Everyone is aware of catfishing, especially the Tinder, Facebook, and Instagram generations. People pretending to be someone else while hiding their identity can be an accurate definition of this.
There are even shows on the phenomenon, such as “Catfish” on MTV. The show helps the person get to know who the Catfisher person is that they are talking to on the Internet to; it usually turns out to be someone completely the opposite of the persona they made online.
The person catfishing online uses a picture of their co-worker, friends, or any images they found on the Internet.
While catfishing online has been going on for a while, it can be said that people still fall for it.
How Catfishing Works, the details
Well, it usually starts with a request on Facebook or a direct message on Instagram from a very attractive person who seems too good to be true because they are.
The profile seems genuine but a bit sketchy. There are no close friends’ comments, just random weirdos commenting on their pictures. So that is a sign that the account is probably fake.
These accounts are meant to target people in various ways. Online catfishing is done for multiple reasons, one being to feel wanted and appreciated.
People who feel that they lack human interaction, relationships, and attention in real-life use catfishing as a means to get what they lack in real life.
It starts as an innocent act to feel good, and it gets out of hand; this is mostly shown on “Catfish MTV.”
Another reason to Catfish is to scam someone. Very attractive pictures of women are used to lure men in when they become well acquainted with the fake persona and develop feelings the Catfisher may use them to extract money.
On the dangerous side, they can black male the victim.
Getting swayed just by looking at the pictures is a bad idea; you should meet the person in a public place like a restaurant. Especially for women who decide to meet someone who they have been talking to online for a long time, this can be dangerous and life-threatening in extreme cases.
Another kind of catfishing can be the Instagram models that use face tunes, Photoshop, and filters to hide what their faces and body actually look like. There are many videos on the topic on YouTube in which they show the real picture of the influencer and side by side the edited.
Kourtney Kardashian got some criticism on a picture that she uploaded. The same picture uploaded by her grandmother from a different angle showed so many differences, for one her body seemed different. The picture uploaded by her grandma was deleted, but fans saved it.
Similarly, other Instagram pictures of models on Instagram and real life tend to be very different, and it is something to be aware of. Insecurity sold by the media and top businesses to sell their products has seeped deep, so it is essential to know that no one is perfect.
You’d be surprised to know that catfishing has a history and it originally started in the 19th Century, even before the Internet came into being.
Catfishing in the 19th Century
A historian Angus McLaren writes that matchmaking schemes to make money are nothing new these schemes have occurred in the past as well. In 19th Century Britain, a scheme looted bachelors for a decade.
What you need to know about 19th Century Britain is people married to advance their lifestyle, so they chose to marry people of higher status, income, and extravagant inheritance.
While this may be considered as gold-digging in today’s time, it was more than acceptable in the 19th Century. People actually counted having inheritance as a vital quality when getting married.
McLaren notes that a Canadian man wrote a letter to his sister; he described his fiancée as “… and best of all [she] is possessed of property, and has no hangers-on.”
According to McLaren, the Matrimonial Herald and Fashionable Marriage Gazette advertised “HIGH CLASS MATCHES” for U.K. individuals seeking spouses. They used newspapers to lure men in, in hopes of marrying a rich young woman.
In response to the Herald’s ads, men were invited to join the Association. Members were then provided with more information on marriageable women and offered the opportunity to correspond with them.
A portion of 2.5 percent of their bride’s wealth would be owed to the Association upon marriage. They can avoid this charge by paying a £12 fee upfront.
McLaren wrote that “Presumably men convinced they were about to snag an heiress felt the sum was a small price to pay. Once the Association had obtained the men’s available money, the mysterious wealthy women who had been used as bait suddenly went abroad or regretfully broke off the correspondence.”
When those men were matched, were with women who were workers. Those women were also schemed by the Association in hopes of marrying a rich man.
This went on for a decade until someone finally had the guts to come forward, though they were humiliated in court by the lawyers.
McLaren stated that “in appealing to the social superiority of the judge and the all-male jury by attacking the complainants as socially marginal characters who, stupidly believing the impossible, did not deserve the protection of the law.”
For example, the lawyer stated a man of twenty with a low income shouldn’t have dreamed of finding an heiress in the first place. He wrote, “really [thought] that you—22 years of age, earning nothing, and with £40 capital only—could get a wife?”. A man widowed was told that he was “not a very great catch.”
After much humiliation, the Association was over, but it is safe to say that no one had imagined catfishing would occurring in the 19th Century when there was no internet.
But this states anything posted online or by media outlets should not be taken into consideration at once, nor should we trust people we interact with online that we don’t know.
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