It is acceptable and sometimes even necessary for those in the VC to have ‘nightside’ profiles on some social networking sites and elsewhere. For security reasons in some counties this is vital and in cases like this, usually its just the name that is different, but most personal info is the same as the ‘dayside’. However, sometimes the question is raised whether this can be taken too far? In my opinion, the answer to that is a huge YES!
We all know about the dangers of the internet, and how internet predators, pedophiles and criminals pretend to be someone they are not in order to lure in unsuspecting victims – but what if a ‘fake’ profile is used in a way that isn’t quite THAT bad, but does impact unfairly on others.
Lets say that Mr Smith is a bored, middle-aged, unimpressive man who wants some excitement in his life. For the purposes of our demonstration, he creates a ‘fake’ profile under a different, assumed name, then builds a circle of friends…. So Mr Smith now interacts as Mr Jones instead of Mr Smith. No real damage there you might say, and you’d be right. But what if Mr Smith got bored with just wearing his Mr Jones mask, and the simple charade isn’t enough for him anymore? What if he decides to “become” someone else too, maybe a woman this time, and he – as her, gets a circle of friends there too? Still not too bad you might say – and I agree to a point, but lets take this hypothesis a bit further.
What if Mr Smith uses his new profiles to get close to people, share intimate secrets, guys having “guy talk” with someone whom they think is someone else, or girls having ‘girltalk’ with what they think is another girl… Do you see my point? Is it starting to get a bit creepy now? What if Mr Smith joins an all-girl FB group as Ms Cooper, and uses this profile to participate in girl-talk with more unsuspecting girls? What if (s)he perhaps has a thing for some ‘girl on girl’ cyber “fun” with an unsuspecting gay girl who thinks she is having fun with a girl…..is it getting even more creepy now?
Or what if Ms Cooper (or Mr Jones for that matter) who does not really exist as such, starts a long distance relationship with someone, making all sorts of promises that can’t be kept……are you starting to get annoyed with this person yet? One person affecting and possibly causing all sorts of problems for a lot of people, all of whom are being made fools of because that person is not who they say they are – and if they are lucky, “being made fools of” is the worst that will happen.
What if Mr Smith doesn’t have just two persona’s – what if he has three or four or five? What if he has them all participating in a group, with decisions being made and influencing matters by having multiple profiles? Instead of one vote he has four or five votes that will sway a decision unfairly. Seriously, are you annoyed yet? I can tell you, I damn well would be, if I was taken in by a con like this!
So where does that leave us? Back to reality now. We cannot be suspicious of everyone, no one can live like that – but we can be more aware and more careful of who we are dealing with online. With social networking the way it is, it’s not easy to be always sure of who we are dealing with, but if something comes up, lets not just sweep it under the rug.
I had an incident where I confronted someone about a photo that was posted that was not ‘real’ as such, but taken off the internet, and even that annoyed me that someone thought they could just pull the wool over my eyes.
I am very much aware that some might think I am ‘fake’ because I have a nightside profile and I do not share personal info – well, that is their choice. I have no way of proving to someone who does not live near me, that I am who I am, but some of those who do live near me have met me personally and therefore know that I am who I am. I am also aware that I may in fact be friends with someone who is ‘fake’. I’m not saying I am, but in this social network world, anything is possible. I can only get to know someone and then use my intuition (or whatever skills I have available to me) as a judge of character.
Lets be safe out there