‘Catfishing’ a popular way to dupe online daters

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A new trend called “catfishing” has become popular in the past few years, breaking many hearts.

“Catfishing” is an online process in which someone pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities to pursue deceptive online romances.

The act hit mainstream status in early 2013 when Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o was part of a hoax that made him believe he was in an online relationship with a woman named Lennay Kekua.

The person posing as Kekua was actually a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

Te’o became the talk of the world after it was revealed that he had been “catfished.”

Before the Te’o situation, a movie documentary titled “Catfish” was released in 2010 about a young man named Nev Schulman who his brother and friend filmed as he was building an online romantic relationship with a young woman on Facebook.

Obviously, the woman wasn’t who she made herself out to be.

“Catfish,” the movie, was such a hit that MTV decided to give Schulman a TV show of the same name.

The movie explains that catfish are used in transporting codfishes long distances in order to keep them alive and agile.

“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 our fin,” the movie states.

The show has since become a hit on the network.

“Catfish” revolves around Schulman helping people who start online relationships with people they met online, who later  the painful truth behind the person they are talking to.

In many cases, the online crush or love turns out to be something completely different than advertised – in appearance, traits or gender.

Since the TV show, the popularity of “catfishing” has grown to a higher level with many people trying to check it out for themselves.

“I think it’s stupid because this generation already has messed up ideas about love and now we have these people who hide behind social networks and make people fall in love with somebody who is nonexistent,” said Amaney Masadeh, a Delta College student.

Some people “catfish” others mostly as a prank, but some actually do it to look for a relationship and don’t feel confident about how they really look.

They hide behind an attractive person’s picture, hoping to get a better response.

I would never fall for a “catfish” prank, because I can tell by the pictures if the person is posting as someone they aren’t. If their profile picture is a picture you can find on Google or a model, it’s probably not their real identity.

“Catfishing” is an unecessary act and I think some people need to stop doing it.

It just ends up hurting people’s feelings and probably scars them for the rest of their lives. It’s OK to prank people as a joke but dragging it out for too long is just wrong.