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School Project for Self and Society in Virtual Contexts Class

Written on December 4th, 2017 for a school project for my “Self and Society in Virtual Contexts” class.

‘Catfish’: The Problems of Self-Presentation in Online Dating

Online dating can be taken too far with this trending deceptive activity.

For this project, I wanted to explore the issues that online dating carries from a person shaping their self-presentation. Since there’s so much potential in misunderstandings over online, it’s critical to understand that these things will often occur in online dating. Online dating consists of a complex process of reading signals and deconstructing cues. Catfishing, coined by the producer of the documentary film and TV show called ‘Catfish’, Nev Schulman, means to create fake profiles or a fake identity through social media sites to trick people. Catfishing is one of the biggest problems online, caused from managing impressions through self-presentation. As a frequent Internet user, I know that online dating is prominent among other internet users, in fact 53% of Internet users believe that online dating can be a good way of finding someone with shared interests. What does this mean? A LOT of Internet users are put in a vulnerable situation to run into a catfish.

How To Tell Who is a Catfish

~V!X~@Tozz2009#Catfish alert! This guy is using stolen photos or @EduardoLeite_ He has an Instagram set up and 2 Facebook pages.… …Sun, Nov 26 2017 13:54:45

Having to spot a Catfish can be quite difficult especially when you are talking to someone who you perceive to be one. When you suspect that someone may be ripping you off with an identity while communicating with you, you have to look out for some signs. According to, Here are some signs of how you may be able to tell:

1. Do some reverse image search on Google: You can right-click on their image or copy the URL and examine the link of the image. It will also lead you to other sources of where the picture is coming from. Instagram images are trickier since they won’t be indexed on search engines but dating sites like Tinder and Grindr can be possible with an app call Veracity.

2. Google them. Google their name and see what comes up. Maybe their real profile? Determine what is credible.

3. Is money or gift-giving involved? You may honestly be stuck in a trap and may hear from the person you’re talking to asking you for money or gifts for some excuse that you might empathize with. If you haven’t met the person in person or really gotten to know them on a personal level, do NOT trust giving them money.

4. Check their check-ins, their posts, their friends, and photos. You should really study who this person is and be aware of what location their posts are coming from. Check around and see who their friends are and who is in their photos or what you may feel be off with their photos. See if they are even tagged in friends’ photos.

5. See if their story adds up. If something just feels completely off, trust your gut instinct. If there are stories that have information that is conflicting, it may indicate that these are lies after another.

6. Check their typing. If their typing differs from one app to another, you might probably question it.

Why Do People Become a Catfish?

Okay, who in Stephenville started this account?□ #Caught #Catfish, who in Stephenville started this account?□ #Caught #Catfish Jr.@TheRealJeffJr·Fri, Nov 24 2017 22:53:01

Week 7: My question for week 7 is how does one manage or change their self-presentation while still remaining authentic? Have any of you had experience with this?·Sat, Dec 02 2017 19:52:03

Many people, especially on social media, have an ideal self. An ideal self is the self-presentation of who you want to be or a future version of yourself. Research studies have found that when someone is expected to meet a potential dating partner for the first time, a person may alter their self-presentational behavior. There are people that don’t know what to self-disclose and the tension between authenticity and impression management are given. People may feel they don’t want to reveal their true self in able to achieve the intimacy with their potential dating partner. On a survey from an online dating site’s participants, 86% felt others have misrepresented their physical appearances — that is A LOT of people with this gut instinct. For online deception to be prevented, the design of a medium can discourage lying behaviors as well as recorded or ‘real time’ media. Any chosen medium can affect communication. (Ellison, et al., 2006)

One of the complications of Catfishing: Harassment

Thumbnail for Ray Allen claims in Florida court paper he was 'catfished' and stalkedRay Allen claims in Florida court paper he was ‘catfished’ and stalkedFormer NBA player Ray Allen has filed a motion in an Orange County, Florida, court to have a suit thrown out that accuses him of stalking. Allen claims that he is the one being stalked and harassed. Allen claims he was “catfished” by the accuser, Bryant Coleman, who impersonated multiple women to get closer to the two-time NBA champion, via the Associated Press.Chris Barnewall

Week 10: Online Harassment: I have experienced online harassment. One night I was getting ready for bed when I received dozens of perverted phone calls and text messages simultaneously. I had later found out that my phone number, photos from Instagram and location were posted onto the sex page of Craigslist. I didn’t know who it was that was behind the page, but the same person then decided to download a texting app to sexually/verbally abuse me. I had to change my number and call the cops. It was definitely a terrible experience for me!·Fri, Nov 03 2017 02:12:00

Since catfishing is usually known for stealing the photos of others, some of these can be considered forms of harassment. It’s not ethical to take photos of others and pose as that person but it’s more worrisome when harassment is followed after. For example, the girl from the post above have had her photos from Instagram taken and were posted onto a sex page. This is a form of catfishing, even if online dating isn’t involved. When online dating is involved, harassment may come from stalking or some type of event that will cause emotional distress on a person from their potential partner.

