Show support by abolishing catfishing.


Riley Childers, Managing editor of design

Some people dream of true love, and sometimes people believe the easiest way to find that true love is online. You’ve seen the online dating websites, and you’ve heard of the romantic stories about how some couples met through the online world. But there is a side that people don’t see, the side where some people’s “true love” isn’t who they say they are. They come up with an entirely different persona to get a person to fall for them. This is catfishing. Catfishing is an overbearing, recurring “trend” that most people do not know the name of. When I am explaining what a catfish is people, they generally end up knowing  someone who has been through the situation or the thought that this act is happening so often that it has an actual name. The easiest way for a catfisher to get someone take the bait is generally through social media.


In this day and age, social media is all the rage. Whether it is Instagram, Twitter or even Facebook, there is always the possibility that someone is not who they say they are. But how can we be sure who we are talking to is who they say they are? Personally, I wonder how someone could carry on a relationship or even a friendship with someone by lying about their life and their appearance. I don’t care if someone is trying to get revenge for the past or whatever. If you are mentally hurting someone through social media it needs to stop.


Catfishing has been such a hot topic that in 2010, a documentary film called “Catfish” came out to the public. It followed the main character,  Nev Schulman, around the world to find Megan, a girl he had been talking to for months on Facebook. Come to find out that Megan was actually Angela. Angela had lied about her appearance and about her life.


But why did Angela keep Nev around for nine months? Because she in some ways liked having Nev there to talk to and Nev actually seemed interested in talking to Megan.  Angela knew that Nev’s feelings towards Megan were growing strong. So, why didn’t she stop it? Angela was afraid if she told Nev that Megan wasn’t real that he wouldn’t want to have contact with her anymore. Angela didn’t look like Megan, and that’s who Nev was interested in. What I don’t understand is why didn’t she tell the truth? Angela said she wanted to tell Nev the truth, but wanting and doing are two very different things.  They were in this deep relationship, where Nev was more than in love with Megan, and Angela was too deep in her own lies to even be able to tell Nev the truth and keep him in her life, so she kept it a secret.


I have been interested “Catfish: The TV Show,”  a spinoff of the documentary film,since it first aired. I think the reason I am so interested in this show is because I don’t understand how a person could do this to another person and that I have the personal experience of dealing with a catfish. A friend of mine had been catfished through Facebook by someone she believed was a friend (and still has her as a friend today).  


When I found out about the person she had been talking to wasn’t who he or she said they were I went straight to my friend and told the truth. She didn’t believe me. No matter how many times I had told her what was happening, she didn’t want to believe it. But, after a few months, she found out the truth and it seemed that everything was going downhill for her. Depression and suicidal thoughts had set in for her because of being catfished. I think it made it worse for her because it came from her newly found friend.


Once again, how could someone carry on a relationship or even a friendship with someone by lying about their life and their appearance? A few years later this entire topic is still on my mind. The thought of almost losing my best friend is unbelievable, and the idea of someone trying to drive her so hard into the ground is frustrating.


Even though my friend didn’t believe me in the first place, I was still there for her every step of the way. When her suicidal thoughts were running wild through her mind, I was there for her. Back then I didn’t understand why those thoughts were going through her head, but growing up I feel like I understand a little bit more. To find someone you put trust in and open up to is something hard enough, but when you find someone and they are not honest with you, it really is hard.
With catfishing people, sometimes there comes the mental breakdown. Wondering how people continue relationships for months, heck, even years is astounding. But with social media still blooming catfishing is bound to continue.  And with everything I have experienced in the past, it has made me realize that there is a time when you need to protect your friends from people on and offline.