In East Texas if you say you got a catfish, you are talking about an actual fish. However Catfish is also slang for creating a fake profile on social media to create false identities. There is a television show on MTV based on this concept.
The term Catfish came about based on how seafood suppliers had trouble shipping live cod from the U.S. to China. The fish would be inactive during the trip causing the meat to become mushy. Suppliers found if they put a catfish in the tank with the cod, they stayed active.
So for those who have not seen the show, let me break it down for you. They show a person who has had a long term relationship with someone they met online. However, they have never met or seen the person. Their relationship consists of just the pictures they have posted on social media and some will have phone conversations. The show investigates the person’s love interest and arranges for the two to meet. Each time their love interest lies about who they are, what they look like, and on one episode the person even lied about their gender.
If you are not the MTV watcher, I suggest you watch the show Catfish at least once. I find it very interesting. It is hard for me to understand how a person can have a relationship with someone they have never met and have no details about their true lives. The duped people come off looking desperate, naive, and sad. One person believed the person they were having an online relationship with was a model and a beauty queen. I am not saying he is not worthy of a beauty queen but why didn’t this guy realize that a true beauty queen would have face to face time with him.
It is hard to trust people and meeting people online adds another element that participants should be weary of. If you meet someone online, you should video chat with them right away. It is so easy to grab pictures of someone else and pose as them. You would think that most people would do this, but they don’t. I don’t understand why. A simple online search would tell you if the person you are chatting with is indeed being honest.
Being duped by your significant other is already prevalent with adding the online element. I had a friend whose father had two families. This was nearly 30 years ago. The cheating father told each family he drove trucks and was on the road three or four days out of the week. In actuality he just had a family on opposite sides of town. He kept up this lie for nearly 20 years. When my friend was 19 she went to a grocery store on the other side of town by chance and saw her father with his other family. She confronted him and slowly the man’s lies came to light. Can you imagine this? I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t know her personally.
If you are searching for love please don’t let your good nature be your downfall. It doesn’t matter if you are meeting someone online, in person, pen pals, or through a friend. Use common sense. It amazes me how some of the smartest people can be so dumb when it comes to love.
I would be scolded for not mentioning Manti Te’o recent situation where he was duped by a man posing as a women and became his girlfriend. Manti who plays for Notre Dame and was a Heisman Trophy hopeful. A lot of people’s first reaction was that he had to be in on the hoax and he did it for attention. As the story unfolded, it appears he was actually duped and is now the punchline for many jokes.
It can happen to anyone. Remember actress Anne Hathaway whose boyfriend turned out to be a scam artist. If you take my advice and watch the show, you first reaction may be like mine. “How stupid can these people be?” However if you really think about it, they just want love and people who are searching for love can be duped in person as well as online.
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