I decided to write this post after watching a few episodes of Catfish. For those that do not know, Catfish is a programme that reveals the deception that takes place via online dating.
The show airs on MTV and is hosted by Nev Schulman and Max Joseph. (Check an episode out if you get the chance). To sum up this programme briefly, it shows different individuals starting a relationship online with a person that they have never seen. In most cases later realising that the person is not in fact who they claimed to be, both physically and in regards to their personal profile (The Catfishes'). The catfishes claim to do this for numerous reasons such as, revenge, boredom, lack of self confidence and fear of acceptance. These relationships are formed online, with couples going up to two years without seeing one and other both in person or through video message. These relationships are solely maintained through messaging and phone calls. (shocking right) When watching this show or hearing about a catfish situation individuals have found themselves in, I really am left confused.
First two things that come to my mind are firstly, how do you get into a relationship with someone you have never seen? Secondly, how many times does a person have to avoid video messaging you, before you think wait hold on what’s going on here? The fact that some of these catfish scenarios play out for so long really baffles me. I genuinely can’t understand how these people can have a relationship with an individual for so long without seeing them. Personally I would have been suspicious after the first month, let alone years.
In this day and age digital media has become a social norm and for that reason a large amount of people have access to video messaging Apps such as web cam, face time and Skype. Therefore avoidance of communicating via these platforms should immediately set off alarm bells.
My personal opinion on this topic and how to avoid being catfished is simple, do not get into a relationship with a person you have not seen in person as they can be anyone. Yes you may like what they are saying to you but there is more to a relationship than words. You need to be completely sure of that persons identity, and if they fail to prove it to you. Cut of all ties!
On the other hand It really does sadden me that individuals would impersonate someone else in order to start a relationship online whatever their reason for this may be. I would love the catfish producers to create a programme that focuses on the life’s of the catfishes rather than on the victims. This will help us to gain a better understanding on what motivates them to create a fake identity and how they keep the lie going for so long.
I would love to know your views on this topic.