It's safe to say “catfishing” has become the latest craze in our modern day world. It has been sufficiently bolstered in the media by both the successful television show on MTV, which delves into inherent untruths in the online dating world, and Manti Te'o, Notre Dame's star football player and runner up to the Heisman trophy, and his very public catfish duping.
Being fooled in the public sphere, as completely embarrassing as it is, should (hopefully) serve as an awakening to the vast, unsubstantiated unknown that is the Internet. Te'o's case in particular, his being a relatively well known story and a person with a clear and bright future, who invariably can have his pick of the flock, presents us with the reality that this might just happen to anyone.
Notre Dame is chock full of some fine young ass, yet Te'o is swept up in an online relationship with a girl whom he has never met, and thusly never banged, only to have her die traumatically of cancer over a pained amount of months, messages and phone calls.
With the massive media attention appropriated to this scandal, it seems overdue that people are made aware of the predators that exist on the Internet who find gratification in lying about who they really are. But I assure you that this shit has been going on since Myspace. I have multiple friends who were catfished through the site back when it was popular, as well as on Facebook, when it was first hot, Instagram and Twitter.
Men are stupid. Our egos drive our minds to believe that we are the greatest things to touch this earth. So it's in our nature to believe that when a super hot girl reaches out to us, out of nowhere, and starts flirting with us through social media, that it's totally legit, and if anything, it should be happening more.
From the knowledgeable party, catfishing someone is hilarious. It's funny to see how excited he gets when this hot girl engages him in conversation, sometimes sultry. It's like a kid at an online candy store. A man's ego is his weakness. But catfishing happens to women as well.
They have watched too many Disney movies and think that their Prince Charming is going to drop from the castle of social media. Both genders prove dumb when it comes to catfishing, so we feel that it's our duty to help more people avoid falling for this embarrassing stint:
No One Is Dropping Out Of The Sky
The first lesson in making sure you don't get catfished is to understand how stupid you really are. You have to realize that you have (most likely) done nothing phenomenal in your life that you have groupies or multiple hot women reaching out to you out of no where because they have heard such great things.
You are nothing special. A hot girl did not just stumble on your profile by chance and thought to herself "Oh I want to talk to this guy because he looks sexy". It just doesn't work that way. As great as we think we are, no one is so lucky that a hot girl will drop into his arms out of the sky. Keep it real and understand that if you have never had someone attractive in your life, it most defiantly is not going to come via the Internet.
Screen All Their Photos
Say somehow, someway, she or he (depending on what gender you are), has bypassed your first screen test and you actually believe that this might be an actual person. Now it's up to you to screen all their photos and make sure the consistency is there.
A close friend of mine was catfished for two months via Instagram to only find out it was a 16-year-old girl with nothing better to do after school. If he would have taken just one photo and put it into Google search, he would have discovered immediately that the photos she was using were from a famous young model in Europe. Google search is free, so use it.
The Red Flags
The problem with today's world is that common sense is not so common anymore. There are just a certain amount of red flags to look for when it comes to an online relationship. If someone has fewer than 200 friends, they are fake, because no one who is hot has that little of an amount of friends.
If the Facebook account was created in 2013, then its fake. Do you know how late you have to be to create a Facebook in 2013? That's like buying a beeper in 2007.
The next red flag is the amount of photos. If you're counting fewer than 20 photos with no friends tagged in them, and with no interaction, they are fake. If you have no mutual friends, no one has heard of them and if they refuse to talk on the phone — fake. Skype chat is the only means of verification.
Don't Expect Your Internet Lover To Look Exactly Like Their Profile Picture.
I learned this very valuable lesson in Vegas. Sure when ordering escorts, you automatically expect they will look nothing like their photos, but it was a bit of a shock to see two black chicks show up when the girls I ordered were white Midwestern bitches. Never trust photos. Photos make girls look better. You never know the wild card she may hit you with when she meets you.
Not only could the picture be airbrushed or just an extremely flattering angle, but it might not even be the person you're chatting with online. That is exactly what happened to catfish victim John Turner who met a “nice young lady” online when he was in college.
“From the pictures she was fine, she looked real good,” Turner said on HuffPo Live. “I'm real excited about this, I get to meet her… she sends me this email saying, 'Well the person you've been talking to is not me', and then she sends me the picture of herself. I'm not saying she wasn't fine, she just wasn't as fine as the person I thought I was talking to for about a year.”
That's a real tragedy Turner. Our hearts go out to you.
Make Sure Your Internet lover Isn't Actually Your Best Friend.
Yes this apparently happens…and a lot. Just last week we catfished someone at our office for the fun of it. Your friends most likely love to pull pranks and if they all feel you are the most gullible of the bunch, then you're a target.
Moral of the story: keep your friends close, your fake girlfriend closer.
Preston Waters | Elite.