Victims Over The InternetHave you been a victim of someone over the internet? Someone who lied to you or pretended to be someone else? I would like to know how often this happens to people.
A friend had mentioned the movie, Catfish, so I watched it this week. It brought home the very real drama that can happen if we find ourselves involved with a dishonest person over the internet.
I was disturbed by this movie, even though I have heard the warnings a thousand times about interacting with people over this medium. Here is a snippet about the film from Wikipedia:
“Catfish is a 2010 American documentary film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, involving a young man being filmed by his brother and friend as he builds a romantic relationship with a young woman on the social networking website, Facebook.”
There are some people who are so good at lying that we never learn the truth about them. We go on our merry way, never realizing we were a game for someone else. I wonder how many people I’ve come across that have used me in this way without me realizing it.
Sometimes, we come across others who are less skilled at concealing their deviousness. Little red flags start to pop up that we might initially gloss over, until at some point we can no longer overlook glaring warning signs.
Even the savvy can be sucked into the gaping black hole of a highly skilled manipulator. Or, our emotions and sympathies and sense of guilt are played upon so masterfully that we ignore our own logic and jump into the fire.
In my years as a traveler on the internet, I know of one instance in which a person plotted and lied to me. It was a couple of years ago, at another site. I was new there and was making friends and met a man that was very nice and a lot of fun. Just a friend – no romance, or anything like that. He arrived at a time when I was really in a low place and was hurting very badly – but he didn’t know that. His friendship and encouragement helped me a great deal.
Unbeknownst to me, a mentally ill woman at the site had romantic designs on him and hounded him in a cyber “Fatal Attraction” kind of way, so he eventually left. Can’t say I blame him, and he did say goodbye to me so he didn’t leave me hanging wondering what had happened.
I was sad, but life moves on, and I was grateful for how he had helped me. Then a couple of months later I started receiving gifts and email messages from a new male profile. This sick woman knew enough about our mutual friend that she strung me along for a while and led me to believe my friend had returned.
I was quite happy and welcomed him back, but shortly thereafter some things weren’t adding up and I eventually put two and two together and realized I was a victim of this woman’s demented mind and her multiple profiles. I was very upset and hurt when it dawned on me that my friend had not come back. I confronted her, and she accused me of having a romantic relationship with him. I unfriended her and never spoke to her again and ignored her messages.
She tried a few more times with more fake male and female profiles to friend me over the following months, convinced I was carrying on with him outside of the website we all belonged to. I ignored her pathetic attempts. I wasn’t about to give her the time of day.
There were two other incidents in which I found myself caught in the web of very mentally ill people who at first appeared quite nice and normal, until the months went by and more of their frightening mentality bubbled up between their masks of normalcy.
After watching Catfish, coupled with these prior incidents, it really hammered it home for me that there are so many liars on the internet. They lie for various reasons and the depths of their deviousness are known only to them.
Proceed with caution…