I have a confession to make.
Catfish is my guilty pleasure. And I’m not talking about the fish, although fried catfish is mighty delicious.
Earlier this year, I was scrolling through the cable guide, and I kept seeing this show called “Catfish” on MTV. But I never tuned into the show. I had no idea what it was. And for whatever reason, I was never interested enough to actually change the channel to MTV. I thought that “Catfish” was a totally weird name for a show, but MTV also has a lot of weird and random shows. What ever happened to the music videos? I digress.
A few months ago, after seeing “Catfish” on the guide, and nothing else to watch on TV (I know, such a #firstworldproblem) the name finally piqued enough of my interest to check it out. I had no idea what to expect, but considering that I give most television shows at least ten seconds of my time before flipping the channel, I thought, “Why not?”
WHY DIDN’T I DISCOVER CATFISH SOONER?!
It’s one of the most fascinating shows out there because people are crazy. I quickly learned that “Catfish” is a term, as defined by Urban Dictionary, “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” So if one has been “catfished”, they have been duped online. There was even a storyline on Glee about it. Ryder got catfished by Unique. The football player from Notre Dame, Manti Te’o also got catfished.
I’m sure that with the advent of social media and texting and accessibility to communication has made it so easy to connect, even with liars. But the whole Catfish came to light when the series’ creator, Nev, was Catfished himself and made a movie about it. (I haven’t seen the movie). But it resonated with enough people to make a reality show on MTV.
The thing that completely blows my mind is that so many of the people on the show go on with these online romances for YEARS without ever meeting, whether it’s via Skype or Facetime or in person. And I’d say 80% of the time, it ends up in a hot mess. However, I’ve seen two episodes where the person on the other side of the computer turned out to be legit!
I might be a bit obsessed.
But here’s the thing you can learn from Catfish…if you enter into an online “relationship” with someone, make sure you do a little investigating. At least try to find out if they are who they say they are, especially before you get emotionally invested for YEARS. Smartphones make it SO.EASY. to see who you are talking to. Skype is FREE. I guess it just amazes me that people never make the effort to really meet. Ever heard of “Stranger Danger”?
Do some research, or you may need to call Nev and Max.