During class the other day, some things we talked about included online identity and online dating. A person’s online identity can literally portray any person the individual chooses, either as near or as far away from their true identity as the person pleases. Now of days, online dating is becoming more popular and allows people to meet a vast amount of people that they would normally never get to meet in their everyday lives. One would hope that when participating in online dating or starting a relationship with someone that was met online that both parties are portraying their real identity in their online identity, however that is not always the case. It is normal to maybe not tell every aspect of your life online but it is a completely different story when one completely uses a different identity to pass off as themselves. “Catfishing” is a new trend commonly found in online dating where at least one person in the relationship uses a false identity and portrays themselves as a completely different person then they actually are. Catfishing is so common that there has been a movie and a television show dedicated to it. A documentary named Catfish features a man named Nev Schulman who entered an online relationship. The two got to know each other more through Facebook, calling, and texting. He eventually gained feelings for her and wanted to meet her. After doing some investigating of the information she gave and things she said about herself, Nev located her and found out that the woman had lied about her identity using someone else’s picture, lying about her age, location, and basically her whole life.
After this happened Nev got to know the real person who he was talking to and they became friends however he confessed that after his experience he received tons of emails about people who had experiences similar to his. This is what inspired MTV’s Catsifh: The TV Show. Nev and his friend Max Joseph take new cases every week. They reply to emails people send to them about their long distance relationships with people that they have met online. There are almost always complaints that the other person will not video chat for some odd reason and the facts given by the other person do not always match up or make sense. Nev and Max visit the person who sent the email and in the end make it so the two in the relationship meet for the time. Almost always the other person in the relationship has lied about who they are leaving the other disappointed and sometimes devastated. I personally love this show and it is crazy to see how common “Catfishing” occurs.
From learning about the “Catfishing” trend, it is important to note that if anyone if going to enter into an online relationship, there is always the possibility that he other person is not being honest and that is something to be careful of. Even something so common as Facebook profiles can be fake and not only cause problems for the person who is being lied to in an online relationship but also to the person whose identity has been stolen. I would not discourage online dating or anything of the sort because people have the right to meet people how they choose, but I would definitely advocate honesty and caution of all the possibilities when entering into an online relationship.
Catfish(film). (2014, February 20). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfish_(film)
Catfish: The TV show. (2014, February 24). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfish:_The_TV_Show