Love On(the)line: Catfish
We all look a bit better on social media. We spend time ‘checking in’ to make ourselves look adventurous, Instagramming our pictures to make ourselves look glamorous, untagging to make ourselves look more attractive and tagging our friends to make ourselves look more popular.
All of these small adjustments allow us to present ourselves online as we wish to be seen. And although this is a ‘curated’ version of us, it’s still us. However, with the unbridled freedoms which social media provides us with, there are always those who will take those adjustments to a whole new level. Those people who give up with subtle adjustments and instead just create a completely new version of themself. A new name. A new (i.e. someone else’s) face. A new life. But – how widespread is this? Is the internet really such an untruthful place? And is hooking up online really such a big deal? We asked our Millennials to find out.
According to our survey, 9 out of 10 who were approached by a stranger on a social media site accepted the invite to be friends. Out of those, 40% said it was purely out of curiosity whilst 18% admitted it was because that person was attractive. However, looks can be deceiving.
Interestingly, 4 out of 10 Millennials said that they went on to meet the person IRL who they initially had met online. So, did their expectations meet up with reality? 8 out of 10 said that the person they met was ‘as they expected’ and only 2% said the person was totally not what they expected at all (i.e. a Catfish). Although this seems to be a small percentage, it highlights a potential pitfall of connecting and dating in the digital world and that not everyone can be taken at face value.
However, Millennials are savvy to this behaviour – not least because they’ve done it a little bit of lying themselves. One in eight admitted to pretending to be someone else online and one in five admitted to setting up a fake profile. An explanation for this could be that Millennials are simply experimenting, or using a fake profile to stalk someone they have an interest in.
Georgina Palmer, 24.
Research Analyst/ Editor of Sticky