Today: Jun 16, 2024

Are Catfish worth catching?

Ali Iacono – Staff Writer

Once upon a time, two human beings crossed paths and eventually, through countless mushy conversations, as well as physical attraction, their hearts became one. And they lived happily ever after. The end?

Not so fast.

Though this sounds like the ideal situation for a brewing and successful relationship, there is one huge factor that needs to be addressed; the two have never actually met face to face.

For my fellow MTV fans, (it’s nothing to be ashamed of) this situation may sound rather familiar to you. For those of you who are anti-MTV, and probably now anti-me, you most likely have no idea where I’m going with this.

This is the idea behind Catfish; no I’m not referring to the actual fish, but rather a television show that was based off of a documentary. Nev Schulman created a documentary about his online relationship with a girl named Megan.

However, as the film and his online relationship progressed, Nev began to question the sincerity behind Megan’s stories. Eventually, Nev and his crew flew out to meet Megan; however, upon arrival they meet Angela, a 40ish-year-old woman.

Nev used his personal experience of online deception to help others who are in online relationships to meet their supposed soul mate.

Though the show has become extremely popular, and people such as myself anxiously await a new episode every Monday night, I can’t help but feel slightly frustrated by some of the people on the show. And by slightly frustrated, I mean the majority of these people were just complete idiots.

These people brought a whole new meaning to the saying “love is blind”.

First off, half the people on the show have never even video chatted with their “other half” and they all have the same excuse: that their lover doesn’t own a webcam. Um, hello?! Pretty sure my webcam was about $20 and Skype is a FREE program! Let’s get real here people.

One of the guys on the show even fell for the “I don’t own a cell phone” trick. I understand money is tight for some people, but the reality is the majority of the world has a cell phone or at least a landline number. Worst comes to worst, use a pay phone! There really isn’t any excuse for communication beyond Facebook chat to take place especially if the couple claims to be committed to one another.

When I was in high school, I met someone online during the glorious days when MySpace was the “it” thing. Despite my young age, I never fully allowed myself to believe that the person I was talking to was who they claimed to be. Though he assured me his name was Bryan and that he lived in Shelton, I never completely accepted it. The idea that I could be chatting with a creepy 50-year-old dude haunted me, but I was still willing to communicate with him because I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations.

One day, a close friend of mine informed me that she had actually gone to high school with Bryan. Looking at his MySpace images, she assured me Bryan was in fact Bryan. However, that didn’t rule out the fact that someone could have stolen his pictures and created a fake MySpace page. Of course, these were the days before Skype so seeing him physically would only occur face-to-face.

It wasn’t until Bryan got a job at the Hollister in the Milford Mall, about four plus years since we first started talking online, when I decided to give in and meet him for the first time. I remember my nerves taking full control of my body as I entered the dark store; I felt like I was going to throw up (maybe the overwhelming amount of body fragrance in the air had something to do with it).

I remember texting Bryan to let him know I was there. As the text sent I became more and more nervous. Was this just a plot to get me in a dark area to kidnap me? I mean, the store has blaring, obnoxious music so no one would be able to hear my screams. As I stood with a cold stare in front of a rack of clothing, a voice broke my nervous thought process.

I looked up and, sure enough, it was Bryan.

Bryan and I ended up expanding our relationship beyond MySpace; we became Facebook friends, texting buddies, and we hung out in person on numerous occasions. After all the years of countless conversations and possible deception, we found ourselves absolutely crazy about each other, whic only lasted a month.

In the end, my online relationship was anything but a fairytale. Though Bryan was actually Bryan, we soon realized our conversations flowed easier in the online universe versus reality. We broke off our newborn romance and remained close friends for a few more years before he moved to California and decided to unfriend me from Facebook, and life.

When it came to my online friendship/relationship, I was extremely cautious. I never fully committed myself to this person until I finally felt comfortable meeting face-to-face. Technology is amazing, but it can also lead to trouble. Be safe when talking to anyone online or you could end up being a victim of Catfish.

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