Wednesday 4 September 2013

Internet Friends.......or not?

Just me
Hi, this is me, admittedly the pic is 6 years old now, but it's still me; almost as naked as the day I was born, wearing the only pieces of jewellery I ever wear - diamond earrings, my Gucci twirl watch and my platinum engagement & wedding rings, which hubby had surprised me with at Easter 2007 (there's a story behind the giving of those, but that's another blog
entirely). And what you see is what you get, end of.

Yesterday on Twitter I upset a new follower, who promptly unfollowed me. They have a locked account, their profile gives nothing away about them & I couldn't see who followed them.
I did what I always do and posted a tweet asking if anyone followed them & should I follow back. The locked account took
exception to my posting such a tweet & that is why she unfollowed me. She told another follower that you wouldn't ask someone else in RL whether you should be friends with someone, you'd decide for yourself, so why do it on the internet?  Let me tell you why.....

A couple of days ago, I came across this blog post: It really brings home the fact that, on the internet, we can all pretend to be someone we're not. Admittedly, when I first opened my Twitter account, I was reluctant to share the real me in my profile pic and, as I am known
as the 'Google Fairy' in our house (owing to my penchant for Googling anything & everything in my thirst for knowledge), I assumed the Fairy as my avi. But my profile blurb told it like it is - wife, mum, grandma, Leicester Tigers fan, living the fairytale ending in the Cilento. And my tweets reflected - and still continue to reflect - the somewhat flirty untamed 'wild child' who refuses to grow old gracefully.

But what of some of my followers? Earlier this year I was followed by a locked account which someone else asked me to follow back as they thought it was a 'fake' account. I did so and, as soon as
my follow request was accepted, the DM's started. Just a simple 'good morning' at first, always followed by a 'hope you don't mind me DMing you'. But I did - why couldn't a simple 'good morning'
go on TL - why did it have to be said in private? And then she
started to DM me with personal details: she had a 'toyboy' hubby, 13 years younger than her - was I jealous? How well did I know one particular follower? When I failed to respond to those DMs more followed, checking that I'd received them. Yes, I had, but I was choosing to ignore them - I was actually wondering why someone 'all loved up' with a toyboy hubby they'd only been married to for 3 years was even on Twitter. So I decided to ask some questions of my own: where did she live, what did hubby do, did they have children? And that's when I began to realise this WAS a fake account. She said she lived in East Anglia, had a 2 year old daughter & hubby was a farmer. The few pics she'd posted on her TL were all of Leicester or Birmingham & yet no mention of trips/days out to meet up with friends had ever appeared on her TL - what girl doesn't get excited at the prospect of a girlie day out & tell everyone about it? There was also no sign of any toddler in any of her pics, nor was she any great shakes in the beauty department & the story of the 'toyboy' hubby no longer gelled as far as I was concerned. And then I noticed something else.....every single pic had been posted from another Twitter account.

Of course, that really aroused my curiosity, so I did 'what it says on the can' & started Googling. The second account was a real person & she lived just outside Leicester; I was able to discover
that her hubby was actually in his 60's (although it may be possible she's an only child still living at home with her father). All the while I was delving, the DMs were continuing, telling a sob story of being bullied on Twitter (again, nothing in her TL or her pics could give rise to any reason for bullying). Then they turned really personal, wanting to know if I 'fancied' any of my tweeps & what would I do if I had the chance to be alone with them, as well as telling me how sexy they found some of their followers and what they'd like to do with them, given the chance. Of course, I failed to respond & she really didn't like that, so there were some 3-way TL convos that she instigated & tried to twist to make it look as though I'd turned against her. I decided to call her bluff, 'name & shame' her and that's when my suspicions were confirmed by numerous tweeps: yes, this is a fake account, run by the 60-something year old guy who is trying to groom couples for his porn website.

And so, at the risk of upsetting anyone with a locked account, I
will continue to double-check before I follow back.......

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alison,

    Yes, the Internet is not at all like "real life" or, rather, it's easier to be deceptive on the Net.

    I wrote about it years ago in this post and although it's talking about Bloggers, it can equally apply (now) to Twitter and any other type of interactive platform.

    Beware - the Internet is a "dangerous" place.