Hooking Catfish Off the Dock of the Bay

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If the year was 1997 I may think Catfish was 100% real but that’s because I would be 10-years-old and the idea of the internet would still be so new to me that – well, I’d believe it. Now though, whether or not the people who get tricked into believing they are dating some hot chick in Florida when they are nothing more than a awkward dude in Idaho…I’m not sure, but this series showcases the horrendous side of online dating…in the most extreme way.

Catfish preys on our fear that the person we’ve met online is just some overweight man in a trailer in Alabama whose only joy in life is pretending to be some hot chick for attention. We don’t want that to happen. Who the hell would want to fall for “Sabrina” only to find out it was indeed Frank from Mountain Home, Arkansas? That is one of the main reasons some still remain hesitant about the whole online dating scene. The lies that can be fabricated and then bought in the matter of a few quick exchanges is astounding. That’s because when we put ourselves out there to meet someone, we’re making ourselves vulnerable. We’re opening up to someone we do not know and in some cases – we’ll get taken advantage of. With a lot of cases it’s a matter of the guy being closer to Prince Joffrey instead of Prince Eric when you finally meet in person, but in some you get completely caught up in some fantasy – which MTV then finds, airs and makes money off of.

Never having watching more than the movie this show spawned from, it seems like the people who are always tricked are lost or easily manipulative (well, duh). All they’re  looking for is someone to connect to. On the other end though it varies. Most recently there was a young woman who’d been pretending to be Katy Perry for some six years…six years! She made some random guy believe she was the pop singer and that he was in a long distance relationship with her. When confronted the girl showed no remorse and didn’t even apologize. It also came to light that she was somewhat of a troll online anyways – so she likely was void of emotion in that respect. While I think that sometimes the people on the other end playing pretend are just as lonely, I also think they’re kind of jerks. They not only toy with the emotions of the people they trick, but they also give meeting online a bad reputation.

Again, you’re going to have to take the bad with the good when you start dating but being Catfish’d is an extreme that doesn’t happen as often as MTV portrays it. All you have to do is what? Yup, be smart about it. Don’t get into a long distance relationship online for too long before you two meet up because you do not want to waste all that time with “Sabrina.” If you think it’s a sure thing, hello – we have Skype and Facetime now. Make them hop on and if they make an abundant amount of excuses as to why you can never see them in real time – break that off as soon as you can. Also, never give someone you’re talking to online money. This should be an obvious one but one too many have fallen victim to it only to find out they were givng to some scam artist and not a hot babe. Falling for someone takes over a part of your brain, and I get that. I’ve been there – but it’s easier to get over a jerk than it is to get over a jerk who was pretending to be someone else.

Being Catfish’d is second worst thing that can happen when it comes to meeting someone online. The first is murder. Did you see that recent Plenty of Fish story? Anyways, that shouldn’t scare you from logging on and trying it. And I mean really trying, not just getting the app and swiping here and there. Remember what Aziz Ansari said, online dating only works when you move from the screen to face to face.

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