“Catfish” hooks viewers in

 

Dakota Phillips ‘15

 

News Editor

“Catfish: The TV Show” has become a hit on MTV over the last year. According to MTVPress.com, it was the number one non- sports show and number one, 11 p.m. television show on Monday nights.

The idea of being “catfished’ has become a phenomenon across the United States. A “catfish” is someone who hooks people into an online relationship and does not portray who they truly are over the Internet.

“Catfish” is hosted by Nev Schulman, who has firsthand experience of being catfished. He was once in a relationship with a woman online, and when he met her in real life, she was completely different than what she had displayed on the Internet. The meeting of Schulman and his online girlfriend was filmed and made into a documentary that hit theaters in 2010. Since the movie was greatly received by the public, MTV made it into a TV show.

The show follows people who have met a love interest online, but have doubts about the truth of their online partner. These people contact Schulman, and his filmmaker buddy, Max Joseph, to help them decipher the authenticity of the person they think they are in love with. Schulman and Joseph help these hopeless romantics meet the people that are such a huge part of each other’s lives, even though they have never had a conversation face to face. Schulman and Joseph help them find the truth, whether the outcome is good or bad.

“Catfish” has become popular over the last year because people enjoy watching the stories of these people trying to take a relationship from the computer to real life, and it is either a hit or a miss. Sometimes, people turn out to be exactly who they say they are on their online profiles and other times they are nowhere near what they put online.

The discovery of someone’s online lover is always an overwhelming experience for Schulman, Joseph, and the person trying to find out the truth about who they have been talking to over the computer.

Seeing the struggles that these people go through make you think: what if that were you? What if you were the person that has been talking to someone for years and then end up finding out your entire relationship has been based on lies? It puts into perspective the danger of online predators for viewers at home.

Many young people watch the show simply for its entertainment factor, but also they are getting a dose of an online safety lesson. Adults always tell teens to be careful about who they talk to on the Internet. “Catfish” shows the effects of how talking to strangers online can go to extremes. “Catfish” is an excellent show to educate youths about being cautious of what they display about themselves over the web, and also who they are talking to over the web.

One thing that many question about “Catfish” is the authenticity of these stories. Many inquire about the truth behind the stories on “Catfish”, since it is a reality TV show. People have their doubts as to whether certain aspects are added to make the show more entertaining. The show does follow real people with real stories of online love. These people are basically putting their love life on the forefront for the nation to see, so the honesty of the stories that “Catfish” follows must be true.

Whether it’s a story that ends up like a fairy tale or a story the ends up as a disaster, seeing how easy it is for people to be tricked over the Internet always ends up with an interesting outcome.

Watch “Catfish: The TV Show” as Schulman and Joseph make a few love connections and mend their fair share of broken hearts every Monday night on MTV.