I am someone who strives to present myself in a realistic way whenever I communicate online and when using social media, but even I have had my own difficulties in doing so. Technology has made it all but impossible to remain completely private when it comes to communicating.  All of the settings on Facebook may make it seem like everything is private, but does that mean that no one else can ever read one’s private discussions and conversations?  My parents and my teachers have told me over and over that anything I post online will never truly be deleted of hidden forever.  For those reasons, lying online is not something I want to try and do.

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There is a difference between lying and not giving all of the information, though.  Technology gives me the ability to edit any post that I put up and tailor myself for my viewers and friends.  For instance, I do not always tell those I chat with that I have a disability or that I am in a wheelchair.  I tell those that I trust right away so they realize that my disability, or inability to share my disability, does not misrepresent me as one afraid to be myself no matter what.  Hopefully this is how far my slight bending of the truth of reality ever goes; I would regret lying to a friend or loved one for the rest of my life.

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The story of how Valerie was lied to over and over again by people she really thought were her friends really struck a chord with me.  I am the kind of person who is proud of who I have become over the years, and I like to share my own stories of hardship to hopefully motivate someone to live their life to the fullest.  It makes me feel sick to my stomach that anyone could be cruel enough to motivate others and befriend others based on lies and deception.  In my own disability community there have been one or two people who lied about having DMD or made a fake profile to have others feel sorry for them.  There are a lot of people in my social group who will warn me if someone is not who they say they are.  Despite that fact, I distinctly remember chatting once or twice with the man who would later be found out as a liar.  He did not seem to be a bad person and we shared our own personal stories of our hardships, medicines we had to take, treatments we went through, and how we strive to remain optimistic about it all.  Once I knew he was a liar I immediately deleted him as a friend and blocked his profile, then I warned all of my friends and family to do the same.  Even in those two very short conversations I felt like we had connected, but now I realize that I should be more careful who I trust my personal hardships with.