Introduction: (hook – antidox)
Many people live the illusion of others instead of living the truth of themselves. They seek pleasure in dancing at the end of the line, each tug is their drug. They’re stuck confiding in hollow waters seeking bait, they are catfish. Hi and welcome to my speech on how social networking provides any individual with the ability to create their own fake persona, to create their own illusion in order to fool others for their own pleasure, a catfish. The definition of 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 easily deceptive individuals. Catfish commonly like to swim inside the online dating industry, a place which grows increasingly popular every day with 50 million people having tried online dating to this day. Of these people, there are some shifty people who try these dating services, which can result in dire consequences. In this speech I will show you three examples and with each example a sign of how you, yourself can avoid being fooled by a catfish.
1st Paragraph- Example one: The tale of Natalie Burgess
Explain her story and link to illusion.
Here’s first example Natalie Burgess, a lonely and repressed woman who felt the need to create numerous false identities, all of which very far from her reality, in order to fool men. Natalie would create her own characters, by talking in different voices, using pictures and creating fake profiles so she could sit back and watch her own illusion unfold.
Here is what Natalie has to say. Play clip with quote: “I’ve never felt attractive and I’ve never felt loved… I literally didn’t like who I was, I hated my life and so that’s when I created Amy, they were the puppets and I was the puppeteer and I was just pulling the strings and sitting back and watching the show.”
As she said in the clip, she would often pose as a female and then would go through the same processes to fool people into believing they were in a false relationship. To explain this process, I will explain as if you are being catfished by Natalie. You have met one of her characters online and believe you are in an intimate relationship with her through her fake impersonations. You further believe this because she begins posing as the fake character’s daughter putting on a 6- year old girl’s voice. You receive a call from an unknown number and it is an unfamiliar voice claiming that this character you were in a relationship has just died. How would you feel? Because this is exactly how she receives pleasure from her victims, taking pride in their pain.
The first sign on how you can avoid being catfished, as expressed in this example, is to request to video call (via skype for example), this excludes voice calls because in circumstances such as Natalie’s, the catfish can use different voices to avoid being caught. By video calling, the catfish cannot hide this illusion, and by doing this you can ensure this catfish’s appearance matches their portrayals online, all behind the safety of your computer screen.
2nd Paragraph- Example two: The tale of Jenelle Potter
Explain her story. This next catfish, not only resulted in tragedy but a bizarre and unforgettable story. This story starts off when Bill and Billie began their romance, of which they unknowingly set up a diabolical plot which would ultimately end with both murdered inside their own home. But first, at the center of the tragedy is Jenelle Potter, enduring the horrific effects of cyberbullying thus gaining attention from her worrying parents. Eventually CIA agent Chris got involved warning Jenelle’s parents through email, that couple Bill and Billie were a danger to Jenelle. Jenelle’s protective parents put all trust in Chris despite never really meeting him in person thus next believing in his claims that surveillance shows Bill and Billie plotting to harm Janelle. Chris promised he would back up her parents if they were to take actions to protect Jenelle but this couldn’t be any further from reality. After Jenelle’s father and boyfriend broke into the home of the innocent Bill and Billie, they murdered them in cold blood with Billie holding her mercifully unharmed infant. These circumstances were merely an illusion, putting Jenelle’s parents and boyfriend as puppets, when it was revealed afterwards in the police investigation that all of Chris’ emails led directly to her parent’s address. Yes, it was in fact Jenelle catfishing her family and boyfriend, as a ruthless act against Bill and Billie. Jenelle, through catfishing her close relatives formed this illusion that Chris was in fact very much real, however he was merely a character created as part of a manipulative plan, an act of vengeance against those who have wronged her using her keyboard as a weapon.
The dangers. To learn from this story, the next sign is shown, this sign being inconsistency of their profile, this means that their bio doesn’t match what they say in conversation, for example they say they have a full time job but never leave the social network. This can be said about Chris, being a CIA agent, you could imagine he is very busy, however for him to be fully involved in such a irresolute investigation is very fishy and to put all trust in such someone you have never met is an questionably risky move. Question their motives and just how realistic they are.
3rd Paragraph- Example three: The original catfish
Explain his story.
Through our study, you most likely already know much about Gatsby’s illusion, but you may not know that he can be classified as a catfish. Jay Gatsby is literature’s famous catfish, without needing any access to social network, he managed to create his own fake persona, fooling everyone around him through this illusion. I can easily relate today’s society with The Great Gatsby in the way that he was formed this illusion, just like people nowadays like to depict false personas acting as a catfish, being caught on one’s hook as they are being reeled in but rarely manage to be caught. Gatsby does this very persuasively and puts great dedication in holding his illusion he catfishes Nick into believing he is something he is not in order to pursue love he could not reach otherwise. As said before, many catfishes use false personas to impress or attract others into catching them, Gatsby uses Jay Gatsby as his false character, in efforts to be caught in Daisy’s life.
The dangers: Because of Gatsby’s choices to catfish those around him, he can learn the final sign to catch a catfish, that the catfish will become very defensive over this illusion once errors come to light, take the car ride with Nick, when Nick begins to notice the inconsistency of his stories, a sign was shown that Gatsby was in fact posing as a false identity. I think that Gatsby realises this but only when it’s too late to stop, through catfishing he has already affected others and as do many catfishes online who have swam so close to the surface that it’s difficult to evade consequences once caught.
Conclusion. Send away the message
In conclusion, I have explained to you how social networking provides any individual to create their own illusion in order to fool others for their own pleasure by means of catfishing and how not only do these actions create harm to those deceived but the catfish themselves. I have informed how to avoid being fooled into believing these illusions by three signs. And just remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of because who knows if being that screen a catfish controls, only you can.