How not to get catfished
There’s not much left in the world that still surprises us, yet the phenomenon of “catfishing” someone in online dating is one of them. And we’re not alone in morbid fascination, MTV even has a show illustrating catfishing in real life. In fact, the state of Oklahoma just passed a law where those caught using pictures found online to trick others into a false sense of identity are punishable by a hefty fine, and other states are taking notice.
Enter catfishing, defined in Urban Dictionary as:
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.
Hopefully, this has never happened to you, but if it has, you probably felt stung, sheepish, disappointed, angry, even scared that someone you were chatting with and looking forward to meeting in real life, just does not exist. One of the reasons we’re so set on encouraging our users to talk and video chat in realtime is expressly so they can get a sense of their matches and figure out if the person behind the screen is someone they want to spend more time with.
Remember, you never have to give out your phone number or personal contact into to chat with matches on Tingle Date, hence the appeal and magic of our realtime audio and video chat platform.
Tips to dodge catfishers
- If someone’s profile looks so familiar you’re sure you’ve seen them in at least a couple paparazzi pictures, chances are, they aren’t real. And if they are, let us know because we can and will geek out on celebrities (looking at you, any of the Hemsworth brothers)
- If you suggest and/or request speaking with a match over Tingle Date’s voice and video chat and they refuse without explanation, you probably won’t have an easy time with them in person, if they are the person you think you’re chatting with.
- There is always Google! Which is not to say that we endorse internet stalking, but matters of the heart are important, and if you have a niggling doubt, see what some Google searches can turn up. If nothing else, you’ll probably learn if they are a dog or cat person, based on how they post. For some, that’s a deal breaker!
- If the only photos on their online dating profile are blurry, and/or feature generic, non-descript people and places, you might be looking at stock photos of someone with too much time on their hands.
- Finally…it’s not all doom and gloom! Listen to your intuition, ask questions to get to know your matches, and try out video chat. In an era run by text, it’s fun to look into the eyes of someone new, to see if there are any sparks.
Did we miss any? Let us know!