Friday, August 15, 2014

The Cat Fish Phenomenon


Most of Melbourne seems to be tuned into the Private Investigator case files with Chrissy and Jane on Mix 101 with the ratings for this segment is through the roof.

Not sure what it is about?

Well it started out as cases about women who have been duped by men on an online internet dating sites. It has however morphed from this and there have been some great stories and connections made.

However when I first heard the program my initial thoughts were – surely they won’t find too many women who have been duped by men; boy was I wrong. 
Whenever I hear the segment I have a mix of sadness, anger, frustration and sheer disbelief at some of the stories.

It seems hard to fathom how people think they have an online "relationship" with someone for years, think they are in love with them yet they have never met them or had any type of social or intimate contact. In fact they are being duped and lied to.
The term used to describe this is “cat fish”; a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using online dating sites or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. This concept is not exclusive to male perpetrators either.

What is sad that many have been part of the catfish hoax for years and the perpetrators have absolutely no remorse on what they are doing.
In fact in the USA there is a TV show around this whole issue and yes the word catfish has actually been added to the English dictionary.

These days many people choose to use online sites to find their next partner. You connect with people who you don’t know, have never met and you spend significant time talking via the chat site, text messaging or email.
The old fashioned meet and date – where you took someone out for a drink, shared with them who you are, what you do seems to have disappeared. The drink at the bar has been replaced by the internet chat sites and the romantic dinner where you have a face to face conversation is now via  text or email.

The problem with dating sites replacing old fashioned dating is that people can and do lie about who they are, what they do, their age, marital status, name, build, professional and much more.
And it seems that even the smartest of people are being fooled by these “cat fish”.

How have we come to this as a society?
According to statistics almost 1 in 2 people now get divorced. Which means that more and more are going to find themselves on these online sites looking for love.

Yet how can we find love when so many people on these on line sites are lying, cheating, looking for one night stands, married and creating elaborate hoax’s simply to get a date or sex.
I am still finding it hard to fathom that as humans, all with feelings, all with the ability to get hurt, are behaving in ways that cause nothing but distrust, distress and pain.

In fact if you are on-line dating I would suggest that you approach anyone you meet with the acceptance that they are going to be lying to you about something. Stop trusting everything you are told, that is simply stupid and you will get hurt.
People we meet on the internet wether on face book, dating sites are not friends or even acquaintances; they are strangers about whom we know nothing about.

Loneliness, fear of being alone, needing someone in your life to love you and share the good and bad stuff is all normal and it is this that drives many to online sites looking for that next person to love or be loved by.
However sadly it seems that the unemotional on-line world has the capability brings the worst out in many of us.