Why "Catfish: The TV Show" is Important.


I'm watching Catfish from the Swiss MTV channel and I am not only amazed by the amount of people who create virtual realities for themselves in order to deceive people but I am also entertained! What fascinates me the most is that as much as these Catfishes are twisted liars, I actually not only understand them, I also relate in some degree. More than that, I envy these Catfishes, because I often get days when I just want my life to be something else other than what it is.

What I do find incredible about this show is how intrinsically educational it is in a non-pretentious way. Not only is the show educational for creating awareness about the importance of internet safety, but the show exhibits very complex layers that teach us about the intricacies of human nature, especially the nature of people who are afraid, whether it be fear of rejection, fear of judgment or fear of the truth.

What is  a Catfish?

"A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.
Did you hear how Dave got totally catfished last month?! The fox he thought he was talking to turned out to be a pervy guy from San Diego!orI was really falling for that gorgeous gal on Facebook, but she turned out to be a catfish." - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=catfish

Lies offer temporary freedom from having to deal with the unshakable, inevitable truth of who we are and what we feel about who we are. Lies, although not the best tool for dealing with life's challenges, can be used as brief relief from a painful reality, as a conduit to escape the harshness of our lives, to escape judgment, rejection and to help us assimilate in spaces that we have always desired to occupy but couldn't.

As much as I understand and even envy people who choose to be Catfishes, I detest people who lie. Not all lies get me into a fit of rage, though. The most disgusting lies, lies that make me loose respect for humans, are lies pertaining to feelings, which happens to not be the lies that occur much on Catfish: The TV Show. Catfishes are usually very honest in their communications about how the feel for the people they speak to, and maybe that is why I don't judge them as harshly. 
Season 1 episode that made me cry

The second most detestable lies are lies pertaining to thoughts. People who do not share their thoughts freely make me uncomfortable. I am not saying that people should speak their thoughts without filters. I am saying that when you do share your opinion, or when you disapprove of something, you should not behave as if you think the opposite, or as if you agree with it in order to appear more likeable. These are the people who watch abuse and not get involved even if their hearts tell them to intervene. These are people who do not say what they are thinking to run away from the responsibility of doing the helpful (right) thing.

The liar I dislike the least is, although I hate them all, are those who lie about their bodies, their bank balances, their education background, or even those who lie about knowing people they have never met. Basically, this last category of liar is harmless as long as they keep their feelings and thoughts honest. This is why I can not fully be angry with these people. They seem to be temporarily confidence deficient, and usually, with a good intervention, they start getting their acts together.

Unfortunately, there are Catfishes out there who are liars in all these above categories, and those are monsters, as far as I am concerned, because they get so far from themselves that they lose compassion and their humanity. These are the types that kill people, psychopaths... Humans that feel no remorse for any hurtful act they do.

Most of the people on Catfish: The TV Show, are just... They are just trying to find a connection with people, to feel as if they belong to someone, and before they know it, they find themselves losing control of the situation and being unable to stop due to the incredible momentum their fake pictures have created. Worst of all, the Catfishes get addicted to the energy of the attention they get and literally can not quit anymore without feeling a deep sense of emptiness and loss.

Being a person who has had a very tough life, I understand the need to escape very well. Unfortunately, I have never found pretending to be someone else as a viable solution to solving my problems because I do not like drama. I understand these Catfishes and often want to comfort them, wishing of assisting them because often, they themselves don't even know how to articulate why they do what they do, and I watch helplessly because I know that I can give these souls break-throughs that could assist them in regaining control over their lives. I really do wish that I could assist these lost Catfishes because I understand them more than they seem to understand themselves, and due to this, watching Catfish: The TV Show becomes such an emotional experience for me.

I care about people, and feel the most worth when I can unleash the power that is dormant within a human. I really do find joy out of people finding their joy. I find power in making others powerful. This is basically because I get love from loving others.
The hosts of Catfish: The Tv Show, looking very GQ.

What I also find charming about this show are the hosts of Catfish, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph. Firstly, I have to commend Nev for being a very vulnerable human, which immediately makes others vulnerable around him. He has a great gift of opening people up because he is open. Max, though, is my favourite, simply because he is more like me. Max is less adorable than the dreamer Nev but Max is realistic, under control and compassionate.

The truth is, (and many might not want to listen) it doesn't matter who made the mistake at the end of the day, the damage has been done. The victim and the perpetrator has to accept and move on from "the" situation, yes, both need to heal. The best way to heal is to forgive those who have hurt you, or to forgive yourself, or both. How you forgive those who hurt you is by getting closure, preferably with the person who hurt you at hand for when you have questions that haunt you, such as, "Why me?"

Catfish: The TV Show allows for victims to move on, and gives the perpetrators the priceless opportunity to overcome their demons by seeing the results of their handy-work. As they say, hurt people hurt people.
Me Catfishing you because I have gained 10 kgs since this pic was taken

We all have situations where we have been hurt, or hurt others. The only thing that helps a hurt heart is the truth. Catfish gives people the opportunity to choose differently in order to change their lives. This is why I love this show. It is doing the good fight, healing people, without being spiritually self-righteous.

I was tempted to go deeper into the minds of Catfishes but this blog was to highlight the show more than my views on the human mind, so I hope watching the show also gets you contemplative and compassionate for people. Humans are lonely and afraid, and their struggle is so real that they choose to abandon logic, just to feel loved. They choose to abandon themselves, just to feel loved.



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