When Catfishing Becomes a Problem in Someone’s Personal Life

Thumbnail for Catfish who duped NBA star and model says jail helped her anxietyCatfish who duped NBA star and model says jail helped her anxietyShelly Chartier, 33, said going to jail for blackmailing helped her social anxiety She catfished NBA star Chris Andersen and aspiring teen model Paris Dunn Chartier created an online relationship between the two and would relay messages and pictures to each of them at her home in Easterville, Manitoba Reporter

#dcim352fall17 Week 11: Internet Addiction Internet addiction refers to the problematic use of the Internet, including the various aspects of its technology. As the technology develops, increasing amount of people gradually rely on technology in their lives. Moreover, people start to have great difficulty of avoiding the Internet. And they often losing track of time when online. Even more, people would like to use their sleeping time on the Internet, which will affects they health and mental status. More importantly, people are reduced involvement with their family or friends because they already spent too much time on the Internet. And many people too rely on the Internet lives, they share a lot of private lives information in the Internet, which is very dangerous to themselves. Because the bad people can know more about one person through the online information, like the personal profile, Twitter location, photo with others and so·Sat, Dec 02 2017 20:12:01

Catfishing can very problematic to the person who is playing this act of deception on another. It can be kept secretive to the person who is catfishing. In a few episodes of the MTV TV show Catfish, some people who did it was still in a relationship with their boyfriend or girlfriend while seeking other potential partners through catfishing. It can also cause as much damage as an arrest. In a well known story in the media, 33 years old Shelly Cartier posed as the NBA star Chris Andersen to create a fake online relationship with 17 years old Paris Dunn. She blackmailed her nude photos to her and even posed as the girl’s mother. She pleaded to seven counts of fraud and was sent to prison in 2015.

Is Catfishing Always Bad?

Week 12: Due to the developed technologies, people share their lifestyles via Instagram and Facebook by uploading the pictures in their pages. One of the pictures that they upload is the profile picture, which is important picture in the teenagers’ social media because “most profiles are designed in one way or another to provide ‘a way of expressing who you are to other people'” (Livingstone 399). For example, when we go to the one person’s page in Facebook, we can see the profile picture which helps us to think what kinds of person he or she is. Because of this phenomenon, teenagers try to choose their profile pictures that help them to be looked nice or beautiful. However, many teenagers think the difference between their real aspects in the reality and their ideal aspects that are showed through their profile pictures is huge. In the previous lecture, we watched a video that was created by Ossena O’Neill and it was a great example of the identity confusion. Because of her feeling of separation between her lifestyle that was showed via her Instagram and her real lifestyle, she eventually quitted social media. This difference makes teenagers confuse between their identities in social media and their identities in reality. Another problem of teenagers’ social media is relevant to their privacy. Specifically, through the social media, teenagers trying to overshare their information such as home address, phone number, and email address because “teenagers must and do disclose personal information in order to sustain intimacy” (Livingstone 405). However, teenagers’ oversharing could invade their privacy because other people who are not friend with them could know the detail information that they shared in social media. Sharing their information in social media could improve the relationship between teens and their friends; however, oversharing impacts on their privacy negatively. Overall, by sharing both their pictures that could represent their ideal aspects and their information that could increase the level of intimacy with their friends, teenagers’ social media could generate both the identity confusion and invasion of privacy.·Sun, Dec 03 2017 18:42:48

Jessica Hollyman □@jess_hollyman#Catfish is insane isn’t it. I mean c’monnnn! Why would you be in a relationship over the internet anyway and when… …Sun, Dec 03 2017 09:40:39

Most of the time, it is, but those who are into catfishing are actually mostly only looking for online relationships and those who want a face-to-face relationship tend to be more honest. Even though catfishing doesn’t really cause physical harm, psychological harm is prominent. In some rare situations, it is dangerous and contains negative consequences, but most people consider catfishing as a form of entertainment or a prank and it helps people to explore someone’s identity. (Coen, 2015) Creepy CATFISH STORY!!!!Nicoletta xo·Mon, Jan 04 2016 05:34:20

How to Spot a Catfish > Ditch the Label. (2017, September 28). How to Spot a Catfish. Retrieved December 02, 2017, from …
Ellison, N., Heino, R., Gibbs, J. (2006) Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11, 415–441.
Coen, S. (2017, December 01). Not all online catfish are bad, but strong communities can net the ones that are. Retrieved December 03, 2017, from …