Monday, January 21, 2013
It's been all over the news.. the story swept the nation. Manti Te'o had a fake girlfriend. He says they had never met and was just as shocked as everyone else that she was not real. A lot of people find this hard to believe. They wonder how could he ever not know she didn't exist.
I think this is a generational thing.. The younger the adult is the more likely they would be to understand it. Today's adult spends a lot of time in social media, they have "friends" on facebook, twitter, pintrest, etc.. People they may have never met. And yet they most likely have had detailed and intense discussions with them. Yes, we warn our children.. we talk about predators but honestly, there are a lot of people on line and most of them are just that, people online. Nothing nefarious about them.. and connections, real connections are made.
It's easy to discuss your thoughts, dreams, hopes and feelings with these people.. to share yourself with a faceless person. Over time you begin to feel a real friendship from them. An intense emotional bonding.. It's easy to get lost in the unreality of that reality.. to almost forget that they are faceless beings on the other side of the internet.. faces that you have created.. you do not connect face to face. You chat..
I think older adults for the most part don't get this.. they are used to a different world and while many may have embraced the internet, they still believe that relationships need to be made and created face to face. And really they should at some point.. but who are we to say what point.
Sadly, Manti is going to be learning a harsh lesson.. first he suffered the humiliation of having a "girlfriend" who didn't really exist. Then everyone in the world found out about it and he has become the butt of all the latest jokes. And finally, his career is questionable.. There is a strong possibility that this charming young man will drop far in the draft and not be able to demand the salary that he might have initially been able to.
Why? Because he is 22 and yes naive.. He has shown that he has a good heart and is a loyal team mate. That he is a skilled athlete.. but right now no one wants to see that, they want to see the fraud, the deception.. and it doesn't help that we are all dealing with the lies that Lance Armstrong has been spewing for years..
So no one is going to give this young man the benefit of the doubt. They are going to judge him as only the self righteous can. Seriously, even if he did it.. the kids is what 22 years old? How many of us did stupid stuff at that age? At least we were allowed to be stupid in private..