In a quick Internet search for “online dating”, I found the following: Match.com; Okcupid.com; Eharmony.com; Datehookup.com; blackpeoplemeet.com; and POF.com.
These sites offer just a glimpse into the tons and tons of Internet dating sites that are already out there and a tease of what’s to come. Evenso, regardless of whether the site is old or new, all Internet dating sites, ultimately, have one purpose, and that is to link together people who want either a sexual or romantic connection. That’s it, pure and simple. Although some sites are free while others charge, it’s still about helping people connect…on whatever terms they choose……until you come across CATFISH!!!
Catfish is in a class all its own! First, Catfish is NOT an online dating site. It’s a show on MTV that’s all about that part of Internet dating that makes people give online daters the side eye: LIARS! In face-to-face dating, you have to figure out whether you’re getting to know the person or his or her rep! When you venture into the online world, you assume (or at least you should assume, in my humble opinion) that you’re meeting the rep….and this is why I love Catfish! It’s all about exposing the reps!
While I think it is beyond twisted that I like a show that focuses on calling people out (okay, embarrassing them), I can’t get past the irony of it. Despite the fact that we live in a world that is, at once, all about being on managing your brand and sharing every ounce of who you are to both known and unknown publics, people can’t seem to do it authentically. Essentially, the show highlights how ours is a world where people lie to come across as something they are not in order to obtain the very thing, intimate love, that demands that your honesty and openness to fully have and enjoy. Ain’t that something?
Essentially, the “Catfish” is the person in an online relationship who is lying. The folks who run the show help people who are in online relationships get to know, fully and really, who they are dating. They go to great lengths to help people get past the interference run by representatives and meet their real beaus up close and personal. Once, the show even went so far as to help one woman reveal that she was the catfish! And guess what? She learned that she was also being catfished!
Overall, I’m a bit skeptical about online dating although I know every man looking for love online isn’t going to be the next Craig’s List killer or sex fiend (I will not comment on whether I’ve ever considered or tried it). On some level and with few exceptions, I think people who date online are either pretending to be more unavailable than they really are or need to work on some personal issues before dating. At a minimum, I think online daters should proceed VERY SLOWLY and with their antennae on high alert.