|Photograph taken by me!|
The responses from this revelation are widely varied, and for the most part, the interested party feels a combination of anger and hurt. The person they thought was a famous, rich model (for example) is actually just some average joe living at home struggling to get by like most people. In the end, love is sometimes found and sometimes lost. It just depends on the extent of the deceit and the ability of the jaded to forgive and understand.
What fascinates and draws me into this show, is how relatable the whole concept truly is. At first, the deceiver might seem crazy and the deceived naive and gullible. However, as I have continued to watch the show and really meditate on the idea of a "catfish," I realized that most of us are guilty of this very simple act of manipulating ourselves in a way that might seem attractive to others. Maybe we don't go to the extreme that we might see on the television show, but we still deceive, even if they're the smallest "catfish" lies.
To prove my point, I am going to use Facebook as an example. How many have profile pictures that are hideous? Not many. Instead, people make sure to pick just the right one, even if it is several years old or tweaked beyond recognition. Moving beyond the "face" of Facebook, think of how we now pose for pictures or untag ourselves if we are not satisfied with what we look like. I admit I am guilty of such things.
As I watched the show I thought of my own life. I thought of my previous marriage and how what I chose to portray to the outside world was much different than what was actually going on. After all, who wants to write on their Facebook status, "last night was miserable..." or, "found out my significant other is having a Cyber affair with someone on Facebook." I chose to instead post pictures of my two youngest daughter's baptism and of our "happy" family.
The ironic thing about the show, is how often the people might have been deceiving about their physical self, but not their emotional one. Because they felt comfortable with the look they chose to portray, it allowed them to be confident enough to let the true colors of their heart shine through. (This was not always the case in Catfish episodes, but more common than not.) There is something safe about the lack of actual face time and instead pouring out your soul over the anonymity of text messages and telephone calls.
My current husband and I started our relationship like that. We met in person briefly, but the majority of our friendship grew through phone calls and text messages. After pondering the motives of those on the Catfish episodes, I realized they just wanted to be heard and to have someone care about them. They were lonely and looking for simple companionship, even if they went about it in a complex way. I imagined they found the same comfort I did in having someone on the other line who actually cared about what I said, what I was going through and reciprocated by sharing their own thoughts and feelings.
No one is perfect. I think that is the main point and premise of the show and of life. However, if we feel we need to portray a spotless image in order to have friends and/or a romance, shows like Catfish will continue for years to come. Since I have been divorced, I have made a concerted effort to lay it all out there. Do I hold back details? Absolutely and for good reasons. However, this blog has given me an outlet to express my true feelings and to slowly tell the real story of my life. Try it! Put your catfishing aside and allow people a window into your world. If people don't like your true "Face" then they can always de-friend you.