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Social Media And Society
Ever since the internet became a mass market product, people have been finding ways to connect with each other using this service. In the early days of the internet, this connection meant that people were speaking to each other anonymously. It was rare for someone to be online as themselves and try to connect with others using their real names and identities. The internet gave room for people to live alternate lives.
The advent of social media helped this trend go forward. Check out instaswift.com to boost your online presence. It was easy to find stock images from the internet and populate one’s personal page with these images and carry on a conversation with people to mislead them into thinking that you are a genuine person. The catfishing phenomenon, once discovered, has changed the way people perceive the internet.
What is Catfishing?
Since the internet guarantees anonymity to its users, it is possible to have a relationship with someone online without revealing who you are. So, a 40-year-old man could convince a 16-year-old girl that he’s 18 years old, and carry on a relationship with her. If things progress enough for them to meet, then, it is possible that things will go sour since a teenage girl will not open to the idea of a relationship with a man who is old enough to be her father.
The term catfishing (originally used for the act of fishing for the actual catfish that is native to the Mississippi river) came into popular usage in 2010, from a documentary of the same name. The term came into use because fishermen also deceive fish with bait. The act of deception to lure someone into getting into a romantic, internet-based relationship with them is the reason why these acts are also known as catfishing.
Is Catfishing Wrong?
Basically, anything that involves deception and lies is wrong. Using a deceptive identity to lure an innocent person into interacting with you is wrong. No matter what the justification for lying online – sexual identity, unable to interact with people one-to-one, or any other excuse really – using one’s own insecurities as the basis for an online interaction with a person who has not harmed you in any way is the wrong thing to do.
A lot of people will disagree with this viewpoint. Let’s examine it more closely. Two people, unknown to each other interact online. They are both using false identities. However, one person is masquerading as someone else and the other person is just using a cute nickname for themselves online. The trouble is that one person has an agenda, while the other just doesn’t want to reveal themselves.
It can be argued that both parties are guilty of catfishing, but, the distinguishing factor here is the simple fact that one person is flat out lying about who they are while the other has not revealed their name as given in the ID card. If there is malicious intent from one party then they are guilty of cyber fraud.
Internet safety is important
In 2017, it is a little difficult to digest the fact that there are still people who are naïve about their internet practices, but there is one thing we must realize. While cyber security evolves, so too does cyber malware. Everything isn’t what it seems and we need to understand how to stay safe online.
A small mistake from your end could expose you and your family to a lot of danger. While it might seem like a good bet to post photos online – you must ensure that there are enough privacy settings so that unwanted elements don’t have access to sensitive information about you and your family and whereabouts. Simple and seemingly innocuous information could set off an online predator and endanger the safety of your family and your money as well, depending on what you share online.
The internet has become a safe haven for many people, but, it is also where a lot of anonymous sexual predators reside. Keeping your family safe should be your first priority. And nothing else. So, have a vibrant online life, there is no harm in it, but make sure that all your information is shared with the people you trust and love, and not with those who could endanger you.