Meet Me in Manhattan
A NetGalley Review
One of the best points about this book was the discussion of the catfishing. A term I had not heard of before. So in my usual researcher fashion I set out to explore the perils of online dating and just what catfishing was all about.
The Urban Dictionary told me that catfishing was:
The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).
Possible motivations: revenge, loneliness, curiosity, boredom
The term catfishing was inspired by the 2010 documentary “Catfish.
Wikipedia has a slightly different definition:
Catfishing is a type of deceptive activity involving a person creating a sock puppet social networking network for nefarious purposes.
A ‘sock puppet’?! A sock puppet being a false identity.
Now I have heard about people who scam lonely women into giving up cash but hadn’t realised that it went further than that but I can quite see how it could. It is very easy to have multiple identities online – I have several usernames for instance, depending on whether I want the site viewers to link my comments to my own identity. Although I doubt that it fools those really into the internet and if you wanted you could investigate my life online and find out a lot about me and my family. As even though I have cautious about putting my personal life online my children have pages and their details are there and I am sure you could link them easily if you wanted to.
Back to the phenomenon of catfishing though.
A Huffington Post article from last year agrees that we all (?) tend to add some inches (men) to our height and lose some weight (Women) on our profiles but that apart from posting some really flattering photos, possibly from a few years back, most of us are reasonably accurate I our descriptions of ourselves.
The Daily Titan warned people earlier this year to be cautious about online dating. They suggest that Skyping etc would be a good tactic and trawling through people’s social history would be useful (check them up on Facebook for instance?). But in the book, they had many phone calls which could have alerted our heroine but seemed so reassuring and genuine.
However, nearly all the articles are warning about the money scam aspect rather than the emotional fallout from being duped by someone for their ‘fun’. And in this book we see that the emotional fallout can be much greater. People become very cautious about interacting with others and lose their trust.
So is this a good book – yes but very much chick lit and thus a quick read and with a nice uplifting ending but I won’t say what…