Is Catfishing the New Trend on Social Media?
December 12, 2016
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Two Harding students, Hannah Mullis, a junior, and Muatsi Lee, a sophomore, have been victims of being catfished on Facebook. They spend most of their time on the internet interacting with friends or using it for entertainment, but never did they think they’d be catfished.
Catfishing is when someone fakes their identity to get attention, to blackmail or bribe for money and gifts. It’s practically having a sugar daddy. In this case, Hannah and Muasti have been in this situation before.
Muasti has been catfished more than once. His cousin has been also catfished by the same person. Muasti had received a friend request from someone called Katelyn Nguyen. Before he accepted it, he had a weird feeling about it. “I was shocked I guess because of ‘stranger danger,’ but I didn’t really care,” said Muasti.
They had conversations that were mainly about how their days were going, and upcoming holidays such as Christmas which brought up Katelyn asking for a camera as a gift. It seemed pretty suspicious to Muasti, so he ignored it.
As Muasti and Katelyn got to know each other more, Katelyn may have gotten too comfortable. She sent him an intimate photo of her body but did not get the reaction she was hoping for. “I just laughed after that, it was pretty funny,” said Muasti.
At that point, he realized it was all a joke and that he’d been catfished. His friends would always bring it up, so he came to the realization that it was someone he probably knew. After having this experience, Muasti decided to block the Facebook user. To this day, he still laughs about it.
On the other hand, for someone who’s less of a jokester, Hannah Mullis and her friends witnessed another Facebook account of hers with her information. As she looked through the photos of herself from the fake page, she saw inappropriate and disturbing captions like “I’ve only been with half of the guys in my school” or “DM for something special.”
From this fake account, Hannah was very angry and upset because it changed the way people viewed her, especially at school. It frightened her to know what people would think of her or what they were saying; even being outside of school made her uncomfortable, wondering how far the issue would get. Luckily, her parents did not find out about it, or else it would’ve became a bigger issue than it was already according to Hannah. “I was scared to look at other people, just the way they glanced at me made me feel weird,” she said.
Eventually Hannah took matters in her own hands and became more cautious about the things people post on social media. “I immediately reported the profile and made an announcement on my Facebook that there was a fake account with my pictures,” said Hannah.
Catfishing can either be a serious matter or something to go back and laugh about. Adults usually suggest youngsters to not spend so much time on electronics, but the more you know, the better you know a true catfisher.