Catfishing - Is it still a thing?
This is a legitimate question that I ponder quite regularly, but mostly recently, because off the back off wedding fever, I spent a couple of days in bed sick watching bulk Catfish the TV Show on Stan and serendipitously last week, also read an excerpt from Casey Donovan's new memoir which speaks at lengths about her own catfish experience.
ICYMI – Catfishing became a more public thing post a documentary about a young man Nev (who now does the TV show for MTV) on the hunt for a woman he fell in love with online and then discovered was not at all who he thought it was. It's messed up. It's a truly disturbing thing to do and it frosts my cookies greatly because it makes online dating less appealing and super shady.
So it will come as no surprise to you that, generally speaking, both catfishes and catfishees suffer from some form of extreme self-doubt, low self-esteem and limited self-worth. These are the situations that are truly so sad to watch. People that have been speaking to people for YEARS because they feel like they have made a true connection and have found someone to confide in, a safe space. For the catfishes their prey are generally people that they themselves want to be friends with or associate with. It's a complicated and very sad situation and I am empathetic to these cases although morally still not OK with it.
But then you get the real crazy catfishes, who are out to publically humiliate people or get their kicks from luring people in only to bring people down. I know of two recent instances of women meeting men off today's online dating apps, chatting for a bit, now when I say a bit not YEARS more like weeks, who then have met with these people only to be confronted with someone who wasn't the person they thought they had been talking to OR were stood up completely.
This is not OK and the reason for me writing this particular post is because of my extreme binge watching of the show has given me many tips and tricks to spotting a catfish a mile away. The most common form of this shiz these days is the Facebook friending and online dating profiles. Seriously, most of this is common sense but there are people out there with ridiculous amounts of time of their hands who make profiles look legitimately real! It's wild. So here are a few tips to avoid these things altogether.
If a hot model from Miami, with a neat rig and smouldering eyes (male or female) sends you a friend request, that's a clear red flag.
If you decide to throw caution to the wind, you know a few wines down the hatch, and think 'f*ck it" then hit accept, I then urge you to just have a peruse of their friend list. If the majority of their friends is one sex biased and generally look like versions of you… I'm waving that red flag.
If within one second of you accepting the request, you get a DM with something along the lines of "hey cutie, thanks for the add, you're really hot!" I've now pulled out two big old red flags.
I get it though, sometimes you like to hear nice things about yourself and may want to indulge in that a little, so get to chatting more, exchanging numbers, and then one night your like 'hey! Let's video chat' and their like 'I'd love to but the camera is broken on my phone', I am at this point screaming at you to quit this keyboard warrior biz!
But seriously, if you have befriended a person and are chatting to them via the text. Just get one of your mates to do a scroll through their profile, particularly if it is a Facebook profile and see what they think. I once had someone ask me to do this and saw the person had a mutual friend with me so I messaged that friend and exposed that catfishes ass.
You can also do reverse image searches, so any photos that you have of the person you can search and see where else they show up, a very nifty thing to do indeed.
From an online dating profile standpoint, if someone is not wanting to meet face to face within a month, I would be concerned, after such a length of time you will have gotten comfortable enough to chat IRL and if that's not happen, I would move on.
It's a complicated and creepy phenomenon, most of the time, these finger buns can be picked up pretty quickly, but if you do find yourself in a position where you are just not sure, do some of the above and if you're still not sure, then just cut the ties or message me, I will totally get on that case.
Yours in true identity!