Recent hoax creates online relationships buzz


Renata Poet Williams

Manti-Te'oOn Jan. 16, news broke of the possibility that the inspirational story of University of Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te’o and his girlfriend was completely fabricated. In September, Manti Te’o reported he lost his grandmother to cancer and his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, to Leukemia within the span of one day. He reported that he promised Kekua that he would continue to play football even if something were to happen to Kekua and that their last words to each other were, “I love you.”
He went on to lead Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season and a bid for the Heisman Trophy. The Deadspin reported, however, that the inspirational story of Lennay Kekua was a hoax used to make Te’o a leader for the Heisman Trophy. Te’o on the other hand, claims that he never actually met Kekua and was committed to her through an online relationship.
Bearing News asked students around RBHS:
1. To what extent can people build real relationships having met only online?
2. Under what circumstances would Te’o be considered a victim of a hoax?

Sophomore Matt Cecil
Matt Cecil, sophomore
“I guess [it’s possible to form a real relationship online], people have met online a lot. I mean there’s relationship websites and people have found their wives or husbands on [them] and [have] good relationships.”
“I think [Te’o is] not a victim because he was the one who got it out there and talked about it, and he got so into it and made everybody believe it.”
Sophomore Matthew Fields
Matthew Fields, sophomore
“Not really because you don’t really know who you’re talking to, and [they] could be fake, and if it’s a real person, then I guess you got lucky.”
“If [Te’o] really was in a relationship with this person and actually had feelings for her, but turns out she’s fake, [then he would be a victim].”
Senior Victor Vu
Victor Vu, senior
“I don’t think it’s possible because you have not [met] in person.”
“I have no idea. He made his girlfriend up, that’s why this event was considered a hoax”
Sophomore Tamisha Rhodes
Tamisha Rhodes, sophomore
“Well I don’t think it’s possible, because you might feel like you like them, but you don’t know who they are, so they could be someone else.”
“I don’t think [Te’o] is a victim because he shouldn’t have said his girlfriend died if his grandma died.”
Sophomore Kayla Hires
Kayla Hires, sophomore
“I don’t think that it is. How do you know the person’s really who they say they are? And that’s what his problem is. He didn’t know supposedly this person is really who they said that were.”
He would be a victim “if the person lied and made up this fake person to mess with him.”
Junior Harry Stanton
Junior Harry Stanton
Harry Stanton, junior
“No, because there’s so much you don’t know about the person. I mean just knowing someone online is really not the same as knowing them in person.”
“I don’t know what he’d be a victim of exactly. Well, since it’s online, it’s really hard to tell, isn’t it? Since its online, it just makes everything harder. It’d be much easier to tell if it wasn’t online, and that’s why online dating is weird.”
Mugs and quotes by Renata Williams
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