This is the first time I’ve ever been aware of anyone doing this where I was involved. Someone pretended to be me online. I don’t mean they copied my posts and swiped my words, it went beyond that. Unfortunately, I have become used to the plagiarism after 5 years of blogging and I’ve learned how to stop it. I’ve never had someone actually try to pass themselves off as me…the person.
It was brought to my attention that someone had actually created a fake account using my name and photo. I have an imposter pretending to be me online. Imagine my surprise when I see a comment supposedly left by me, only it wasn’t. I do not like being forced to take responsibility for words that I didn’t actually write. God knows that I write enough things to get me in trouble all on my own. Anyways, it left me feeling decidedly vulnerable and violated. Someone had invaded my privacy on a very personal level. It made me begin to question everything.
I’ve put a lot of trust in you, Internet. I know that you are not infallible. I forget that the Internet is not just filled with a whole bunch of moms reaching out for friendship and support. The Internet is full of weirdos; pedophiles, imposters and single white females just waiting for the chance to prey on some poor unsuspecting schmuck. Do we really know anyone?
Who are harmless crazy cat ladies sitting in their one room apartments playing with their 10 Reborn baby dolls? Who are the 300-pound, balding perverts who live in their mom’s basement and touch themselves while reading about your children losing a tooth or crying from a booboo? Who are the single white females who sit in their home alone reading about every detail of your pregnancy while doing a little legwork and soon knows where you live and when your baby is due? The crazy lady who wants a baby so badly that she’s willing to befriend you and then cut you open like a fish and take your baby?
We never know who we are talking to; in person or in real life. The guy you worked with at Arby’s could turn out to be a pedophile 20 years later. The guy you went to prom with could secretly dress up like a woman and write erotica. The mom you’ve been sharing every detail about your life with online could really be some man in Brooklyn who has no kids and gets his rocks off reading about yours.
This past weekend has left me with two thoughts; people are really bat shit crazy. I don’t mean crazy like you and I and in need of some sleep and Xanax. I mean off the reserve, scary and dangerous crazy. People who pretend to be others online are creepy on a very deep level. Two, I don’t know if this space is really one that I want to be a part of anymore.
I used to be so naïve and I thought people who wrote about rainbows and unicorns all the time were trying to hide something out of a need to protect themselves from criticism but now, I realize that the lack of transparency was probably born out of an innate need to protect themselves from actual crazy people who can steal every detail of your life and make it their own but I don’t know if I can blog in any other way than with complete openness. One imposter has lied so much that she has convinced herself that the person whose life she’s stolen is the imposter and she will fight anyone who says otherwise. I find that to be very frightening because obviously the lines between fantasy and reality have been blurred so badly that she no longer recognizes which is which.
When I think of the personal stories and photos that I have shared on this blog, it makes me cringe to think what could be done with all of it in the wrong hands. It’s also made me reassess what I want this space to be. I’m not sure the pros outweigh the cons anymore. I just want to write and connect with other moms. I am nobody special, the other bloggers who have had imposter accounts made in their names and my friend who is literally having someone steal her life, we are just moms trying to connect to one another and somewhere in all of that, we’ve let an imposter infiltrate our community but what is the alternative? From behind the screen, do any of us really know who the online imposters are or who we are really talking to?