One of my favorite documentaries is a film called, “Catfish” in which a young man who is involved with a beautiful woman decides to document their first real-life meeting. What transpired is not pretty.
When he arrives, everything is different from what he had imagined.
Last night, John and I watched the TV spinoff from this documentary, a series by the same name. I think we watched three episodes, and in each one of them, one person would misrepresent him/herself to another person. The people from the show would check it out, and the other person would be crushed.
Why do people misrepresent who they are online?
I know one person who is living in hell, in a horrible relationship, living in some little tin can dump, but to read what she writes online, you’d think everything was peachy-keen. She continually pursues men and makes them think she is living in Nirvana….but when they meet her in person…OUCH! WHY do people do that? Why not just be comfortable with and own up to who you REALLY are?
I know a lot of folks who have met online and have successfully developed relationships. My own daughter, in fact, met her husband online. They have been happily married for 10+ years, have a beautiful daughter, and a beautiful life. They love one another and are happy. Things turned out well for them. One of my closest friends met her husband online, too. Same story.
What happens when things don’t work out with these relationships? I keep thinking of that kook who shot that poor woman….the Craigslist killer. I think of other disastrous examples, and it sort of scares me.
I invited one friend that I met online, a fellow artist, to come spend a weekend while John was away. I took Ingrid with me to pick her up at the train station. We went to the Fine Art Museum, out to dinner, gallery hopping and we watched, “Nashville” (a favorite TV show of mine) together. Everything went beautifully. She was a perfectly normal person and is now a great friend. My husband, on the other hand, made friends with someone online and had highest hopes about a real friendship, but things did not go well. His “friend” had severely misrepresented reality. It happens, and was a lesson learned. ….so one never really knows until he or she meets the other person face-to-face.
All I can say is to be careful before you engage with someone online, and especially if you plan to meet that person in real life….and don’t be too surprised or disappointed if your situation turns out to be another CATFISH.
Have any of you ever been involved in friendships or romantic relationships online that turned into a nightmare when you met the person in real life? Have you experienced meeting someone in person who turned out to be completely different from the way that he/she represented him /herself online? I’d love to hear your stories. I am going to write a piece about this subject. Either comment here, please, or shoot me an email, if you prefer a more private discourse.