There’s a show on MTV I watch called Catfish.
“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 deceptive online romances.”(Urban Dictionary)
The premise of the show is the hosts of Catfish Nev Schulman and Max Joseph ( I feel Nev is the host and Max is the co-host) travel to different places to speak to those that want to find out who they are really talking to on the other end of the screen (computer or phone screen). After listening to their stories, Nev and Max set out to find the truth and bring that truth to the requester.
This one particular episode I was watching had Girl 1 speaking to Girl 2 via text (they met on a social media site prior) and Girl 1 was falling for Girl 2. Nev and Max usually travel alone, but this time they brought along another person named Selita. After they visited Girl 1 the three of them (Nev, Max and Selita) went to a cafe to do some research on Girl 2 and found, as always, that Girl 2 wasn’t who said claimed to be. Selita said something that stuck with me throughout the show and long after which was, “People bring their representatives the first three months” meaning people will present themselves as one person when you first meet them and are getting to know them and then the true self eventually comes out. Some remain the same and others become Mr. Hyde. Well not that drastic, but you get my point.
I began marinating on this a few days after the show and began thinking back on the people I have known and people I’m in the process of getting to know. I think the three month deal also depends on how much time you spend with the person and where you know the person. Three months could turn into years if you don’t spend that much time with them (co-workers for instance) or three months could turn in to three minutes if you are around them often. But in today’s age of social media, three months can turn in to eternity because people represent themselves totally different via Facebook and Twitter. I find Facebook to be the real culprit in false bravados being presented than Twitter but it could be because those I follow on Twitter I don’t have as “friends” on Facebook and vice versa.
I used to comment a lot on posts on Facebook (most comments weren’t to kind) and decided to stop because I didn’t want to be perceived as being a negative person. I limit my comments to certain posts and to a certain number of words and when I do post, its usually something I am re-sharing or re-tweeting and they are usually pictures or stories of animals being rescued or funny posts. I try to post funny things, because that is the true me – to a point. I don’t complain about things and I don’t try to come off like the world and life is grand and I’m the most positive person in the world, yet there a few on Facebook that do that all the time.
There are those that want to post positive (or sappy) comments about their life or their beliefs ALL THE TIME and it makes me wonder who are they trying to convince, me or themselves that they are these positive people and you can always take the frown and turn it upside down? Too much positive is like too much rich frosting – eventually its going to make you sick.
Then there are those who provide nothing but negative posts. I quickly unfollow them for as with all the positive, and I use the word extremely lightly, I don’t care to see negative posts all the time.
I came across and article today on LinkedIn (which is what got me motivated to write this blog I’ve had in my head for about a week now) whose title is “Stop Being So Nice & Start Being More Real” by Eric J. Romero
People are obsessed with happiness and “positive thinking”. They want to be happy all the time and often delude themselves into thinking that “its all good”, even when it’s not. They somehow believe that labeling things as positive can make them positive. However, just thinking that everything is wonderful does not make it so. That’s not being positive, it’s being delusional!
I strong believe in the above statement. No one can positive all the time just as no one can be negative all the time…well wait a minute, yeah there are those that can be negative all the time for this is their motivation for living. But I digress.
People do need to be more real – especially in the social media age. If I am constantly reading positive posts by someone I automatically think this person is so full crap and are lying to themselves…delusional!
Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time” or as I like to call them, red flags. But how long will it be before the Representatives decide their work is done and its time for them to leave? Who will emerge from behind the mask? Will it still be the same person or someone we end up not liking? What if the real person is much better than the Representative they sent?
I like to think people are their true selves upon meeting them but we all know that’s not the case most of the time and this when the Representatives are not representing.
“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter