Oh, Te’O. You’re either a darling little gullible goober, or the smartest PR negotiator in your field right now. Not only do girls across the country want to right how you’ve been wronged now, you’re the media’s new favorite topic.
If you haven’t heard, Manti Te’O, a star linebacker for the Notre Dame football team has recently come out to say a fairly well circulated story about his girlfriend’s death, (which he said inspired him to play better as he helped the Fighting Irish get to the BCS National Championship), was actually a hoax apparently perpetrated against him. The university began investigating only to find no record of Lennay Kekua, (said girlfriend) and as it turns out- someone was using a fictitious name with Te’o and then worked with others to lead him to believe she had died of leukemia.
I watched an episode of MTV’s new hit (hit? are we calling it that?) “Catfish” the other night after a girlfriend of mine continuously recommended it. The particular episode I watched featured a hunky (but not-so-bright) victim that had been catfished by a young, apologetic black gay male.
For those of you that don’t know and are getting annoyed, (I had to ask said girlfriend to define it for me prior to the episode) the now-trending term “catfish” applies to those who are mislead by someone’s pictures or profile via social media, usually Facebook. So instead of sending your beloved private pictures to that 21-year-old busty blonde, you could actually be publicizing your goods to just about anyone.
I have to admit, I’m sort of confused by the idea that this is so far fetched to these victims. I mean. Really? In the episode of the show I watched, the girl “didn’t have a cell phone” and couldn’t ever video chat or get to a real phone when he asked. I mean…
Maybe the 21st century has just made me overly suspicious, but didn’t this kid pay attention to his stranger-danger lectures? Didn’t his mom tell him to be careful on the Internet? Didn’t he ever hear of a show called “To Catch a Predator”? Come on, pookie.
Also; why the need to do this via the Internet? I think it’s scary how social networking has the ability to both unite and isolate all at the same time. And I’m just as guilty of it… Is it sad that my instinct now when I see a pretty view is to Instagram it instead of enjoy it? Or is it exciting that now I can share that view with all of my friends with just the click of a button?
What gets me sad about all of this is that these people feel the need to create an entire fake identity for themselves online as an outlet. And not for a recreational game, but to trick a real human to like an idea of someone they would rather be. Why did this kid on catfish feel like he needed to pose as a girl he’s never met to get the attention of a guy he’s never even meet?
Everyone has insecurities. Trust me, I get it. But let’s not get carried away here. Go out, meet people- get off your phone. This age of technology makes it way too easy for us to hide behind our social media platforms instead of making the extra effort to socialize. Our interpersonal skills are declining at a terrifying rate - and again, this is something I’m guilty of just as much as the rest. I can’t even sit through a damn episode of homeland straight through without grabbing my phone to check my texts or poking around on my ipad to see if I have any new notifications, emails, etc.
All right, enough ranting. Stop catfishing and start going out. I bet Te’O’s just as sweet and as much of a goober in person as he is online. Face your fears people.
And because I like to seem like an intellectual, I leave you with this:
Albert Einstein: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”