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Leander

Are you a catfish?

This morning I watched this documentary called Catfish. I’ve heard about it a while ago, but I never really thought about it or paid much attention to it that much. Until I saw a Dr. Phil episode on YouTube this morning called ‘How to catch a catfish’. That episode was pretty jaw dropping. The documentary ‘Catfish’ was mentioned during that episode and so I watched it.

Wow, just wow! I can highly recommend that documentary. It’s about the deceit behind online communication and online relationships. It’s about three guys, two of them document the online ‘relationship’ of one guy, named Nev. It started off with documenting an 8 year old girl, named Abby, who what they thought was a gifted painter. He receives several paintings from her as gifts, but it sure takes a disturbing twist after a couple of months. Nev also started communicating with the family of the little girl, like her mom and her sister, Megan, who he starts falling for. They communicate on the phone and on Facebook. He also interacts with close friends and family of them. Megan claims to be a singer and a musician. She sends him ‘her music’ and they often text and talk on the phone, and at some point their relationship got pretty serious. And you might think, where can it go wrong, right? The girl is on Facebook, she is attractive, she has loads of pictures of herself on her profile, etc. And they talk often on the phone.

He started to get a little bit suspicious because she sent music, like covers but sung by herself, but they’re not hers at all. They’re songs from other people who made covers, who posted it on YouTube. So the guy was totally confused and flabbergasted thinking he’s being lied to and starts to wonder what is real and not. To make a long story short, Megan is non existing. I mean she exists, but it’s not the girl Nev fell for. The so called family and friends on Facebook are all fake too. It is all one person who is behind all of the people Nev was communicating with. My toes were literally curling of shock and outrage, that some person would do and go through all that. All the pictures of Megan are from another person!

The more nerve wrecking thing in the documentary is when the three guys decided to pay Abby’s mom a visit! They actually go there! They actually went to the house to meet Angela, Abby’s mother. She’s the one who is behind all this. From there it got really interesting. Even tho I kinda spoiled you with what’s happening in the documentary, I can still highly recommend you to watch it! There is definitely more to see than what I’ve mentioned.

Right now there’s a TV Show on MTV called Catfish, based on the documentary. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will definitely check it out.

Meeting people online is crazy and scary! You never know who you are dealing with and if the person you are talking to is actually real. It’s so easy to steal someone else’s picture, make a fake profile and lie to people about who you are.

I can also recommend you to watch the Dr. Phil episode I was refering to earlier aswell. A full episode about ‘catfish’. Three women met the same guy online and actually started building a serious relationship. Talking on the phone, making plans for the future, etc. A shocking reveal was made when the women found out who was behind all the scam and lies. And it really went too far! These ladies were sorta ‘groomed’ as they call it. ‘There was a good discussion about how to recognize a catfish. A lot of warning signs and red flags were given. Watch the episode, it is very interesting and very disturbing!

I hope people are more aware that they need to be careful who they talk to online. Especially teenagers and children. But I suppose everyone should be cautious. Be careful who you let into your life and who you give your heart to. Especially when you’re in a vulnerable position it is easy to fall into a trap like that. You get fed with the stuff you want to hear. Get excuses thrown at you for not meeting up in real life or talk through webcam or even ask for current pictures. Another thing is the use of, for example, traumatic experiences as an excuse, like general dramatic life events or accidents/injuries. Because sympathy is a strong emotion. And the last thing you wanna do when someone goes through something terrible is to pressure them to meet you or talk to you, or do anything other than show support to them and be there for them.

Like I’ve mentioned, it is easy for someone to put someone else’s pictures on his or her profile. It’s even easy to only just talk on the phone and not being aware that you’re talking to a whole different person. There are certain red flags that I’ve heard from the Dr. Phil episode. Dr. Phil kinda annoys me, but I can really recommend you to watch the episode above as well and not getting yourself into something that’s not real. In my opinion before you’re getting yourself into a serious relationship with someone online, a webcam and receiving regular current pictures is definitely a requirement. Webcam mostly! If that is not happening then you are most likely setting yourself as a bait.

Now, you can’t immediately define someone as a catfish. There are exceptions I’m sure. Just be cautious. That’s all!

If you watched Catfish I would love to know what your thoughts are about this form of deception. And if you ever had a ‘catfish’ experience I would love to hear your story. And what are your thoughts in general about this topic? Alright, that’s all about Catfish. Again, I recommend you to watch the documentary. It will be one hell of an eye opener for you. I will look up the TV show and start watching that. This is so interesting, don’t you think so?

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