The quote “Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive” is one of the most famous quotes by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. It basically says that deception is a “fragile and complex weaving of truth, half truths’, lies and lies of omission.” And “To create a deception worthy of belief one must be able to create plausible details that help create the illusion of truth. It is the details that people listen to and remember…”
That isn’t to say that the whole World Wide Web is full of deception, but online, people can choose to “be” anyone they want. Online, no one really knows the real you, sees you face to face, or can ask probing questions to be sure you really are who you say you are. People with no friends can get online and make thousands of virtual friends and become a social butterfly – while in the real world they’re still too shy to speak. A 50-year old male can claim to be a 25-year old, athletic, blonde woman and post photos and a profile that fits with his description. But while we all know that these kinds of large deceptions can occur, I wonder how many of us stop to consider what minor deceptions may occur.
I think there is a fine line between absolute genuineness and bending the truth a bit. Most people online truly document themselves in their photos, blogs, profiles, and interests (on social networks). But some people post things about themselves that may not be entirely the truth at the present moment, but which they are striving to achieve in the future. I read that Arnold Schwarzenneger said in an interview immediately following his first film flop – Hercules – that he would become the biggest name in Hollywood. While not true at that time, it was a goal that Arnold had set before him which eventually did become the truth. I even label myself as a freelancer and graphic designer on some of my profiles and websites though I’ve had no formal education in that field. But I truly enjoy graphic design, and working on projects for myself and in my local area, and I am hoping to get some formal training in graphic design soon in order to truly become what I claim.
But then there are those people who have little to no passion for their chosen field, and only have passion for a quick buck. You ever run across one of those “Get-Rich-Quick” websites? You get to read a bunch of testimonials from people who have really “done it” and you read just enough information about the “product” or “method” that you want to know more. Then, at the bottom of the website is a call-to-action: “Want to know more? Hurry and buy this series for only $400! It’s value is $1200! This is a limited time thing!” I’ve never actually paid for those things, but occasionally, I’ll admit, I’ve been tempted to. Wow, you think, can I really make $5000 per month using this method? And it sounds so easy too! But, I’m guessing that one of the main ways to start making that money is to set up one of your own kinds of those sites that “claims” to have all the answers, and then charging a great deal of money for a product that may or may not have that kind of value. I used to wonder, why does the guy who owns this site sound so happy and claim to make so much money? Then I realized, Ahh, from suckers like me that want to learn his secret and are willing to pay big for it. If 10 people buy his “secret” every day, that’s $4000 per day! Then all I’d have to do is turn around and sell the same “secret” to a bunch of other suckers in order to get my quick cash too.
**(Side note: I may be entirely wrong about these websites. Feel free to correct me if you think so. But I’ve never seen a quick buck made with little work)**
But Get-Rich-Quick sites are beside the point. What I’m really interested in is all the new “design” sites I see popping up.