Being Played

Written July 9, 2017

“We try our hardest to avoid these kinds of people at all costs, but sometimes we find ourselves facing players.  A player may have so much going on, but there’s just something a little… off.  Something about your relationship doesn’t feel entirely authentic, and you can’t pinpoint exactly what…He might be playing you, and it’s time for you to break free before things get out of control.” ~Social Media Post   

“A lie is an affront to the soul, as well as an insult to the intelligence of the person to whom one lies.” ~ Judith McNaught, Something Wonderful

“Never hide things from hardcore thinkers. They get more aggravated, more provoked by confusion than the most painful truths.” ~ Criss Jami

After a recent social media incident that happened to me, I thought I’d write about being on the receiving end of being lied to, or rather, being played as a fool. We’ve all been on both sides of this subject. I know I have. I think lying is something we all do at some point in our lives. I believe it starts when we are very young. For example, say(when you were little) you are playing by yourself or with your friend and one of you does something you shouldn’t have or you break something. To avoid getting in trouble you tell a lie. “I didn’t do it mommy/daddy! (Your friend) did it!…” followed by why something happened. If we get away with it we usually do it again and again and again… Next thing you know you’re doing it until something stops you.

Why do we do this?  As I said earlier, usually it’s so that we don’t get in some sort of trouble.

Now, put the shoe on the other foot. You the one being lied to or you’re being played. How does that feel to you? Pretty crappy I’ll bet. It’s not something that only happens in romantic relationships or between you and another person in your life. It also happens in the wide open world of the internet.

I’m sure many of you’ve gotten the emails from someone who says they are a long lost family member who’s in trouble in another country and they need you to send money. Other emails say they are a lawyer for some long lost family member who has passed away and left you an inheritance. To help this person or get your inheritance you need to send certain personal information. Unfortunately what actually happens is that your identity gets stolen along with all your money you have. Sadly a dear friend fell into this trap and, yes, he had many problems after doing that.

Today besides these types of emails we have social media accounts that get hacked all the time. The person who hacks our accounts tries to pretend to be us and attempts to do some dishonest things with the information they get. Maybe even scam our own friends.

And this is just a snippet of what happens. What causes us to fall for such schemes, shams and bamboozles? I have a couple of ideas on this.

One thing I’ve noticed that humans tend to be impulsive and we quite often jump to react or respond(not always for the good either). Perhaps this is because we’ve become a society that can get results and responses much quicker than 20, 10, even 5yrs ago. In the past if we wanted to communicate with someone who lived numerous miles away we either sent a letter via the Pony Express(literally called that) or a note on a carrier pigeon. Then…we waited…for…a reply.  

Today we communicate much, much faster. We’ve gone from very large clunky computers to smaller desk top ones and to ones, today, that we carry in our pockets/purses. Sometimes within moments, from virtually no matter where we are in the world, we can communicate with each other in blink of an eye. We use them wherever we are. Places like the line at the supermarket, the waiting room at our doctor’s office, at work sitting on a break or (good grief)sitting on the toilet. If we go shopping online, many things can be shipped to us in a matter of days within a country. All of our information is transmitted thru the airwaves. However, there are things we can do to avoid being played.

I have been the target of electronic scams. The more I leave my electronic footprint, the more I’ve run into trouble. Usually I’ve only gotten emails that go thru my spam filter but I’ve recently begun to get spam text messages on my phone. One time I almost fell for a scam for a job offer via a text message. Thankfully I’ve been able to see thru the BS and realize it was all fake before I had to change my phone number and/or email address or worse

Something I’ve learned as I’ve grown older. If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is. If you get an email notice saying you’ve won something or you have a long, lost, really distant family member in need of your help then stop and think about the actual chances that it’s real. If at all possible, even if it’s not, wait and do research. Ask another trusted person’s thoughts. There are lots of creepy people out there who do some really creepy things.

Now, I’m not saying to think that everyone is out to get you. What I am saying to use your common sense. There’s a saying that a healthy dose of skepticism is good. My mom used to say, “God gave you 2 eyes, 2 ears a mouth and a brain. Use them and use them wisely.” Whether it’s with a human standing in front of you, on the news, or someone sending you suspicious email, remember there are a whole bunch of nefarious people who do things we read in sci-fi novels or see on TV.

Thought for the day: The Benjamin Franklin saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as true today as it was when Franklin made the quote. Although Franklin was actually was addressing fire safety, it can apply to most things in life.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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