We are the most social and yet the most antisocial generation.
We’re constantly ridiculed for being glued to our devices, connected to the entire world. How much more social can you get? And yet, we are antisocial for that very same reason, unable to connect with the people right in front of our faces.
It’s just easier for us to hide behind a screen than face any awkward face-to-face interaction and possible rejection.
There are plenty of fish in the sea, right? Well, why not fish in the ocean instead of a pond? It increases your chances of landing a better fish, statistically.
That is, unless you hook a Catfish.
For those of you that don’t know what a Catfish is, allow me to explain. A Catfish is a person who creates fake personal profiles on social media sites using someone else’s pictures and false biographical information to pretend to be someone other than themselves.
The term has been more widely known thanks to the story of Nev Schulman. In 2010, a documentary titled Catfish was released about his online relationship with a woman who was not honest about who she was.
In November 2012, MTV aired Catfish, the TV series hosted by Nev himself and his friend Max Joseph, telling the stories of people around the U.S. who are caught in the same situation. Their fourth season just premiered in February this year.
While online dating continues to grow in popularity and convenience, it still has a bad reputation. It’s still happening even though no one will admit it because we’re supposed to be ashamed of being emotionally effected by someone we’ve never met in person.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not crazy to meet people online and become interested in them considering just how many people in this country are on social media. The relationship may have began virtually, and while that doesn’t make it any less real, it does make it more dangerous.
Catfish take advantage of the camouflage that social media provides and use it to deceive those they connect with for their own personal thrill.
Schulman’s TV show exposes these kinds of relationships for what they truly are and how often Catfishing occurs.
There are definite tell-tale patterns that you’ve got a Catfish that I’ve learned mainly from watching Nev’s show and having a brain.
If they always have an excuse to not talk on the phone or video-chat with you, they’re probably a Catfish.
If for some reason they just can’t ever find the time to meet up with you, they’re probably a Catfish.
This seems like it is common sense, but there are people all over that have carried on real relationships like this for years!
Catfish aren’t only found on Facebook or Instagram. They’re on “official” dating websites just as often—Plenty of Fish, Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid. Word of advice: if someone seems “too good to be true,” then they probably are.
It’s hard to fight where technology is taking us and the dating trends that seem to ride right along with it, but there are ways to be smart about it.
If you get into an online relationship and you’re making plans to meet up, don’t go alone. Even if you have video-chatted with this person and you know they are who they say they are physically, that doesn’t mean everyone has the best of intentions once they get you where they want you.
It’s common behavior to be a little cautious when it comes to regular relationships, but in online relationships it is imperative because it is so much easier to hook someone that is too naïve to question things.
I know you’re all just as good at investigating as Nev, so get to creeping.
You need to find out what you’re getting yourself into before you end up as Catfish bait.