Breesays’ Guide To Being a Crafty Liar
I’ve always been a good kid—I got through my entire junior high and high school existence without a single detention (although I distinctly remember swallowing an uncomfortably large hunk of bubble yum in 7th grade Spanish to avoid penalty).I skipped my third day as a freshman, but I had a signed note from my mom who didn’t have any problem with me attending an in-store signing by my favorite ska band, Save Ferris, as opposed to biology and p.e.
But by saying “good” I also mean damn convincing. My sick days weren’t always sick, and sometimes study sessions included trips to the mall. I’d never rival Ferris Bueller, but OH THE THINGS I WOULD INVENT if it meant I could sleep an extra 2 hours.
Before I had a job that required I be available and online and connected, I was slow to embrace certain technologies because I didn’t want to be tracked. I know, I sound like I’m referring to myself as a rare breed of migratory bird or a drug-runner BUT there are just some of us who like to retain a sliver of anonymity.Call us crazy.
As of 2009, it’s incredibly hard to avoid people, to play sick or to even two-time someone. I’m not saying this is admirable behavior, but let’s face it, honesty is NOT always the best policy and sometimes a girl needs a day to regroup, eat pirate booty and watch crime-drama all day.
With the popularity of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, AIM, unlimited texting packages, etc… there is no proverbial wool to pull over anyone’s eyes. Their eyes are all up in your business, all the time.
So I’m here to give you pointers. There are three key elements to running a ruse across all your social networks: LOGISTICS, COMMITMENT, and CONSISTENCY. Also knowing what you’re putting out there and being in control of all your privacy settings is crucial both before and after this crafty stratagem.
The tips I’ll give you here aren’t going to help you live off the grid, evade stalkerazzi or simulate the witness protection program—but they could navigate you around some awkward social situations or help you bailout of an event you’re dreading with every thread of your being.
Before you wave this article away to play bejeweled for the 845th time, you should probably know that tax collectors are using facebook and Twitter to corner tax evaders. True story.
You know how the phrase “everyone and their mother” used to be hyperbole? It’s not anymore—everyone and their mother IS online, and you better effin’ believe that they know how to use it by now.
You need to know the who/ what / where / when in advance. The why is irrelevant. Telling the truth is easier, but you haven’t chose that path, Obi Wan, so stop being laze-face about it and pay attention.
You know what helps me? Half truths. You don’t actually have the stomach flu, but when you opened your fridge this morning you smelled something RANK and that made you feel kinda gaggy.
Wicked insomnia? Well, those who choose to watch Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining in succession usually have problems drifting off into a sound slumber, but sometimes our bad decisions don’t need to be broadcast.
Are you staying in tonight to work on a project? Decide which project you would work on if this were true. Take about three minutes to envision yourself making progress. See? Now this is more an alternate reality than a hoax.
SECOND STEP: Commitment
Rich description is the key here. You feel like you’re going to die? Oh, come on, that is terribly unoriginal. Does Mother Nature have a vice grip on your fallopian tubes? Is traffic so bad you could’ve gotten out and done a series of sun salutations on the roof of your car? You don’t have to spew forth five-dollar words, just exert some effort.
Get your head in the game, because this is a performance. Slow your response time unless your ailment is accidentally ingesting amphetamines.
THIRD STEP: Consistency and Follow Through
People who have migraines don’t play FarmVille. If you’re bed-ridden, there should be nary a tweet about road rage. Are you working late? Don’t twitpic what may be the back of Mischa Barton’s head while you’re on a hike, then.
Cooperation amongst your sham pals is also crucial. You’re doomed if your getaway plan involves people who document every waking moment of their lives. Be straight with them—in order to make this hang time count, there should be no pics, no @ replies, no wall posts the next day saying, “It was so good to see you!”
There you have it, my wily readers—some tips for being elusive in a connected culture.