Ever see the show “Catfish” on MTV? It has nothing to do with the paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals. But here’s something they do have in common – they are both bottom-feeders!
The new kind of catfish is when a person is lured into an online relationship by someone else who is faking their identity. Their picture is fake and many times they’re not even the gender they’re claiming to be. One reason is to extract money from their new love. My question is, how many shows do we need to see for this to stop happening? Dr. Phil, Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours, TLC, Investigation Discovery and an entire MTV show dedicated to the topic are revealing the truth about these online not-so perfect matches in this technological age.
Let’s face it, the world is full of sociopaths. Did you know that 1 in 25 Americans lacks complete empathy and guilt? Scary, huh? Next time you’re at a wedding of two-hundred, look around the room. Eight sociopaths are dancing and enjoying the free buffet. But what about the people that fall for these scams? What’s their deal? Why can’t they go to a bar and meet someone the old fashioned way – over a cocktail (or some other beverage)?
Even in the age of instant gratification, love is not easy. I feel bad for the millions of lonely individuals that search for love every day, really I do. But why don’t they wake up to the scam the second they are 1) asked for money, 2) plans are cancelled with elaborate reasons when they are scheduled to meet, and 3) never have new or current photo of themselves? Denial is a pretty strong defense mechanism for some people. It’s interesting people giving away thousands of dollars to someone they’ve never met in person, but not a family member you know. Why didn’t they hire a matchmaker? Sure, they can be expensive, but a bargain by comparison.
So how do we help these people? And is it my job to do so? You bet it is. And if I’ve fallen victim, somebody please slap me. It takes a village. I just made that up. Do you like it? It might catch on. What I’m saying is, most likely that new love of yours that you’ve never met doesn’t really need a kidney transplant. And then we can stop watching these kind of shows. Problem solved!