I Don’t Like Catfish

I hope you never have to deal with finding out the Italian, hunky guy you met online is really an old Asian woman. Yes, people are still out here trying to catfish people, ya’ll.

If you don’t know what “catfishing” is, you probably don’t know any millennials. The term derived from a documentary filmed years ago, by a handsome young man who fell in love with a beautiful girl online. You know, online? Where chivalry, decency, and morals go to die, but where you’re supposed to be open to finding love? Long, and predictable story short, the guy documents his journey to meet the love of his life who ended up being an older lady who changed her voice and had been using the photographs of a beautiful stranger to lure him in. So, not creepy at all. Although the star of the film, Nev, didn’t find love online, he turned his experience into a wildly successful MTV series entitled “Catfish”, where he chronicles the tales of other people thinking they found love online. Most of the episodes have a similar theme::

  • Optimistic, bubbly person has found ” THE ONE” online. The one is extremely attractive and has a lot of selfies online
  • An excessive amount of texts and phone calls occur over a period of 6 months to  a year
  • Person tries to video chat, Facetime, or Skype with their new boo, who seems to have a connection problem
  • Person tries to plan a meeting between the two, but something always comes up with new boo (money, jail, car accidents, etc.)
  • Person finally get suspicious and contacts MTV
  • Nev and team do proper recognizance and finalize a meeting between the parties- usually in Missouri or Idaho
  • They meet a the person’s house, and you usually find out it’s a girl. But you thought it was a man. And she plump, with a bad attitude and no regrets
  • Teaser for next failed love story rolls on the ending credits

You always watch this show and think, “I would never let this happen to me!”, but you also empathize with the people on there, because the end game is love. In the end, that’s what we all want, or at least I did when I still had hope. I have been in a self-induced, bitter/jaded stage, pretending to be ok with it for quite some time now. Yet, once again, my friends are the ones who still have hope. One of my besties convinced me to get online again, just to keep my options open. Knowing I was going to encounter the same crap, I hesitated, but since I haven’t been on a date since the Flashdance Incident of 2017, I acquiesced. I’ve been back on the Love Nets for about a month or so now, and it’s been about the same, except that I was catfished twice in the last few weeks, so there’s that. Apparently people are still trying to trick people- and the show is still on!

Have we not learned from our MTV victims? I would think that people on both sides would have learned by now. Potential victims would know that if your online boo’s web cam never works, it’s probably a weird dude in a basement somewhere. And the perps? They should know by now that no person in their right mind would “date” them for over a year, confess their love, and pay their phone bill without ever meeting. But this phenomenon is alive and well, and tried to get me, and I was not having it. So I’m here to give you all  tips on how to avoid getting into a messy online “relationship” with someone who you think is 35-year old Kevin from Boston, but who is actually 18-year old Kayla from Wisconsin with low self-esteem:

  1. They use WhatsApp or Google hangouts to communicate: You appear to have great conversation, a bit of a connection- great! So you don’t hesitate to provide your digits when they ask. But instead of calling or texting, they hop on of the above mentioned apps to chat. Now I’m all about saving on your phone or data plan, but I can confirm that every single person who has tried to catch me in their catfish net sent me random messages on these apps.
  2. They’re in the military: Apparently, a big scheme in the online dating world is to pretend to be a soldier, and to rope women into falling in love with your service. I was probably messaged by a dozen or more “soldiers”, who all seemed a bit suspicious. All texts were in Broken English, and everyone was always out in the war zone somewhere. Really, there’s a war going on in Galveston, TX? The first time I was catfish prey, I thought I was talking to a soldier when I encountered the high-pitched, slightly creepy voice of an 85-year-old Asian grandma. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
  3. A sudden work trip takes them overseas: Ok, we both live in Miami, great. I’m thinking coffee or drinks are in our near future. All of a sudden, your very important job has taken you to Dubai or Paris. You’ll see me when you get back, which will be in a month, but you’re not sure…
  4. They ask you obvious questions: My profile tells you my age, where I live, and the area of my profession. But you still ask me where I live? And I ask you what neighborhood you reside in ( since we’re in the same city), and you say Miami, Florida. Huh?
  5. They ask you for money: Why would you give money to stranger? That you’ve never met before, who never wants to talk on the phone? I barely want to split the bill at lunch with coworkers, let alone lend Fabio in France $100 bucks. If a person who claims to have a great job suddenly ran out of funds on their work trip, clearly knows NO ONE ELSE in the world, but kindly asks you to buy them an iTunes or Amazon gift card in their desperate time of need, don’t you dare scratch off the back of the card and send them a pic of the serial number.


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