Catfish Reaction: What are you fishing for??
As the nation watches the second season of the new MTV hit Catfish, I finally took the time to sit down and watch a full episode. I’ve heard various views on the show and I’ve seen tons of twitter commentary on it too. The Internets has been an ever-changing communication channel that has many positive attributes but just as many negative potential pitfalls. What is at the root of the twisted web of lies that seems to be so constant in this show? What is the human condition that is making this behavior so plentiful?
Catfish [kat-fish] verb
To pretend to be someone you're not online by posting false information, such as someone else's pictures, on social media sites usually with the intention of getting someone to fall in love with you.
After watching this week’s episode and clips from previous episodes it strikes me that in these situations you have 2 constant factors.
1) Everyone seeks to feel good about themselves
2) Everyone looks to maintain as much control as possible in a situation that generally demands you to take chances.
Think about it. Who doesn’t want to feel good? Some people have the self-confidence to make that personal connection both on and/or offline. But there are many that don’t. Whatever the history may be that leads to the personal issues of that individual, the risk of putting themselves out there is a risk that they can’t bring themselves to take. In times past that would be the end of the story and so enters the loner, the recluse and social hermit. Today that’s not the case as the internet has created a minimally regulated playground where a person can present themselves to be anything and anyone.
Millions of images to select from can be your face and body coupled with a blank book for you to fill out with your background, interests, etc…. It’s easy to see how the initial connections can be made. The one aspect of things that allows a program like Catfish to exist is that nowhere along the way is that truly human connect made to verify who you’re dealing with. Imagine going a year of communicating with a person you “Love” but having never actually seen them? Sounds fishy don’t it? That’s when the fear of losing that good feeling outweighs the risk of possibility losing what you have; even it that too is a fraud.
This isn’t a new feeling either. Consider the person that stays in a dead-end relationship because of one singular pleasurable aspect or that friend that only reaches out to you when they are in need. You know you can do better bet that fear of changing the status quo is difficult for many to deal with. Truthfully Catfish is not a 15 minute flash in the pan sensation, but it’s a new fact of life in this social media driven society. It will be with us just like MTV’s 16 & Pregnant to act as a mirror reflecting many of the social issues that remain present with this generation……a generation desperately seeking love and attention.
Make sure you follow me on Twitter at TrueOmegaNexus as I tried to avoid the Catfish. lol
And make sure your drop by my new blog The Social Media Samurai for more of life from my point of view.