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Using your common sense and ignoring your heart: a how-to guide

Now that I am an expert on both the movie and the television show Catfish – meaning, I’ve watched the movie and all three of the episodes available to me on my cable’s On-Demand – I think we need to have a chat, people of the internet.

It seems that some of you are being very, very foolish about your hearts.

Now, I know. I KNOW. I’m not really the best one to talk. I’m a walking conundrum. I’m very guarded and very wary of people – all people, not just internet people – but once you win me over, I’m yours. And I’m rabidly loyal and I wear my heart on my sleeve with those few people that I allow myself to trust. Now, usually this works out just fine. Sometimes, as happens to everyone, these relationships implode. Then I am crushed, because, well, your sleeve is not the best place to wear your heart. It makes SUCH a mess on your best blouses, seriously. Blood just NEVER comes out.

I give everything my all. It’s both a curse and a blessing, sometimes. I know no other way.

That’s neither here nor there, though. From watching all the Catfish, I have learned the following about people, and it is horrifying.

THEY ARE FALLING IN LOVE WITH LONG-DISTANCE PEOPLE THEY MEET ONLINE WITHOUT TALKING TO THEM ON THE PHONE OR SKYPING WITH THEM.

OK, listen. I can totally, totally understand the power of words. It is very easy to get swoony feelings over someone who gives good email. It absolutely is. I’m not even making fun of you for that.

I get it. You get something like this, you'd be all twitterpated. Totally understandable.

I get it. You get something like this, you’d be all twitterpated. Totally understandable.

However, if you find yourself falling in mutual crush for someone you only know through email/Facebook/Twitter/some other text-based service, you owe it to yourself to do the following two things:

  • ask to speak to them on the phone;
  • ask to Skype with them.

If they refuse to do these things repeatedly, and give you excuses like “I don’t have a cell phone” or “I don’t own a computer that has Skype capabilities” THERE IS SOMETHING HINKY GOING ON.

You have to be wise about these things. I am completely emotional, and again, I am not the right person, probably, to be giving you this advice. I understand being all, “BUT I LOVE HIM HE DOES NOT HAVE TO PROVE HIMSELF FOR ME!” and I understand when your heart tells you things, it screams louder than your head, sometimes. I get that.

But you have to listen to your head. YOU HAVE TO.

If the person you’re internet-dating and telling all your secrets to and falling in love with and such says they don’t have a cell phone – well, think about this. They’re online a lot, I assume? If someone lives their life online, odds are very good they have a cell phone. And therefore, they are lying to you for some reason. Now, if they tell you they have a cell phone but limited minutes or something, maybe. I had that plan up until recently. But if that’s the case, they probably have a land line, and could talk to you on that. People in this day and age have phones. I’m sorry to break this to you. If they say they don’t, they are lying to you. And if they’re lying to you, they’re hiding something. (My mom, when I mentioned this to her, said, “NO! I don’t have a cell phone!” and I said, “Yes, Mom, but you aren’t exactly catfishing people online, now, are you?” and she said, “Most of the words in your sentence there were gibberish to me”  so she’s not a good example of people who don’t have a cell phone. Dad has a cell phone but it isn’t a smart phone and sometimes people text him on it and he refuses to text them back because, per Dad, “I have old fat fingers and I don’t know how to use that tiny little keyboard.”)

See? Everyone has a cell phone. EVERYONE.

See? Everyone has a cell phone. EVERYONE.

And, piggybacking on this, if you ask them to Skype (and you should, because listen, pretty words are awesome, and yes, you can fall in love with someone’s words, you absolutely can, but you don’t know you’re in love until you see the person; you can say you’re not materialistic until the cows come home, my darling dearests, but it’s not materialistic, it’s common sense. We are attracted to some people and we are not attracted to others. It’s just the way of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re an asshole. It just means you are human) and they say they can’t because they don’t have a computer, or don’t know how, or various other reasons, blah blah – well, again, most likely, that person is a liar. Now, I didn’t have a webcam for the first year or so I was blogging. So I couldn’t have Skyped. I suppose there are SOME valid reasons for not being able to do so. But I GOT a webcam. (I still haven’t really Skyped. I tried once. It was disastrous and I think I broke Skype, seriously. It froze a LOT. Why does it always seem to work so seamlessly on television?)

See? Look how much fun they're having. That seems unfair.

See? Look how much fun they’re having. That seems unfair.

Also, the Catfish-guy taught me a very smart thing (BAM, Mom, who SAYS the television won’t teach me things?): if you are friends with someone on Facebook and they only have a few friends, that’s a red flag. Also, if you take their photos and put them into Google image search, you can see if they ganked them from someone else’s profile and used them as their own photo. (I might be naive, but had no idea people were doing this shit until I saw the movie Catfish. It just seems like the shadiest thing alive. But it seems a LOT of people are doing this. THIS IS YET ANOTHER REASON TO LOCK YOUR SHIT DOWN, YO. If you put your Facebook profile to public, PEOPLE WILL STEAL YOUR PHOTOS AND USE THEM TO NEFARIOUSLY WOO LADIES AND/OR MENFOLKS!!!)

