Living a Lie Online...Why?!?

Stop Being a Poser and Get Real!

Most people are well aware that the internet is an imposter’s paradise.

It’s no secret that many take to the Web to be the person they yearn to be, but there’s a certain and increasingly creepy trend on social media that relentlessly continues to boggle my mind. Every morning without I fail, I check my timeline on Twitter and see a reposting of some trite cliché guised as wisdom. If that didn’t suck enough on its merit, many of these tweets come from fake celebrity accounts.

Exhibit A from “@frank_ocaen”: “If you really knew me, you’d know that I'd make myself miserable, just to make someone else happy" (this account has been suspended, glory!)

Exhibit B from “iChaningtatum”: “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Well, fake Frank, should anyone really care either way about who you are given that you don’t? And counterfeit Channing Tatum, I don’t even know what that means so I won’t bother.

Not to be outdone, there’s that other pesky poser account for Will Smith, among many, many others. Even your cousin’s favorite conspiracy theory – the Illuminati – is out here sharing musings like, “Nobody deserves to be treated like an option.”

Shouldn’t that account be tweeting up stuff such as, “We will reign all over humanity, one Jay-Z and Rihanna track at a time?”

Most, if not all, of these account holders claim to be doing a parody, which reminds me of another social media constant: far too many folks use words without understanding their actual meaning.

A parody is defined as “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule” or a feeble or ridiculous imitation.”

There are lists of the best and worst celebrity parody accounts and other examples like the blog Suri’s Burn Book, the new political parody “Paul Ryan Gosling,” and even I used to do a mock celebrity advice column on my personal site.

I know what a parody is and it’s not pretending to be Will Smith or Satan’s social club while dispensing advice found from the fortune cookie that came via their order of beef and broccoli.

Nor are accounts – like those posing as singer and reality star K. Michelle – that intentionally try to stir in trouble by provoking other stars, which ultimately fill up a bunch of timelines until people realize, “Oh wait, that’s a 1 and not a lowercase l.”

Help me understand this, posers.

My suspicions are that people who make up fake profiles and fake lives and fake pictures online do so to compensate for whatever they lack in their own realities.

Now is this medium shifting towards posing as celebrities the next frontier in fronting?

If so, what is the light switch that went off in your counterfeit Twitter users’ heads that made y’all decide, “Hey, I should be a dumbed-down version of Oprah’s Life Class as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 140 characters?” 

What convinced you to think, “I can’t be a cast member of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, but I can start fights like one online?”

Ah, and I can’t forget to inquire as to who exactly blocked all your access to the online dictionaries that could’ve pointed you in the right direction towards the right way to do parody?

I am genuinely curious. Yeah, I’m judging you, but that’s fine. You earned it. Maybe an explanation might sway me?

Either way, as soon as I discover the source of this symptom I’d like to direct my next line of questioning to its supporters.

Riddle me this people who keep retweeting this nonsense despite being aware that none of these people are who they claim to be: why?

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick