Thursday, April 10, 2014

Catfishing

“Girl Boy Girl” by JT LeRoy displays a perfect example of pretending to be something you’re not. With the conclusion of this novel in class, it made me think of real life situations in which people are deceived. There are many famous hoaxes, pranks, and cons (which we’ve talked about in class) that have made the public question the credibility and “realness” of the particular circumstance.

We all have friends who we can recognize throughout campus or in town. Their qualities, the way they dress, a certain article of clothing they own all let us know that they are themselves. We never really question if they are “real” or not. But what if you were meeting someone you met online for the first time? Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, etc., how would you know what they looked like? I mean the pictures they post would be an indicator, but there is no proof that those pictures are actually them, right?

Catfish - freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling

In this case, it means something completely different. Today, it basically means someone who pretends to be a different person online; a fraud. If you want to read on the history of this new definition, you can here. The movie titled Catfish which came out in 2010 showed the fascinating story of a man named Nev and his story of being catfished by a woman named Megan. He fell in love with this girl who he had not ever met, and the vision he had of her in his head was of the woman who’d he only seen pictures of. There was never really any question whether she was real or not. (Here’s the link to the actual movie site which is really cool and interactive).

I think nowadays people have to be really careful on who they meet and talk to online. It’s a completely different reality online than in the “real” world. How can you be 100% sure that the people you communicate with are actually themselves? I’m not so sure you can…


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