By now you’ve probably heard about the plagiarism controversy surrounding a fellow blogger.
I’ve been thinking about what I should say in this situation or if I should say anything at all. I don’t want to point fingers or make people upset, but this is my blog so I have the right to share how I feel.
I feel like I was betrayed. I feel angry and hurt. I am scared to trust other bloggers now. I feel taken advantage of. I’m really pissed off. I feel like I was led to believe lies. I feel really naive and I’m angry I let myself trust someone so easily. I’m angry that this person allowed bloggers to email her and gchat for hours sharing personal, private information about their lives. It baffles me how she could hurt so many people and not even care!
This blogger and I had met twice. We had dinner together on two separate occasions. We were becoming “IRL” friends. When we had dinner we talked about blogging; we talked about bloggers. She confided in me what she thought about other bloggers and their writing. She was judgmental (not to say that I’m perfect, but at least my blog is real and honest), but she also seemed really genuine and sweet. She seemed just as nice as I would have expected from her blog. We talked about how we love blogging because we can be so honest (hahaha, I’d love to know what she was thinking during that conversation!) and form friendships with people we would otherwise never meet.
We talked about her past trips to Africa, which may be true, but the post she wrote about it was not her own. We talked about her weekend trip to the coffee shop where she met an old teacher who is the grandmother of one of her clients. Apparently that post was stolen as well. This girl let me hold converstations with her regarding topics I believed to be her life, but were actually ideas she had stolen from other bloggers.
I asked her about the life she wrote about because I believed it to be hers. I told her how I was jealous of her life and how perfect it seemed. I told her that her new pink bicycle was so cute and I wish I had one. I told her I wish I owned a house with two dogs and a sweet boyfriend. I’m no longer jealous; I’m angry.
Over dinner last Wednesday she made the comment that her boyfriend asks her why she doesn’t blog every day. She told him it is because she doesn’t think people want to read about mundane life details. She said she doesn’t have time to blog every day. She said she sits down at the computer and types whatever comes to mind. I think what she meant to say is that she doesn’t have time to read enough blogs to steal their writing and show it off as her own.
Now I wonder how much of what she wrote was true. Does she really own a house? Does she really work where she said she works? Does she really have a boyfriend? And were all those posts about skydiving and trips to San Francisco plagiarized too? Those time she wrote about running and exercising at the gym? Well, she admitted to me over dinner that she hasn’t exercised in months and that her gym even called to remind her she had a membership because she hadn’t been in so long. So that post was definitely fake.
We first started talking because she posted where she went to school and it also happened to be my school. I emailed her saying we should meet for coffee after class one day. After I found out she was plagiarizing other people’s blogs, I began questioning everything she told me. I looked her name up in the school directory online. There were zero matches. So I started thinking… after we met for dinner she said she was going to the parking garage, but then she walked a few blocks with me before she turned down another street… away from the parking garage. Maybe she doesn’t go to my school. Maybe she doesn’t have a car and maybe she doesn’t live where she said she lives.
When we first met for dinner I talked to her about how she was confronted on her blog about her “perfect” life. I told her I understood where she was coming from and that it was completely understandable to only want to write about “the good things” in life. Little did I know I was helping to boost her plagiarizing ego.
I sent her an email saying I was praying for her boyfriend after his “accident” and she replied saying he was recovering well from his skin graft surgery. Lie. There was no accident. I do not understand how someone could tell a lie so outrageous and continue with it knowing that others are so concerned and worried for their well-being. I thought I was forming a friendship with someone and now it has smacked me in the face. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
It’s wrong to steal someone’s writing and claim it as your own. It’s even worse when you have been confronted about this and apologize saying you won’t do it again. And even worse? When you are questioned about your blog and how your life seems “too good to be true” and you defend it by saying it’s your life and it’s real. She should have learned from experience that you will get caught if you plagiarize and it will not be pretty.