07
Oct
14

Stealing a moment

I have a lot to catch up on – not the least of which is writing in my blog. I was inspired to try to write a brief post (instead of my normal War & Peace type offering,) when I visited my “Blogs I Follow” page and caught up with all the lovely bloggers that I read regularly. While I was enjoying their posts and admiring their discipline in writing for more often than I, I realized that something seemed familiar about one post I was reading. I felt like I had read it before. The story was brief, shocking, funny and memorable. Which is why, because it felt like a re-run, I figured it must have been something that was re-blogged or forwarded from another website. I scrolled to the bottom of the entry to see where the original piece had been featured only to find a brief bio of the “author” – the same young woman whose name was prominently featured on the top of the page as blog owner. Huh. I peered at her photo for a second thinking that she actually looked to be a bit too young to have been a teen during the time she claimed that this story of her youthful escapade took place. Scrolling further, I glanced at the reader comments under her article and bio. Every single one of the comments mentioned that the article was plagiarized. People called her out for copying the work from a national magazine and for not giving credit.

What the hell?

I’ll be the first to admit that there is a fine art to storytelling and comedy that allows for taking someone else’s joke, experience or story and making it your own or spinning it in a way that makes it more interesting or funny. I don’t mind that sort of thing done for comedic intent. Stating something deadpan and saying “I swear to God, totally true” is not okay unless you crack up and let the person off the hook after the punchline, in my opinion.

People on Twitter are always flapping about “stolen tweets” as if the goal wasn’t to “re-tweet” those 140 characters into anonymous oblivion. Stealing a blog and calling it your own? That makes about as much sense as writing a fake entry in your journal. What’s the point?

As usual, I feel the need to answer myself.

It’s the same wacky “pride” that makes someone give a shit about the number of stars and re-tweets they get on Twitter or “likes” on Facebook. Some people live by the number of followers that they have and monitor their stats religiously.

Obviously this is not me. I have so many partly-finished drafts and unfinished bits that my blog dashboard (and actual desktop) is littered with messy little pieces of myself. Just like a real diary.

The idea of stealing someone else’s words and posting them here as my own? A repugnant thought and gross violation – for both of us.

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