It has recently become apparent to me that “cheating” has become an acceptable practice among children and adults alike.
I don’t necessarily mean that everyone is a “cheater” by the most common definition. I do mean that taking the easy way out has become the normal way to do things. I, too, am guilty of these practices. I’ve been going to school for the past fourteen years and, I’ll admit, I hate to do the work (especially reading for English class). There aren’t many people out there who do like it. So instead of doing everything the hard way, I took the plunge into the world of Cliff’s Notes. Oh, joy! How long did it take you to read Homer’s The Odyssey back in high school or college? Days? Weeks? It took me one day to read it. And The Illiad, too. And how long did it take you to find all the unlockable characters in the new Smash Brothers for the Wii? A week? A month? No, you went to Mahalo and got every cheat code, walkthrough and unlockable secret from them the day it went out to the public.
Trust me, I am guilty of all of these forms of “cheating”. I also am not preaching about the virtue of not cheating. I just happened to notice that just in the several years I have been in school and been introduced to the “real world”, there has been a distinct shift in the way things get done. From reading to video games to travel, everyone wants to be done first. There is no room for wasted time because our lives have been so jam-packed with to-do lists, RSS feeds and busy work that we don’t have the time to sit down and enjoy an entire book or play through an entire game to find all the secrets.
Is this type of cheating bad, though? Well I guess it really depends on the type of person that you are. Personally, I believe it is a victimless crime. The only person you could potentially be hurting is yourself. But then again, isn’t the reason you’re doing it to save time anyway? Recently I actually did sit down and beat Halo 3 with no help from the internet or friends. Just good, old-fashioned game playing and logic. Plus it was challenging. Who would’ve thought something hard could be fun?
So what do you think? Is this type of cheating hurtful or beneficial?