So, according to Doc, Laura’s a big ol’ faker. Too bad. I quite enjoyed her blog and she seemed like an interesting person. Laura, if you’re reading this, and you really are a faker, perhaps you should consider writing novels – you create some very convincing characters and you write well. And when you get your novel published, come back and tell me so I can go buy it, ’cause I’d read your writing any time.

The thing is, though, I really don’t know if Doc’s telling the truth. Perhaps Doc’s the faker and Laura’s an innocent “victim”. Who knows? Or maybe Laura is Doc’s alter-ego and they’re one and the same person. We just never know, do we? Come to think of it, for all you know, maybe Michele’s really MY alter-ego and deep down somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, I’ve hidden my inner dog-lover and gardener. (Although, her last few posts make the “dog-lover” part seem a little questionable.) If you believe my version of the truth, though, Michele is REALLY an amazing, smart, funny and compassionate person who’s one of my best friends – in real flesh-and-blood life.

Yeah, it’s true that we really don’t know when we’re being deceived online. But is that really any different than real life? I’ve been lied to in my real life too – by people I thought were friends. I used to have a friend (notice the past tense?) who was a pathological liar who concocted all kinds of stories about the classes she was taking, the friends she hung out with, the hard-luck stuff she’d lived through, etc. Mostly I just ignored it and chalked it up to a desperate bid for attention, but then the lies got personal. The deal-breaker was the rumour she spread that Marcel’s breakdown and subsequent suicide attempt had something to do with the demise of our marriage and possibly even an affair. That was no longer ignorable.

I also knew a woman who got engaged to a man she thought was a gift from God. He treated her like gold and she was blissfully happy – until, by pure fluke, she discovered that he had a double life with a wife and kids. Big ol’ liar.

Despite the knowlege that there will always be liars around, and some of them may even hurt me now and then, I much prefer to approach life with the assumption that most people are good people who tell the truth most of the time. I may get duped now and then, but I think life is happier if you don’t live with paranoia and distrust.

And when it comes to blogs, well I’m just going to keep assuming that most of you are telling the truth. And if you’re not – well, that won’t really affect my life too deeply. If you’re a good writer, and you enjoy creating an alternative universe, go for it. It’s not really the end of the world. I think it’s a little wierd and probably even a little sad, but who am I to say?

I think most of us are smart enough to realize that blogs are a form of entertainment and not really a replacement for real life. I never really understood all the hub-bub over “A Million Little Pieces”. So what if it was all fabricated? Don’t you read a book mostly for entertainment? It seems like lots of people were entertained (I never read it, so I couldn’t really say), so was it the big travesty some people made it out to be? Now if he had been selling himself as a journalist for a reputable news service, then it would have been a different thing.

Yes, I have to admit that now and then I get a little nervous of having kids online, but even that doesn’t worry me too much. My oldest daughter is one of the most cautious people I know, my second daughter would rather get lost in a book than a computer, and my youngest is still playing Elmo games. So I don’t live in paranoia that they might fall into the hands of a predator online. We talk about it lots, and so far I don’t see any reason for worry.

I’m not going to stop making blog friends just because some of you may be fakers. And those of you who are truly genuine people, thanks. You renew my faith in humanity. There are lots of truly wonderful people out there in blogland, just like there are in real life. Take the amazing Karla, for example – she’s gone out of her way to help me fix my blog template. She’s my new techno-hero, and she’s nice in real life too.

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