Catfish [Kat-fish] (noun) – Someone who pretends to be someone they are not online to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. They keep you guessing and on your toes.
Do you remember Xanga? I’ve always loved to write and in high school I had a Xanga blog with a pretty impressive following for a 16-year-old girl. One day, I noticed another blogger’s image that looked a lot like mine. I clicked on her page and discovered that it was me.. but not. She had taken all my pictures, changed my name, age and location and was blogging using my photos as her identity. Suddenly my face was associated with a 19-year-old girl from California named Jessica. I got the website to take it down and I cancelled my blog. I’ll never know who “Jessica” really was but the whole affair freaked me out.
The internet makes it possible to completely change your identity and pose as someone you’re not. This is becoming more common than ever because of the number of active users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and dating websites. Don’t even get me started on Tinder. Tinder was created for Catfish.
In case you have no idea what I’m ranting about, Catfish is an American documentary film about a guy who met a gorgeous girl named Megan on Facebook and started a romantic relationship with her. (SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Catfish yet, immediately stop reading. It’s something you want to experience without knowing the ending). “Megan” turned out to be an overweight, middle-aged woman named Angela who is unhappy with her life and took to her fantasy Facebook life as Megan Faccio. MTV picked up the documentary and is now killing it by turning it into a reality TV show, but I digress.
Imagine if the girl you met via Tinder and have been sexting is actually a middle aged woman or even worse, a dude. The unfortunate reality is that there are a lot of Catfish out there and you need to be suspicious of the people you meet online. That sexy 22-year-old girl named Lianna that you’ve been Facebook poking and texting might actually be a 53-year-old man named Boris. Check out the warning signs below to ensure that a man like Boris doesn’t wind up breaking your heart.
1. If every photo of her is absolutely stunning, that is a red flag. Girls that look like Minka Kelly don’t spend a lot of time meeting guys through social websites. She may look like a real, down-to-earth, girl next door type but the girl in the pictures might not even know someone is posing as her. Like how my photos were used on Xanga.
2. This might be obvious but if she won’t meet up with you in person, you need to seriously reevaluate the situation. If you two make plans and she cancels last minute or is just “really busy,” say goodbye because she’s probably 40lbs heavier than she has led you to believe. Or she’s a man.
3. If she starts using pet names like babe, sexts you or says romantic things like “I wish I could cuddle with you right now” or “It’s so good to hear your voice,” that is weird. Calling someone babe or sexting is something you do with someone you’re dating or boning or have at least MET.
4. You both talk everyday… but through Facebook chat, text message or phone calls. Surely, she is technologically advanced enough to figure out Skype or FaceTime, right? Another warning is if the phone calls occur at strange hours, like late at night. If she never answers your calls and then calls you back later, she is hiding something.
5. If she is out of state or foreign then she is most definitely a fake. Why would an attractive girl meet a guy on a social media platform that lives in another state or country and even bother talking to him? There is a slight possibility that there is a gorgeous European smokeshow out there who is obsessed with the idea of being with an American but the probability of you finding her is slim.
Think before you click.