Ahh, this delightful age we live in.
So one of the odder stories involving new media technology broke yesterday, and already the web has responded hilariously. Or cruelly. Depends on whether you believe University of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te’o.
See, Te’o was head over heels in love with his girlfriend Lennay Kekua — a Stanford athlete to whom Te’o was introduced online. After months of dating over the phone and online, Kekua was seriously injured in a car accident. During her hospital stay, the doctors found out she had terminal leukemia. She ended up dying on September 11th, 2012 (jesus, just a bad day for everyone) — the same day as his grandma. Here’s the kicker though: Lennay Kekua never died. Because she never existed.
A person falling for a “Catfish” (seriously, watch the movie; it’s uncanny) in this day and age is apparently fairly common (enough so that MTV made a reality TV show of the same name). We all want love, and if that means that we’ve gotta go online to find it, so be it — even if we’re top-rated NFL prospects. But there are some odd inconsistencies in this story of a guy falling for the ol’ “pretty girl online is actually some scumbag weirdo guy” hoax. Chief amongst them is: If you’re in love with this girl and you talk for hours on the phone every night (as Te’o contends they did), then why not go to her funeral? Or that Te’o allegedly continued to cite his love for the dead girlfriend even after he “found out” it was all a hoax? Something is rotten in South Bend.
So now, internet smartasses have crafted up the newest meme sensation: Te’oing. It’s simple — just throw your arm around your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend and snap a picture. We’ve provided a visual gallery below for those of you who don’t know how to read. Hopefully though, Manti Te’o himself has a good enough sense of publicity to one day soon contribute his own picture. Hey, it worked for McKayla Maroney.