Listen, I’m going to tell you a secret. Probably it’s something you’ve heard before, but you need to pay more attention this time.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This cat is lying to you, yo. Also, it has crazy eyes.

This cat is lying to you, yo. Also, it has crazy eyes.

If you meet a super-hot person on the internet who says all the right things and seems super-into you, well, that’s awesome, sometimes things like this happen, I’m not telling you they never ever happen. But if they refuse to talk to you on the phone…and aren’t always where they say they’ll be…and won’t Skype with you because they have plenty of photos online, isn’t that enough for you?…well, listen.

There’s going to be a little voice inside your head telling you “something is wrong here, sunshine.”

And your stupid, stupid heart, which is probably a little lonely and broken like many of our hearts are, is going to shout back, “Shut up, head! He/she is perfect and wonderful! He/she loves me! He/she is perfect for me and the exact person I’ve been waiting for my entire life! Head, you are NOT going to screw this up for me, he/she has a perfectly good reason for not being able to do these perfectly normal things SHUT UP HEAD!!!”

I know. I KNOW. It’s not what you WANT to do? But you need to listen to your head.

Now, listen. If you’re just friends with the person, it doesn’t matter as much, really. I have internet friends I haven’t spoken to on the phone or Skyped with. I trust that they are who they say they are and not lying to me. But I’m also not in love with them. I *love* them, sure, but I’m not making plans to spend the rest of my life with them in a sexual way, you know? If I’m going to invite someone all up in my business I want to know they’re who they say they are. I’m kooky like that. I also have fairly good radar. Or, if not “good” radar, I’m very mistrusting. So since it takes me a super-long time to trust someone, and if they do even the SLIGHTEST thing that makes me think, “NO THIS SEEMS WEIRD” (even if really it probably isn’t) I don’t bother continuing on with the relationship, I’m usually not overly fooled by crazies and/or loonies. Hopefully. Maybe. Who knows, though, I could be getting catfished left and right and probably wouldn’t know it because according to this show THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY GOOD AT THIS. And there are SO MANY OF THEM ZOMG.

(Also, I object to the fact that the Catfish show makes it look like all of us who live on the internet are crazies who lie for a living. I’m only PARTIALLY crazy and I don’t get paid for lying, thank you, TV show, I do it for FREE. Dad said, “Of COURSE you’re all crazy. I love you, but I think you might be crazy.” But this post is already mondo-long so that’s a story for another day, now, isn’t it?)

I know. It all seems very exciting and very romantic to have a long-distance internet boyfriend or girlfriend. (I’m specifying long-distance here, because if they’re local? MEET UP WITH THEM, YO. It’s like Skype but BETTER. There can be HUGGING. And other things. That I will not go into. Ahem.) And I know quite a few people who have met their significant others through the interwebs and guess what? They weren’t even stabbed to death. I KNOW! SHOCKING REVELATIONS!

Just use your head. That’s what it’s there for. It’s amazing to me that you’re not doing this. Don’t sell yourself short just because you think it’s finally your turn to have a super-romantic time. That’s ridiculous and how you get either murdered or your identity stolen, or in the smaller-scale of things, you just feel like a total asshat when the person you fell in love with turns out to be a mentally-unstable teenage boy or a lonely gramma or something.

Also, people who are catfishing others, just stop it. I think you’re probably insane, so you don’t understand what you’re doing is wrong, but IT IS NOT FUNNY IT IS HORRIBLE. You don’t earn someone’s trust and piss all over it. You just don’t do this. Ever. If you do, you know what they say about karma, right? YOU ARE GOING TO BE EATEN BY KARMA’S SHARP SHARP TEETH YOU ASSHOLE.

Just be careful, ok, internettians? It’s wonderful to fall in love. It’s the best thing in the whole entire world, followed closely by really, really good chocolate. And also maybe delicious pudding. Shit, now I want some pudding. But if it seems weird…IT PROBABLY IS.

This is common sense. You all have it. Please use it. Thank you. I worry, you see.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

20 responses to “Using your common sense and ignoring your heart: a how-to guide

  • becomingcliche

    Hey, all you people I’m catfishing right now? I genuinely don’t have a cell phone. But you can totally email me? “kay?

    I have never met sj in person, but I am pretty sure she exists. Pretty sure. Almost 100% sure. Skype would be cool.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I haven’t met sj, either, but I’ve seen many videos of her and her kiddos, and I’d think it would be pretty hard for her to fake those. So I’m like…let’s say…98% sure she’s real. Right? Right.

      How many people ARE you catfishing? And how do you keep them all straight? Do you have Excel spreadsheets or something? That fascinates me.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I’m not going to rant about how I think people are stupid (present company excluded, obviously), because once I wrote a post on the subject and got it out of my system and now I think people are really kind and intelligent.

    (No, I don’t. Not really. But I won’t rant about it.)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Wait, all we have to do is blog about something and it’s out of our system and we won’t worry or be upset about it anymore?

      I have a LOT of things to blog about, then. I’d better get crackin’.

      Like

  • mfennvt

    Mmm, chocolate pudding…

    Like

  • elaine4queen

    I have done both internet dating and getting boyfriends ON the internet.

