Of Love and Lies

I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘Catfishing”, so down the rabbit hole I went. I wasn’t disappointed.

Let’s get on the same page. What does Catfishing mean?

It comes from a 1913 book title. This leads to the modern-day Catfisher – one who breaks hearts and passwords with nothing but wi-fi and creativity.

But let’s go back to the 1700s or so. A real-life trickster we’ll now call Catfisher published a book that created an imaginary country where men sacrificed children and did other horrible deeds that don’t need to be mentioned here.

The twist the Catfisher inserted was his conversion to Christianity, forsaking all his evil thoughts and deeds. He gathers well-wishers as Santa draws children to his lap. One devotee paid his living expenses!

Jumping to current times, Nev Schulman is one of the first victims of Catfishing in our modern era. The perpetrator – is Angela Wesselman. She used all sorts of modern-day trickery to reel in Nev, such as; videos, photos, text messages, and multiple social media profiles.

Nev fell hard.

When Nev went to meet the love of his life, he half expected a hoax by this time. He brought along a film crew.

Nev took a healthy perspective on the long fakery; he evolved from annoyance to being impressed and finally to being grateful. He took the positive role the Catfisher played to shake up his world and pushed his refresh button many times.

I have often realized that there is nothing new under the sun. It just presents itself differently. It gets a new label. Remember the buzz words ‘paradigm shift.’ Many people made lots of money on training, books and more. Lately, the buzzword is ‘pivot.’ Don’t rush to buy pivot materials. Check out the garage sales and find all those paradigm shift items for ten cents on the dollar.

If you are being drawn toward a person via social media, hit the pause button. How strong is your need to connect and be lifted from your current life circumstances? Does this person always find a way not to be available to meet in person – in the flesh? If they are a long way away at the start of your connection and use this to delay meeting in person, how can you screen them more deeply yet not break the relationship entirely? What about a Zoom meeting with each of you, bringing a couple of friends to join in?

Especially in love, there are no guarantees. There are risks. But some creativity with help from friends who care for and love you can help reduce the risk.

Please give this a bit of a think. Did you have any close calls with your own Catfisher? How did you avoid falling for the scam?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think below.

My thanks to Wired Magazine for inspiring this Blog.

If you enjoyed The Blog, please share it with others. Thanks.

And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Volunteer Blogger


2 thoughts on “Of Love and Lies

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    Interesting word “pivot” . I’m not familiar with its use in terms of relationships but the word I hear more often is “ghost”. To ghost someone means ending all communication (online) with them without courtesy of a reason. Ouch, that hurts but then again you didn’t really know the person; probably hadn’t even met them so good riddance as the saying goes. What to do when the person you’ve “met” online is starting to send red flags? How well I remember the advice I gave to my daughter who at the tender age of 20 was trying to date online. Why wasn’t he sharing a photo of himself after numerous requests? Maybe he was actually 50 !! or he lacked the confidence of how he looked. A response came “ my camera is broken” to which I promptly advised her to throw him back in the dating pool. Another potential date got some information crossed about his age and I suggested that he put his driver’s license to the camera. He quickly “pivoted” as the new saying goes. Sadly there are many lonely people out there who desperately want to believe that the stranger online really does need money for an airline ticket so they can visit. The scams wipe people out financially but they are too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they’ve been conned.

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