The term "catfishing" as I understand it is a fairly recent expression used to describe someone who fabricates an online presence usually in an attempt to engage in a romantic relationship, but can be traced back to the days of accidentally eating a cinnamon jellybean that you so truly believed to be cherry. In 2012 two guys who may or may not secretly be dating decided to create a TV series that is now featured on MTV based on the original film which showcased this concept.
Taking an interest in what monsters actually make a conscious decision to create these online personas, I managed to find time to watch a few of these episodes in between passive-aggressively "liking" peoples' Facebook statuses and listening to "Africa" by Toto on repeat. Something I became fixated on was the negativity associated with these types of relationships as the very nature of the show sets out to correct them. I mean, I get it. The trickery, the lying, all the hours that I'm sure those poor souls spent frustrated with their wifi. Don't get me wrong; those parts seem awful, just terrible. However, then I started thinking, is there more to this whole catfishing thing that we all missed? Were we too quick to judge? Why do cakes exist that aren't funfetti? Yes, I was relatively drunk. My point is, I'm sure that at first even power naps were looked at with some hesitation (God bless).
So I embarked on my own journey just like the catfish dudes did to try to comprehend the other side of the story and see if there really is something there that we overlooked.
Before I decided to send a mass email to all of my professors kindly letting them know that I wouldn't be in class for about a month as I was setting out to change the world and thus romantic relationships as we know it, I wanted to get a basis for why people choose to participate in such a hobby like catfishing when there are so many other great activities available like baseball or composting. In order to get an inside scoop on the matter at hand I did what any other great detective scientist athlete would do. I called out about 10 people in a matter of seconds on various social media forums for being fake (It's not hard to do as it was mostly hot girls with medium to little clothes on) and after they got over their initial embarrassment they conceded in me as to why they chose to take the less traveled path of anonymity. This is when it occurred to me that I was, in fact, the real monster, not them. Well, not me personally, but my people. No, not Jews. I'm talking about society.
Is our society so flawed that we push many into a life behind a fragile screen, instilling so much fear in their minds that they have to change their looks and even worse their taste in music? If you ask me it's more fucked up than Butterfinger BB's being discontinued. Anyways, is catfishing weird? Heck yeah, but it isn't hard to see that it is also a direct result of our sometimes critical environment that places attractiveness among other superficial characteristics on a pedestal, creating limits for some, especially when it comes to relationships. It would be my guess that when society progresses and becomes more accepting, this fad will diminish, however, until then, feeling an increased sense of helplessness that screens them from alternative options, these catfishes, rather than risk being eaten by their intimidators, choose to retreat to the comfortable confines of the water or in this case a computer in their parents' basement, probably.
Thought: I would hate to be catfished.
It's day three of my research. I'm hungry, cold, and starting to lose all sense of reality. Just kidding I skipped class and made a tower out of pop-tarts. Today, analyzing the concept of catfishing even further, I've come to the conclusion that I'm pretty fucking pissed that no one has every tried to catfish me before. I mean, what the fuck. Am I not desirable enough to be catfished? What is so wrong with me where people have to punish me day in and day out by actually coming up and talking to me face to face and inviting me to do stuff with them. Giving up everything you've ever loved to make someone else happy almost seems like the ultimate form of romance. I wonder how many times LeBron James has been catfished.
I know I know, just a few sentences earlier I was saying I would never want to be involved with such a charade, but I'm a more mature man now and I'm open to it. My initial thoughts are that it's one of the greatest compliments you can receive, right? Don't just tell me you like my new sweater, show me that you like my new sweater by changing everything about yourself.
Seriously though, why are people actually trying to stop this from happening? Catfishing should be just as prominent in our society as credit cards or Zooey Deschanel's bangs. Honestly, all real relationships should be stopped immediately. Really, these people were onto something before that devil Nev Schulman infiltrated the minds of MTV to try to stop it. He's no hero, kids. It's like he knew something we didn't. Think about it. What are overwhelmingly the worst parts about being in a relationship? Waiting in the driveway while your girlfriend gets ready, waiting with your girlfriend's parents while she gets ready, and waiting in the driveway with your girlfriend's parents while she gets ready.
Well, guess what, these anonymous geniuses found a way past all that (Move out of the way, Einstein, if that is your real name). That's right, no more balancing time between hanging out with your bros and making sure you make it to her little sister's dance recital. No more expensive dinners. No more recordings of "Gossip Girl" on your TV and say goodbye to cliché chick flicks. It's like we all have an idea of heaven, yet, never knew it was so close and technologically available at this time.
Just as the creators of "How I Met Your Mother" will continue to live in ignorance pretending that their show is still funny, I, too, will similarly choose to live my life in blissful ignorance as I vow to not call out those who hide behind their screens in an effort to gain my love, but rather embrace it.