You may already be familiar with the concept through MTV’s popular ‘’Catfish: The TV Show’’, an American reality-based docu series about the truths and lies of online dating. If not, let me hereby introduce you to the Catfish: a person who creates false identities to give the impression of being attractive, while he or she actually is a complete or near opposite of that portrayed. Catfishes use various social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to particularly pursue deceptive online romances.
The reason of the tv shows’ popularity lays within its power of confrontation and shocking revelations; the filmmakers literary bring together couples who have interacted solely through their LCD screens. What will happen when these romantics meet in real life for the first time after months of years of online dating?
Enough about the show; the purpose of this blog is not to make you watch it or promote it in any sense. However, I do want to address the ‘’dark side’’ of social media on human psychology in here. Catfishing, various addictions, cyber-bullying, and the online child pornography industry are just some examples.
Now let me zoom in on the actual catfishing phenomenon, because I think it may be somewhat entertaining or appealing to you readers. Catfishers now have the opportunity to not only exercise and thereby worsen their mental issues, but also suck others into them. Their mental disorders and lies can now also impact and literary destroy lives of others and I find that very striking. Of course, the victims or #catfished may be too naïve, impulsive or ignorant. But I am wondering if we then need to become suspicious all the time and lose all trust in social media. When will we as a society be able to use social media and internet in a ‘’right’’ way and what would the Internet look like then? What new problems will arise next?
Naturally, our society is also growing on a mental level through the self-help, community, love and connection that this Information Era provides. And of course, people learn from their mistakes, but at what or rather at whose cost?
Luckily, more attention has been directed towards the catfishing phenomenon and people are warning each other. Do you think the upcoming information systems, sharpening safety and security and society’s increasing distrust will allow people to keep stealing others’ information and/or create deceptive identities in the future? Have you ever been #catfished, had any similar experiences or are you an intelligent BIM catfish yourself?