Dating is a complicated game but during these locked-down times, the game just got a whole lot messier.
With social distancing in place and meeting up irl outta the question, it kinda got us thinking, isn't this the exact world a Catfish thrives in?
A quick peep on Reddit, TikTok and a little show called '90 Day Fiancé' will tell you that yes, yes the Catfish of this world are very much alive and they're feeding off this sudden and unprecedeted change to society.
Just when we thought we had literally seen every Catfish scenario possible and the internet had finally gotten the message loud and clear to check ya facts, reverse image search and never EVER hand over money - David from 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days appears.
On the original TLC reality series '0 Day Fiancé' we follow couples who are trying to get married with one partner trying to migrate to the US on the K-1 visa. The K-1 visa is a fiancé visa that is issued to a foreigner, which requires them to marry their partner, an American citizen, within 90 days — hence the title of the show.
But in the spin off series 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days we watch the Americans meet their partners, adjust to their culture and meet the family. For starters, the spinoff version of the OG series is just plain wild and boy oh boy have the producers turned up the crazy volume and tbh we just can’t get enough. As you can imagine it’s completely chaotic.
Sweet soul David is a 60-year-old computer programmer from Las Vegas who has been dating his Ukrainian girlfriend Lana for seven years. Now David has never actually met or seen Lana, they’ve only ever spoken on a pay for play chat room and he reckons he’s handed over about $100K. $100K?!?!?!?!?!
And you best believe the internet is convinced Lana is 100% Catfishing this poor soul.
The series is following him on his fourth, yep FOURTH trip to Russia to try and finally meet Lana cause she has literally ghosted him the three previous times he’s travelled to meet her.
And people have gone into overdrive watching David blindly continue to be catfished by the Ukrainian scammer.
Poor David is seemingly in complete denial and has convinced himself that she has to be real. Somebody call Nev, we need an intervention.
For Catfishers, the inevitable question of a meet-up is the most dreaded of all, so the fact that people can’t connect IRL right now kinda plays right into their plan. It’s important, now more than ever that people who are dating online switch onto the fact that the anxiety, boredom and loneliness of iso can create a hyper emotional atmosphere and it’s that kinda state that catfishers thrive in.
With the current state of the world, our lives have completely shifted and everyone's presence online has increased dramatically. So people are spending hours and hours scrolling insta feeds, Reddit forums and endless TikTok videos.
Iso has even inspired a Catfish hashtag challenge cause lockdown has been playing some strage tricks on our minds.
TikTokers in the beauty community are repurposing the term “Catfish” and using it as a hashtag for jaw droppingly impressive make-up transformations. And we are shook ya'll.
There’s also a bunch of Tik oker’s claiming they’re “Catfishing” guys in exchange for money. Tbh this kinda treads into problematic territory but there aint no denying the transformations are next level.
Reddit has always been a hive mind for lifes biggest questions and random shit. So there is no surprises that threads are inundated with different Catfish stories old and new.
A group specifically dedicated to Catfish has just under 15K members and the tread is literally updated daily with stories from people all over the world. The truly bizarre accounts range from people who’ve been Catfished, to people who suspect it’s happening and even ex catfishers themselves contributing to the forum.
The posts can be wild, outlandish and serioulsy hilarious. But overwhelming most of the posts are all really quite sad. What you take away is that people are just searhcing for companionship and are often blind to what they don't want to see.
So why are people still getting Catfished in 2020? Did we really learn nothing from Nev or is the pursuit for love, happiness and connection enough to make people blissfully unaware?
We may have the tools to catch a Catfish but ultimately people want to believe they're the exception and they've found a genuine relationship online. These hopeful Valentines are turning a blind eye because they're lonely and it’s kinda the loneliest time in the world right now. Can you blame them for ignoring the warning signs and believing they've found love?
Let’s be kind to each other, and if your friend says he’s chatting to Bella Hadid online - cut off his goddamn wifi.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty
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