her marriage have to step back at times. it doesn't matter what the emotion is, it doesn't have to be all gloom and doom; humour offers real connection, too, i think.
written with an open heart, honest writings enable others to get a glimpse of what the writer feels, share the joy and the burden and feel with them.
in my opinion, many people read journals to recognise things about themselves, to not feel so alone with their feelings. to connect.

aren't we all just looking for connection?

i will sound all esoteric now, but i believe that we are all waves in the big old ocean of life. we are all, essentially, the same on the inside, even if no two waves look exactly alike. we have so much in common though, and we are all in this together.

how sad we rarely take the time to notice.
how sad that those online frauds feed on that essentially human desire to feel the connection.

so why is it so hard for people to recognize diary frauds? - in my opinion, it is because we want to believe, because we want to connect, because we need that connection.

look at the waves, feel the ocean.

it is that easy, and that complicated, at the same time.

· · · · · · · · · · · ·

post scriptum.
if in doubt that i am who i claim to be:

i have had telephone conversations with about half a dozen scarleteeners, including heather, who also has a copy of my id. i have met another half dozen scarleeteeners, journaling and online people in person, among them the smart, adorable seska (nsfw).

so this caro person exists, and i am real. and really, who'd make up a life as everyday and uneventful as mine?

thankyou. goodnight.