Can you fall in love with someone online?

Hi guys, my name is Holly Reimer and I am addicted to Catfish: the TV show (hiiii Holly). I needed to come clean and finally say it. I recently got TV at my new place and it has TiVO!!! What is this crazy invention and why does it allow me to fuel my addiction the way it does?! Since I’m rarely ever home, I have a recurring recording schedule of the show so I can watch it whenever I find myself in front of the TV. Pathetic? Yes. Do I care? No. Currently, I have 11 episodes to catch up on. I. Am. So. Excited.

But I have some questions about these people. How on earth do you fall in love with someone you’ve never seen in real life?! Is it a thing that’s actually possible? Here’s what I’m thinking. I don’t think it can actually be love (whatever that is) because a few things happen when you have never actually seen someone in real life. For starters, you are able to imagine how they must be in real life based off of how you perceive them from the internet. So maybe you’re feeling like you’re love or whatever but, in reality it’s probably more that you’re in love with the idea of the whole thing. Which who hasn’t been there before- loving the idea of something more than the actual thing. It’s the same principle as the reason why I refuse to marry someone until I’ve lived with him for a bit first: you don’t really know someone until you spend an amount of time being inseparable because only then do you actually see their mannerisms and habits.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t be the only person out there who knows they look undeniably cooler on social media than they feel in real life. It’s no secret. Instagram or any sort of dating profile you maintain online is probably about 80% your “Oh my gosh this is such a cool thing I did/great photo/amazing place I’ve visited/SO my aesthetic!!!” and 20% (probably even less) “this is funny/cool/me at 7 am with no make up on.”

So here lies the problem. You’re scrolling through Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Bumble, Tinder, Grndr, Match.com, Farmers Only, Christian Mingle and you see someones profile that looks intriguing. You start chatting and the only image you have in your head of them is this “Highlight Reel” version. Abs, world traveler, loves dogs, great with kids. What you can’t learn through the screen is that they chew really loud, breathe through their mouth, have a gambling problem and 2 girlfriends in 2 different states. What’s even worse is you can’t seem to even verify the good stuff because every time you try to FaceTime or video chat their camera is conveniently broken or the power in their apartment has gone off so the screen is pitch black. Nice, really good!!

On the flip side, of all of this it freaks me out. There are so many people out there who have had their photos used on fake profiles. It’s happened to many of my friends. The internet is such a big place, I feel like it’s nearly impossible to be 100% certain that it’s not happening to you as well. Scary. And also sad.

I may be turning into a sap, but there are definitely times when I find myself watching Catfish with a little wet thing full of feelings dripping down my cheek (lollllll). And it always comes when they are talking to the Catfisher. I spend the entire first half of the episode making the Catfish out to be this huge monster in my head, much like the victim has made them out to be this amazing person they’ve fallen in love with. Once they are finally revealed, there are a lot more layers exposed. Maybe they’ve suffered from abuse, were bullied as a child, have an illness that makes them house-bound. None of these horrible things makes their behavior excusable by any means, but my point is this all the way around: You can’t know someone fully (or love them) until you know them beyond social media.

I think this is why I’m so obsessed with this show because of this idea of people portraying themselves in a completely different way then how they are. Pretty relatable with how hugely blown up social media is in this day and age. Also, I think it’s because I am confident I would be a huge asset to Nev and Max’s investigative team because ya girl can internet creep.

But let me know! I love hearing feedback. Am I off-base? Have any of you been Catfished or fallen in love with someone you’ve never met? More importantly can you get me a job on Catfish???

 

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