Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Big Fat Fakers

I have always disliked fakers. Most people do, unfortunately, not everyone even recognizes that they are one. Sometimes it seems natural to act a different way when they are with certain people. They may have a character for friends from PTA. A different on for church friends. And still another for their families. Some may not even realize they are doing this. Some go to great lengths to keep their groups of friends separated so that they can continue the act.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago when I entered into the World Wide Web and its social networks that I realized that fake could be taken to a whole new level. Now, I am no spring chicken, so I have seen my share of people - people who have a show face and a home face. I thought I had seen it all, but nothing prepared me for what I would encounter on the Internet.

It never occurred to me that people would go to such great lengths to hide who they really are. It must be exhausting. If someone is going to expend that much energy to keep up a charade, why not just try to change who they are? Then they wouldn't have to fake it all the time.

A lot of the time I can spot a fake upon my first virtual encounter with them. I have a natural ability to 'feel' these kinds of things. I will often stumble upon someone in a random post and follow the link back to their profile on a social network and my first impression of them is usually accurate. I just get a vibe off of them. That is not to say I am always right or that I have some sort of superiority complex, thinking I can 'read' everyone I run across. It just happens to be one of my abilities.

When at first I get a negative perception of someone, I usually try to ignore it because I want to give people the benefit of a doubt. I push the she's a fake vibes out of my mind and try to think positive. Unfortunately more often than not, I am proved right. It saddens me, but that is the way it usually happens.

People like to put up a false reality about themselves on social. I suppose it makes them feel better to act as though their life is as picture perfect as they wish it were. Then there are those who are so desperate for attention that they create false drama around themselves in order to garner sympathy from others. Either way, it is extremely disheartening to see so much of it going on.

Like I said earlier, it takes a bundle of energy to keep up that kind of facade; energy that would be better put to more positive pursuits. You know, like making your life better, or perhaps spending some time with those less fortunate than yourself. That can put things into perspective right away.

Some people never will look outside themselves, however. They are content to spend your time ducking, weaving and deflecting the attempts of others to get to know the real person inside the persona. What are they so afraid of? They spend their lives only half engaged in reality; missing out on so much of the goodness.

The goodness comes when we open ourselves up and are vulnerable to others. In order to fully engage and enjoy life we have to take those chances. Sometimes we get hurt, but so much more often we find that we aren't so different than everyone else and sharing the pain of our trials helps us all to heal our wounds.

If everyone would do this, then there would be no need for fakes. We all have suffering, fears, foibles and idiosyncrasies. We all screw up sometimes. We do things we aren't proud of. We say things we wish we could take back. Every one of us is fallible. Yes, I believe there are enemies around us that seek to destroy us, but the worst enemy of all lurks deep inside our own souls. It is called pride. It is that pride that keeps us from living the life that we wish we had - the life that we should have. The life that we can have.

© KDV 2009

Proverbs 29:23 (New International Version)

23 A man's pride brings him low,
but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

Proverbs 21:24 (New International Version)

24 The proud and arrogant man-"Mocker" is his name;
he behaves with overweening pride.

1 John 4:18 (New International Version)

18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

John 16:33 (New International Version)

33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."