25 October 2010

Of using online resources! (or a euphemism for stealing)

Yup, some people really make you feel like you are lacking when they appear to get everything done so effortlessly. Somehow, Bree Van de Kamp of Desperate Housewives comes to mind. Every strand of hair is in place, she cooks, bakes, does gardening and her house is spick and span.

If you browse online for stories about people who are organised, you may stumble upon this:

You're probably wondering how I got it all done so early, or maybe you've already decided I'm one of those crazy, completely over-organized women who get everything done ahead of schedule. Well let me assure you, that is not the case, at least not the crazy part.

I had a great reason for getting my shopping finished early, besides just seeing if I could do it. I wanted to be able to enjoy the holidays with my family just a little bit more.
Source! (Always give credit to the source when you use their work!)

Believe it or not, I was told that these lines were borrowed stolen from the link given and presented as if it were someone's original writing.  It set me thinking that some people like to create false impressions.  

When someone can't write, that someone can actually take the trouble to surf the net to cut, copy and paste stuff from all over to pretend that it's original.  I was told there is a slew of this stuff which someone claims is her own writing or as she puts it "using online resources".  

*Wags finger*  No, it's not!!!  It is certainly not using online resources when you give the impression that you wrote it yourself.  In fact, it's stealing other people's words and claiming them as your own.

I have been amused to be told that the majority of her so-called blogs (hidden inside FB, for obvious reasons) had consisted of words or paragraphs stolen or edited from online pages.  

It is so easy to check.  All you have to do is copy a handful of those words, put them in inverted commas like this "The mood is peaceful and I although I have a lot on my mind, I am grateful for a productive day. It never quite seems to be a full enough day but I know that life has a way of always making us desire just a little bit more", and then paste them on any search engine like google.com.  Voila!  You will find the page or magazine that it was taken from and in this case, from here.

There were tons of stuff taken from all over the World Wide Web.  Some were wholesale copying and pasting. Some were edited and/or replaced with carefully selected words.  No mention was made of the source.  Incredible!  The deception runs thick and deep.

Unbelievably, she says integrity is her prized possession.

Does she not worry about being found out?  What do her friends think of this?  I have to believe they do not know.  So for how long does she intend to deceive them?

I think one of the reasons is that she can't stop because she's been basking in the lavish praises heaped upon her.  So she has to carry on with the sham.  This is why they say, "A lie takes care of the present but not the future".

More pertinently, the question would be, if this were your friend, what would your reaction be?  She isn't my friend and so I can just shrug my shoulders, giggle about it and laugh it off.

Nevertheless, what if he or she were my friend?  What would my reaction be?  Good question to think about.

I suppose I'd lose respect and trust for that person because telling a lie is one thing but perpetuating it is another.  I would also have to re-evaluate every single thing that person had said because once one's credibility is gone, one cannot recover it. Not 100 per cent anyway!

I may say all this now but I really don't know what my reaction would be if I found out something like this.  I really don't.

As far as I know, none of my blogger friends does this.  I guess it would be difficult to know why anyone would want to do it.

My friend ZR has a good explanation for "Why people do it?   

He says, "There is a deep emptiness in the human psyche which the owner tries to fill by dumping second-hand or borrowed wisdom into it but like a castaway who drinks from the sea to quench his thirst, the more he drinks the more thirsty he becomes, the seeker who looks outside will never be fulfilled ...".

He goes on to say, "Not being able to fall back on their own resources, such people do gain satisfaction from basking in the shade (praise) of the works of others just like camp followers or fans like to stand close or be taken pictures of with celebrities partaking and enjoying in their reflected glory. This is innocent and healthy enough up to a point but beyond that it can get sick when you can only live in the shadow of other people, of belief systems, of super this, super that, without which you feel you are nothing, without self-worth, directionless ... people must regain their self-belief and trust their own minds, for better or worse, and not be dependent on constructed realities ...".

I find it amazing that someone with other natural talents would want need to put up a charade that she can also write!  There must be some deep-seated feeling of lacking.

Am I worried that she will chance upon my blog?  No, why should I?  It might do her good to know.  There is a remote chance that she doesn't even realise or think it's wrong.

What about her friends reading my blog?  Well, maybe they will see things differently after they read this.  Perhaps they will tell her that she needn't pretend to be what she's not and that she's acceptable just the way she is.

After all, not everyone can be Bree!  

(all pics from photobucket)


Pat said...

Ahhh, how did I live before the internet? I shudder to think! I just love the way I can find everything and anything I want online, and by just walking my ten fingers :)

I agree with your friend ZR: it was what I felt, too - that she had a void to fill, and she felt her words would not suffice. How very sad that is.

Why would she feel that if she simply wrote what was in her heart, her 'friends' wouldn't find her interesting? Either she has horrid friends, or she doesn't know them very well, OR they aren't really friends at all. Real friends would know your voice, wouldn't they?

I only just saw you, and I hear your voice in this post. It is exactly you. It is the same voice I hear when I am right in front of you, and it helps me not miss you - for we meet too seldom, don't we?

I always told my students: Just write. Whatever you're thinking, simply write that. Don't try to be clever, don't think about style and big words, and impressing anyone. Because, that's when you won't.

If she were my student, I'd not be angry with her. I'd ask her: Why don't you love yourself enough to feel that the real you isn't good enough?

Johan H said...

For me its quite easy to tell if someone writes from the heart or had lifted it from somewhere else. The tones and nuances of a hack job are easy to spot.

On another note, I do miss one thing about writing, and that is writing. I mean, its been a long while since people actually sent each other anything handwritten don't you think? That is why to this day, I keep all the letters my mum and dad handwrote to me when I lived outside the country. They are one of my most precious possessions.

STEEST said...

Pat: I forget how I lived before the internet. LOL

You want chats, you have the internet
You want news, you have the internet.
You want music, you have the internet.
You want sports, you have the internet.
You want gossip, you have the internet.
You want movies, you have the internet.
You want comments, you have the internet.
You want live interaction, you have the internet.

Oh my goodness! LOL again

Coming back to this post, I feel that it's all about pretense. I don't say she's a bad person. She's probably okay except that she needs to fill some void in her life and so she looks to see what other people are saying and picks those up as her own views and words. She does this because she is probably unable to form her own opinions about life. Hence she has to depend on what others are saying and writing.

I don't say that people don't do that. I think we all read the news and browse other people's blogs because we want a broader perspective of the subject matter. Over the course of doing this, we eventually absorb some of what we expose our mind and thoughts to but the difference is that we don't steal other people's words and use it as our own.

Having been in touch with you so regularly, I've now benefited from your perspective of life and it meshes or gels with who I am. I don't change totally because of reading what you write but I assimilate and learn from it.

Thank you for your input. It is always interesting to know what you think.

STEEST said...


Really? Is it so easy to know?

I didn't. I used to notice spelling errors and varying styles but I attributed it to moods.

Then someone who knows her told me that those words were not original. So out of curiousity, I googled parts of what she wrote and found out that a lot of it were from online sources. Oh my God!!!!

I can't help but feel a bit sorry for her because I doubt she's even aware that it speaks volumes about who she is.

I guess if we rush we make typo errors but to mistake "whether for "weather" and using "ive for I've" or "id for I'd" and "ur for your".

Yep, I think it's easy to see the difference in her writing. How come her friends don't see it? Selective blindness, I suppose.

I wonder if she'll go through her "blog" and check for those spelling errors to correct them or to remove the "borrowed" words.

Perhaps not! :)