Sunday, July 31, 2011


And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin. -Vince, Catfish 
Weeks after downloading (and saving in my flash disk), I finally got to watch Catfish, the other movie about Facebook. Of course, we all know about The Social Network, the Academy Award and BAFTA nominated, Golden Globes award-winning film about the founding of today's leading social networking site. We got to meet Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins, the inspiration Erica Albright, and other highly illuminated characters. Facebook has made a huge impact in the way we socialize and has made the world smaller than what it seems. It has made us closer to anyone, virtually, just with an internet connection and the power (guts) to click "Add as a Friend."

Catfish, unlike TSN, did not employ seasoned actors. Instead, it has Nev Schulman, NY based photographer who met Abby, a young girl from Michigan through their exchange of messages in Facebook. Armed with their own equipment, Schulman, together with his brother Ariel and friend Henry Joost chronicled the entire "made from the pc" friendship with Abby and her entire family. The (totally) attractive Schulman eventually fell in love with Abby's older half-sister Megan and that's where the plot thickens. What happened next will either creep you out or fascinate you. I won't spoil you with so much information, as the movie is better watched than told. Just to tell you, the documentary (a fact still very much doubtful) encapsulates a relationship of meeting someone online, the validity of their identity, and the situations that may be raised (or not at all) after you "confirm."
Then it hit me. 

Really, from almost hundreds, even thousands of those you have in your friends list, how many of those are:
1. You're friends with in real life
2. People who actually mean whatever they put online - such as photos, basic information etc.
3. Real people
4. Your REAL friends

I had this mistake of adding so many people, just as long as we have mutual friends in common, without even bothering of thinking whether or not I know them or even met them in real life. Good thing though, I have segregated them in a list aptly labeled as "Limited Profile" so they won't get to access my other personal stuff. I was thinking of getting rid of the list, but I thought some of the people there are those (without a doubt) I've actually met, but just don't want to get a hold of certain stuff about me. 

The complexity of human relationship made more complicated as it gets tangled in the (world wide) web. It really doesn't take a stranger to make you feel uneasy about online relationships. Lest, it also doesn't have to be an online relationship to make you think about the way you relate with people. The concern is that how much of you is the real you, considering the fact that anything can be made up, online or not. 

In times like this, it's so easy to create a whole new person to get accepted, to be liked, and to be loved. It's easy to pretend to be someone else you are not or be in places you haven't been to since it's relatively easy to build new information with all the possible resources you can find online. For those who wouldn't bother digging, it probably would work. But for others who would go as far as what Nev did, it would take forever or won't at all. Honestly, I'm afraid is hard to grasp these days. 

Catfish showed the baffling truth about truth and the reality we have to face about ourselves, online and offline.

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