Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Never Trust the Internet, Especially if it Tells You What You Want to Hear

I'm sure you've all seen this, by this point;

Girl Quits Job on Dry Erase Board

Cute girl in a series of photos e-mailed to her office spells out a message on a dry erase board to embarrass her boss, and quit.

Yeah, she's cute, and the message was so easy to get excited about. Who doesn't want to quit a truly lousy job, and take revenge on an awful boss, all in one fell swoop?

Look, I don't wanna be too smug, but from the second I saw this, I thought "something's fishy." The girl is too cute, a little too animated, a little too "actory." Plus, this would be a seriously dumb move if you really wanted to be a Broker.


Hey, what do you know, it's a hoax!

She's an actor, Elyse Porterfield, and here's her Facebook fan page. Her previous claim to fame was being an Angelina Jolie look-a-like on, and she was hired to do the photo shoot by John and Leo Resig. I think it's a pretty decent joke, and it says a lot about corporate culture, and a lot of the pressures a lot of people find themselves under.

But it's a scam, a hoax, you have been duped. Now, it's for a relatively innocent purpose, so, no harm, no foul.

But, I always find it really unsettling when I see comments like this:

I think this proves that all allegations of sexism and examples of chauvanistic, insensitive bosses are fake. Men never call women HOPA's. Or play farmville. Or have bad breath. Case closed.

This statement is, in it's hyperbolic/sarcastic way, absolutely true, but really...are you that invested in this joke that you want to try to attach an important meaning to it? Are you prepared to defend an outright and admitted lie just because it supports a political/social agenda you concur with? Are you so upset with your own work situation that you're willing to not only embrace, but defend a fabrication, based on blatantly trying to fool as many people as possible, because it makes you feel better?

All I'm gonna say is, the next time you find yourself reading any internet story where you say to yourself, "that's EXACTLY right!" Stop for a second, and maybe nose around for a bit more information. The truth is rarely as black and white as we like to make it these days. Going to bat for something that's incorrect, manipulated, not the full story, and sometimes absolutely false, isn't a place from which to support any sort of lasting change.

No one is always right, nor is anyone always wrong. There are people all over the internet writing things because they count on preaching to the choir, that the reader won't think too much, because they like what's being said. Be informed, be aware, and accept that your version of "right" isn't always the whole truth.

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