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Shelley's Adventures on the Internet Part 3 - CATFISH

These Catfish have got me really riled up.

And no I don’t mean actual fish, I mean the people creating fake profiles on Facebook to hook
unsuspecting relationship seekers! AKA CATFISH !  Just look at everything that's happening to Manti Te'o right now…

I first heard about this a few years ago when a movie was released about a man (Nev) who fell in love with a woman on Facebook, only she wasn’t who she said she was and he ended up finding out and having his heart broken. His brother filmed the whole thing. That movie has now sprouted into a show on MTV, where Nev helps people discover if they’ve found real, genuine relationships on facebook…or catfish.

The show is riveting, I’m addicted. The red flags are everywhere but these people are blinded by love! Or maybe it’s the sense of security Facebook creates. The signs that something fishy is going on go unnoticed and it’s up to Nev and his friend Max to discover the truth.

The way they do this really got me thinking about people and the ever-changing Internet…AGAIN.

The way Nev and Max uncover these fake profiles is simple: They take the profile photos and drop them into Google images, then they call the supposed “friends” of the person they are researching and ask, “do you know this person? Have you met this person?” etc. They get to the truth so quickly, while some poor person has been utterly duped by a string of excuses:

“She doesn’t have a webcam.”
“His cell phone is broken.”
“She moved across the country.”

What do we really know about the people we friend on Facebook? Unless you personally know them, have physically met them, seen them, spoken to them etc., who’s to say who’s on the other end of that profile? To me the internet was once a somewhat scary place where you had to be very careful of who you spoke to and what information you shared. Now, it’s a place to broadcast who you are, what you do, what you eat, where you eat it, when you eat it and why!

With all this transparency, it’s amazing we aren’t catching more catfish out there.

Lately I have been noticing how the Internet is bringing us together, but I wonder… WHO is the internet bringing us to?

And why are we so quick to follow?

Who knows what I’ll discover next…

Shelley Out

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