Image source: 3 photos from Pexels edited together

The Oxford dictionary describes ‘Catfishing’ as: “luring (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona” and this is something which has increased with online dating. Not only is this over online dating, but also people are creating fake social media accounts in order to have a better image to be able to persuade others into liking them. I mean, how sad is that. People are actually completely ruining lives in order to have a better image… Now, I get that people use this as a way to create a better image of themselves because they aren’t happy with how they look but I mean, come on, people also also use this as a way of satisfaction to mess with people. How sick can some people be! We can all be a bit weird and want to give off the best impression to newly met people but this is something which is just wrong.

However you may look at catfishing, some very weird stories come out of it as you can imagine, but sometimes there are unusual stories which aren’t actually bad at all. In 2015, an ordinary online dating user ‘Emma Perrier’ from London had come out of a relationship and found a man online who established himself as ‘Ronnie’ on the dating app ‘Zoosk’. Using an app to track down the original source of the photos which Ronnie’ had used on his online dating profile, she found out they actually belonged to a Turkish model called ‘Adem Guzel’. It turns out ‘Ronnie’ was actually ‘Alan Stanley’, a 53-year-old shop decorator from the Midlands. In September 2016, Ms Perrier messaged Mr Guzel and the pair ended up chatting. Soon, their relationship blossomed into a long-distance romance. I would love to know what was going on in Ronnies inexplicable head if I’m honest… Like how would he dodge the bullet if he actually met Emma, it makes me laugh. Adem is the one laughing though at the end of this isn’t he lets be honest.

Now I would be surprised if you guys haven’t seen or heard of the TV show ‘Catfish’, but as staged as this show seems, it surprisingly opens up your eyes, besides make you laugh as it does for me. Some of the stories are an absolute mess and people seem to even catfish each other which is bloody amazing. Imagine that, two people trying to trick each other when they end up tricking themselves really. If you think I’m joking then watch this:

Although I do see catfishing as a sick, misleading and weird, there are actual reasons as to why people do it and ‘The conversation‘ began psychological research to investigate why catfishers try to trick people online. Over the last year they recruited 27 people Internationally to interview, who claim to be catfishers. The interviews focused mainly on their ‘motivations and feelings about their catfishing behaviour’. Apparently one of the reasons for cat fishing was loneliness and this was mentioned by 41% of the respondents. One of the interviewees said that ‘they just wanted to be more popular and make friends that could talk to me, some part of the day’. But how the hell are you going to make friends by pretending to be someone you’re not. What sort of person would trust this catfisher who is completely lying about their identity, let’s be real guys. Would you be able to trust someone if they pretended to be someone else for years? I highly doubt it! And if you would trust them, maybe you need a few sorting out of your own. More than two-thirds of ‘The conversations‘ responses mentioned a desire to escape, and another response from an interviewee said that ‘it could seem magical, being able to escape your insecurities … But in the end, it only worsens them’. Well you can see this a mile off, I do understand that people have insecurities and it is the worst thing to have, but it won’t help your insecurities, as a lot more worse comes out of this kind of thing than good, surely!

Who knows what may happen in the future, this topic clearly has elements of peoples emotions and feelings which can be covered up by being someone they aren’t, but since technology came into this perplexed online dating society, it is hard to think that catfishing will stop. It certainly baffles me but any sane person will hope to think it will stop, I doubt it, but it may just get even worse which was inevitable from the start of online profiling, especially when trying to date. What a weird and wonderful world we find ourselves living in!