Ever been cat-fished? Because I have.
I thought I might take a more personal approach to online persona’s and the masks we hide behind, as I have been a victim of social media’s underbelly, also known as cat-fishing. Continue reading if you are prepared to cringe a lot and also want to feel second-hand embarrassment. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Being cat-fished on Kik was probably one of the lowest points of my online existence.
I remember owning a widely popular Instagram account lamely named ~ @inspiration_station__ ~ (It has since been passed on, so don’t get those phones out) which had 10,000 followers. Being a ripe age of 14, I was the first person in my friendship group to download the photo sharing app. Kik was also a massive part of my short-lived Instagram fame, as I could directly message people who wanted to get in touch about my account.
This is where I experienced my first and last ever cat-fishing incident.
Someone had messaged me on Kik asking to be a co-owner of my page in order to share the work load. She was also a huge influence on Instagram, so I thought “why not” and “MORE FAME YES.” We got to talking and she sent me a photo of what she supposedly looked like. Looking back at it now, it was obviously the most basic RAWR XD Tumblr photo, but I thought it was legit.
Following this, she repeatedly messaged me saying that her “boyfriend” was messaging me, but it was actually her just being an absolute weirdo. Soon after this, she deleted her own Instagram account, and changed the password to the account I was supposed to co-own with her, alongside my own.
This is when the warning signs began flashing in my underdeveloped brain.
I quickly deleted the app, changed my Instagram password, made a new private account, and gave away my old account, along with my hard-earned 10,000 followers. I was a stupid kid, but not THAT stupid. Gosh.
And I guess this is the real reason why my mum didn’t let me get Facebook until I was 16. Shoutout to you for knowing what’s good.
From my own thoroughly embarrassing experience, I can honestly say it’s almost too easy to fall for an individuals online persona and presence. You can disguise yourself as anyone or anything, it’s your decision. This is ultimately why social apps such as Instagram, Tinder and Twitter can be so dangerous. It’s up to you to not get cat-fished. Example no.2.
So with this in mind, I would like to leave you all with this excellent representation of me online versus me in real life, to really hammer home how anyone can fool you, even those you are close with. (P.s. don’t stress, I don’t actually own one of those private spam Instagram accounts).