The story of Manti Te’o, a Notre Dame football player and Heisman trophy finalist, has been all over the press. He met a girl named Lennay on Faebook, who he thought could be the love of his life. “She” turned out to be a “he.” Te’o had been “catfished.”
Catfish is a term coined by Nev Schulman. Along with his brother and friend, he created the movie, “Catfish” to document him meeting a beautiful women he had been speaking with online. It turns out that she misrepresented herself online. The movie is now a MTV program called, “Catfish: The TV Show.” Nev, a camera man and an MTV follows people as they meet their online loves. For many, their princess or prince charmings are really nothing but frogs.
In the case of Manti Te’o, a man named, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo created a hoax to get attention and feel loved. He created a fake profile on Facebook and the relationship with Te’o ended with the death of his alter-ego, Lennay. Tuiasosopo shared his story last week on the Dr. Phil show and explained his actions. Unfortunately, due to the deception of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the future football career of Manti Te’o has been damaged. Te’o’s value in the NFL Draft has sharply decreased. Some believe that if he could not sniff out a fake girlfriend, how could he possibly be a leader on a NFL team?
But, “catfishing” happens to people everyday, because there are people willing to prey on the feelings of others. Also, some see social media as a place where they become someone else and live out their fantasies because they are unfufilled in their normal lives.
If you are talking to others online, here are some ways to NOT get catfished:
- If he sounds too good to be true, he probably is. If your online boyfriend is a model, millionaire and Olympic athelete, then it’s probably not true, especially if he still works at Walmart to stay humble.
- Sometimes people will fake illnesses if you try to see them online via Skype or in-person. If your online crush suddenly develops cancer, blindness and paralysis–all at the same time–the person is probably misrepresenting themselves.
- I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. IF you decide to meet with someone in person, take someone with you and meet in a public place. It is very likely that your online boo is not telling the truth and could be an older man trying to prey on young girls.
- Do not give out your address. There are ways for people to find out where you live and you could get an unexpected surprise at your door.
So please stay safe out there on and offline.