Catfish

Intro

We all know what catfish are; bottom feeders with fins and whiskers. That type of catfish isn't what has everyone talking. Catfish is a new mtv series that documents the face to face meeting of people who connect over social networking sites such as facebook. These people meet face to face to realize the other person was lying about who they were (hook, line, and sinker). Catfish the tv series is based off of the Catfish documentary. In the documentary, they defined Catfish in the following paragraph:
"They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They'd keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fin. " - Vince Pierce


Examples

The biggest hoax of catfish to date is the Manti Te'o story. Manti is a Notre Dame football star who had an online relationship with a woman suffering from leukemia for nearly a year. He received lots of positive media attention for the relationship until it was confirmed that the woman never really existed. Shocked? Here comes the big finale. There is speculation that Manti was involved in the scam to gain publicity! If that is the case, disgusting. However, if he was flamboozled, then shame on other people for using a leukemia story to take advantage of someone. The Manti Te'o story along with numerous others have left us in a state of uncertainty on whether or not to pursue online relationships through social media.

The examples on the tv series are a little more low profile. All of them have a back story of lies, though. One guy lied about what he looked like because he used to be a girl (now a transgender). Another guy lied about being an international model, because he was a bus driver. One woman pretended to be a guy to keep the other woman away from her boyfriend. Another girl pretended to be a guy to multiple women, because she said she was bored. All of these stories have a twist and make for great TV. The sad reality is that it happens more often as people use social media more and more to build romantic relationships.


Me social networking in sweats

Why?

So why do we do it? It depends on which side take. You could be the honest person who is fully committed to wanting to fall in love and meet Mr./Mrs. Right. You choose social networking because it is popular and easy. Everyone in today's society has Facebook. Talking online means you don't have to put on makeup or gel your hair. You can sit in your sweats and fall in love! Let's face it, we are all so busy in life that we can't sit down at a bar and mingle with strangers.

Then there is the side of the liar. Don't be offended if you are one of the liars, you are lying after all. Let's not sugarcoat this. You are the person who hides behind the internet. This perspective changes depending on what you decide to lie about. You may lie about your looks, job, where you live, other relationships, and many other things. The lying may stem from insecurities. You may lie because you want companionship, but have no interest in meeting the person. You may do it to get revenge on someone (which has been done on the tv show), or you may lie because you have another relationship. My advice? I do not support polygamy so stick with one relationship. One relationship takes up enough of your time anyways.

Why Social Networks?

Social Media
Social networks don't do background checks. You can put in almost any information to become anybody you want. This is what makes social networking an "iffy" place to meet the love of your life. Facebook accounts can be made by anyone with access to the internet. It offers messaging and chatting. There is a new Tinder App for smartphones. This shows a picture of someone near you who also has the app. You can swipe the picture a certain way if you like the picture. If that person swipes your picture, it shows up as a match and you can chat/connect. This is another way to interact with complete strangers without any restrictions. Online dating sites require a bit more information to ensure credibility. Plus, if you pay for online dating sites you are more than likely looking for a companion you will want to meet in person.

Experience

Who am I to talk? I have never pursued a relationship online. I am one of those "don't trust the world" freaks. Who knows what kind of psycho I would attract online. I do not want to meet the next Craigslist killer. My friend, Jessica Havel, has the Tinder App. We were sitting in Qdoba and she swiped that she liked the picture of a guy named Brennan. His pictures showed us that he played hockey and was within her 100 mile range. He swiped her back and they made a match!! So what did we do? We started our own research. We found out he plays hockey for a MN high school academy, is 18 years old, team captain, has 12 goals, and plays a game in Bagley, MN today (February 12, 2013). We decided he was a little too young for her so we didn't pursue him. The bottom line is that the internet has a wealth of information and if you know how to use it, you can discover a lot about a simple person just from a picture.
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