Are You A Catfish?

Definition of a catfish – A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

Example:
Did you hear how Dave got totally catfished last month?! The fox he thought he was talking to turned out to be a pervy guy from San Diego!

or

I was really falling for that gorgeous gal on Facebook, but she turned out to be a catfish.

courtesy of urban dictionary.com

Catfish could also be construed as those who seek out friendships, creating a persona that is not their own, to exist in a world in which they might not normally be accepted. Am I being pedantic? You tell me.

Social media allows us to edit the images and opinions we share in this global village. Is it surprising that some are tempted to reinvent themselves in order to find love? If there is no harm intended, do we view these people amongst us as false? Who gets to throw the first stone? At some point in all our lives, the intention to be honest is wavered by the need to impress others, be it for a job, meeting clients or joining a group of new mums. The ugly truth of who we really are is hidden behind a veneer of supposed perfection. Only scratch below the surface to see the chaos and insecurities nesting, waiting for alone time.

The media feeds us with celebrity images and stories of what we should look like, how we should behave and react. If you’re not a super mum, good looking with a cracking job, you’re just an average Joe, not worth knowing. Yet contrary to this perception, I have found many interesting friendships and kind souls amongst the average Joes. Pretentious, perfect bodied Barbie and Ken dolls walking about with no allowance for portraying intelligence are hailed as idols for teenagers to emulate. Maybe they are acceptable because we exist in a fickle culture where beauty and a big bank account trump moral values and personality!

A hot chick with under 100 followers on twitter must be a catfish“! This is a tweet I read yesterday that made me do a double take. Does this mean that if you are found to be attractive to someone, not twitter savvy enough to find hundreds of followers, you immediately become a catfish? Have I missed something? Do we now have a new classification to add to words like nerd, loner, weirdo, loser? Maybe I’m overthinking it and should take it as it is.

Unfortunately I have two teenagers on the brink of finding out just how cruel this world is to ignore it. If I did not bother researching the definition of a catfish, I would have been none the wiser. Yes, it does show my age. But I need to know why we have to subject others to pre-ordered groups. Don’t we ever leave high school? My biggest fear is, how many people out there actually feel they need to be catfish to be socially acceptable? Will my daughter have to turn into a pouting poser of a thousand selfies with boys hitting on her profile pic whilst girls hurl insults on how ugly and fat she is in order for her to be acceptably cool?

This huge toilet bowl we swim in called social media has the opportunity to uplift people, but under the water line lurks the trivial. A typecast set by people who superficially call themselves cool because of the number of followers they have and how many retweets and likes they receive. I have a question for them all. At the end of the day, when all is quiet and the phone, iPad, iPods, computers, laptops, etc are put away on charge, who is keeping you sane? That pull you feel to check your status on how many strangers clicked your profile and liked your selfie shows the same insecurity you accuse others of possessing…the need to be noticed and accepted.

As I point one finger out, three fingers are pointing back at me. My mind twitches as soon as I send out a blog, hoping that someone will read it and click like! Does that make me a catfish? Not by definition. Just another statistic trying to hack a path to be noticed in the toilet bowl. My mission is not to romance others or be romanced. Instead it’s to sell my talents to the world, hoping someone takes the bait and buys my wares. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it!

I sympathise with those who feel the need to create false personas to experience love, friendship, acceptably. I’m lucky that I’ve found these things and can share them with others. Does that give me the right to classify those I don’t accept by a name? No. For if the tables were turned and I was set adrift in this lonely world, maybe I would be tempted to become one of those unlucky catfish! What about you?

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22 responses to “Are You A Catfish?

  1. Well, I learned a new vocabulary word today – LOL! Thanks for educating us… I guess we’re all tempted to be catfish in a way, since we put our best foot forward in public. But you’re right… to have true integrity is to allow each area of our lives to be “integrated”… in other words, to be the same person no matter where we go or who we talk to. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Eloise, I’ve never heard the term ‘Catfish’ before, so your post taught me something completely new. I think we can all be guilty of being a ‘catfish’ at some stage in out lives, but I was taught (especially by more experienced bloggers) to be myself and not to try and be somebody else. That really works for me and I think it helps people to get to know you better as well. They appreciate they are getting to know the real you so hopefully won’t walk away.
    I really found your post very interesting and thought provoking so thank you for sharing it with us.

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    • Thanks Hugh. I agree, we have to be ourselves and find people who accept us for so we are. Sadly, I have some responses that prove how hurtful catfish can be. I read one of the stories and was shocked at how far people go to deceive others. Check them out if you get a chance.

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      • I’d love to. Where can I check them out as I thought you were referring to the comments left on this post? Sorry if I’m sounding a bit dumb here, I just need a little nudge in the right direction 🙂

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  3. No not at all. If they are links left in the comments, then they are the same ones I read. Click on the link and the story should come up.

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  4. I think there might be too many of us trying to sell our talent to the world. So many perhaps that’s there’s not enough out there to buy into us.We so want to entertain, but there’s no one looking at the stage.

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  5. Reblogged this on ronovanwrites and commented:
    If you know Eloise of Mello-Elo, you know she’s a sweet lady and a lovely person. Read the article and give her a hug. I can’t believe someone would accuse her of being a catfish.

    Like

  6. Excellent commentary! Well done.

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  7. Thanks for keeping me updated on the latest social media jargon! 🙂 Also, excellent commentary of the social hype that we live in.

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  8. I have never heard the term before, as i have a teenager too I appreciate the info. This world of social media can be very murky. We should start a page called Average Joe, where people can be real.

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  9. I heard that term being used in a conversation at a coffee house a couple days ago– thank you for explaining it.

    Real people on the net are few and far between.
    I just take em as they come, and they’ll either fall off or get real.

    Like

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