    Two different things. Internet dating was HORRIBLE. Although kind of funny, and if you are going to blog about it what’s not to like (apart from creepiness). Also, this guy made a film and got famous, so good for him. If it had gone well there would be no story.

    On the other hand, becoming INVOLVED with someone in a random way because the internet introduced you is a lot less heinous, or it has been for me.

    Years ago a friend said to me ‘You’re not going to meet anyone in your own front room!’ in an effort to get me ‘out there’. BOOM!

    Wrong.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I met three people through internet dating. Two were meh, one was scary crazytown. I therefore no longer internet date.

      Friend-wise, though, I’ve met 4 people in real life that I knew through Twitter first. Three were lovely, so that’s an excellent track record, I think. I have plans to meet two more before the year is out, and couldn’t be more excited about that.

      However, meeting friends and meeting potential lovers = two very different things. There’s a lot less pressure when you’re meeting a friend. For example: you probably won’t be taking your clothes off with the friend. PROBABLY.

      Like

      • elaine4queen

        i love meeting internet peeps!

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I always get irrationally nervous but it usually ends up just fine. But that’s just me and my social awkwardness. IT WILL BE JUST FINE!!!

          Like

          • elaine4queen

            even completely MAD people are interesting – just being able to meet your penpals in the flesh is a buzz, whatever they are like IRL

            Like

            • lucysfootball

              You are a lot braver than I am. I’m petrified of real-life social interaction. I still DO it, I just tie myself up in knots over it.

              Like

              • elaine4queen

                I tend not to get into social situations which I can’t get out of if I can help it.

                Odds are, if you are honest with yourself, you will have approx the same amount of rapport with someone IRL as you do online. So, if you are quite tangentially connected then you only have that, whereas if you really did ROFL at your twitter chats or whatever, then you probably will IRL, too. Just like you say for the dating thing. UNfortunately it is entirely possible to WISH you had more in common and battle ahead when it’s clearly evident that you really never did…

                Like

                • lucysfootball

                  You’re a wise woman, Elaine.

                  Wait til you read TOMORROW’S post. It has VERY EXCITING TWITTER MEETUP NEWS.

                  If your theory holds true, I think this person and I will get along like a house on fire.*

                  (*no actual houses will be burned upon our meetup.)

                  Like

  • blogginglily

    I honestly thought your generation had this shit DOWN yo. But I was wrong. All of the above is correct, and apparently people have been doing this stuff since BEFORE the internet!!!!

    a few months ago a girl from a blog I also read posted this: http://happyorhungry.com/2012/11/26/adventures-in-online-dating-part-3-the-guy-who-doesnt-exist/

    which is essentially the soup-nuts of how these things go down…awesome flirtation, lots in common, share pictures, chat, but something goes wrong, flirt more, chat more, decide to meet, something goes wrong…awful dramatic excuse that doesn’t allow for recrimination, flirt more chat more, more excuses…Then End.

    I get being paranoid about online people, but it’s amazing the deep dark secrets people who you’ve never met will share with you, but all of a sudden become reluctant to show you their face…ABORT ABORT!!!!

    meh. anyway. Did I tell you your book was the first one I read in 2013? It totally was! And although it was almost entirely written in “poetry”…I was able to MOSTLY understand it, and actually even LIKE it. Don’t think that means I’ll be buying more poetry though. This was YOUR poetry. Also, lots of sad, soul mate lost stuff that made me think “Awwww” a lot. And not in a condescending way.

    Finally…i don’t remember what I was going to say for finally.

    Then End.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      “My” generation? Jim, you’re 5 years older than I am. We’re in the same generation, I think.

      I just read that whole post. Holy crap. I feel terrible for her. I see how it can happen, though. It makes me angry, because really we’re just all looking for that connection, you know? And then for someone to take that trust and piss all over it – it infurates me. (Also, I like that blog. I’m totally going to be reading it now.)

      You read the whole book? Aw, Jim, thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Thank you. So much. Yeah, I don’t write a lot of happy poetry. I’m not often inspired when I’m happy. When I’m sad, though, look out.

      THEN END.

      Like

      • Blogginglily

        I don’t know…you seem so YOUNG.

        She draws cartoons that make me laugh.

        I read it cover to cover. COVER to COVER! Next book: Limericks. Come on…do it.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Good-young, like “keep your heart young” or bad-young like “what an immature creature she is?”

          Heh, limericks. I don’t think that would work for me. I remember having to write those in school once and being terrible at it. I’m not much of one for rhymes.

          Like

  • X

    should be ‘cat-“phishing” ‘ ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing

    the internet maybe full of assasins and/or heart breakers, its still
    cosier than RL:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hendy-Freegard

    fear vs. trust vs. love. b3wM!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee, yes. It should totally be catphishing. I love that.

      Um…people believed this guy was actually a spy? Whoa. He was CONVINCING. I am impressed. And also a little sad. People are really very lonely. And my heart breaks for them.

      Also, the sheer fact that you’re commenting here makes me grin and grin. You’re like a legend in our circle, you know. Hi! Thank you! Please come back!

      Like

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