Now, America knows that Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o never had a girlfriend named Lennay Kekua.
Despite the fact that Notre Dame—and the national college football community as a whole—swooned over tidbits of Te’o’s tragic three-year romance, including Kekua having surviving a car accident only to, later, succumb to leukemia, his girlfriend was a fake. She never even existed. All she ever was were contrived messages on Twitter and elsewhere. Her pretty photograph had been stolen off the Facebook account of another woman.
Te’o insists he was duped by someone who wanted him to fall in love with an imposter, with a ghost created by today’s technology—a phenomenon known as “catfishing.” Yet, many inconsistencies in Te’o’s own story of the couple’s supposed romance raise the question of whether he was part of the scheme. If so, some theorize his motivation may have been to create a mythical, magical story to help propel him to the Heisman trophy.
Either way, Te’o needs psychological help. One version of the story paints him vulnerable enough and naďve enough to declare his love and devotion publicly for someone he had never even met, nor Skyped with, let alone kissed. That version has him grieving her death like a devoted husband—despite never having laid eyes on her, nor touched her. The other version of the story paints him as a co-conspirator in fraud and deception, willing to manipulate the feelings of millions of people for his own pleasure or advancement—a younger, even sicker version of Lance Armstrong.
And either way, Te’o is the poster boy for a phenomenon I have been writing about for years, and which threatens our culture in a dramatic way: The erosion of reality and embrace of fiction via social networking, “reality” TV and technology.
Call it The Delusion Disease.
The same forces that have fueled the creation of a generation of deluded narcissists, with more on the way, are hijacking our attention and emotions and making us devote them to false people and false stories. The tale of Te’o is a close relative to that of Balloon Boy—the fake story of a boy who was supposedly adrift inside a capsule beneath a homemade air balloon (when he was actually at home the whole time).
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/0...#ixzz2IM2HMLaj