Gone Catfishing?

We read in Chapter  4 of Boyd’s Book, that the dangers of the internet present a moral panic for parents, especially parents of adolescent girls.  However, since we have now left our Myspace days behind, our conscienceness of internet lurkers is more educated than before.  Children are taught the need and use of privacy within elementary schools and how to avoid dangerous situations.  But it still seems when it comes to online dating or chatting we still don’t know who we are really talking to?

MTV’s Catfish brought about a conversation that we were all wondering about… Do people actually get doped into relationships with people they don’t even know.  Sometimes it’s our intuition and human nature to trust those who are kind, but sometimes this gratitude may backfire.  In the case of Nev, Catfishs’ host, we learned how he was dooped for 2 years, until he began to really question what the situation was.  This show came out right before the Tinder app, and I think encouraged people to be more cautious about their social media.

The reason it is even called cat fishing is for this particular reason:

“They used to take tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin.”

This website highlights the different types of catfish, and the tall tale signs to know if you are being catfished.



One of these important ways to see if you really talking to who you think you are is through different scammer websites.   This particular link highlights women profiles from around the world who are pretending to be someone they are not. Whether it be a fake picture or name, this site shows the most commonly used photos from this particular dating website and what to watch out for.



Because the internet relies a lot on being anonymous people have the ability to alter or change a part of their life online in order to make themselves look better.  In this case this guy pretends that this girl with the killer tattoo is his girlfriend.  Since it was posted on reddit ( a very popular site) someone who who knew the REAL girl with the tattoo saw it, and showed it to it’s actual owner.  She of course retaliated by sending the internet a public note that she was not in fact his girlfriend and had nothing to do with this guy.  This goes to show that we may be able to pretend to be someone online, but that doesn’t mean that we are going to necessarily get away with it.


4 thoughts on “Gone Catfishing?

  1. sjanetos

    I truly LOL’d at this post. I have so many questions I always want to ask Catfishers… if you’re “dating” this person online why wouldn’t you at least Skype or FaceTime?! Especially after 2 YEARS?! My favorite are the fake picture profiles. As for the person who uses fake pictures from the internet, if you can see those photos honey, other people can too.

  2. caropark

    I’ve never fully understood this term of “catfish” which has been thrown around for a while now. A general, personal definition might be a “tease” or the act of teasing, but the Digital Trends article made me realize the various categories that broadens this term to be so much more. There’s so many different scenarios of catfishing, especially this one in particular, “an artist pretending to be a gay man to solicit dick pics on Grindr for an art project. ” Which reminds me of a friend who actually did utilize Grindr for an art/design project strictly to document a sexual encounter with a user he essentially “catfished”. It’s definitely an interesting term that embraces these online, social interactions. Also, CEC will be hosting Nev from Catfish for a speaking event here at school soon!

  3. nklepper

    Thank you for sharing the origins of the definition of catfish…I never truly took the time to look it up before now! Upon reading this blog post, I reflected back to when I first used Tinder this past summer and how irresponsible the idea was to meet up with someone who you’d never met before from a free smartphone app. Granted, the guy I ended up meeting in person I had previously spent a few weeks talking to him over the app before deciding to go on a double date, but the whole idea was still very sketchy. Ironically, he turned out to be a Stanford phD student, and we have dated for the past few months, but the entire situation could’ve been completely different if I had swiped him left, or chosen to meet up in the wrong location. Was this fate or luck, I’m not sure, but I’m banking on this success not happening again from an app like Tinder…

  4. prisahdev

    This topic is really interesting especially with the rise of tinder. I know some friends who have met guys over tinder, and the thought of it being someone else is always there. Its easy to pretend you are someone else on the internet–and for cat fishing people who have done it before, it is probably really easy for them.

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