Have you ever been catfished? Although I am long out of the target demographic I watched a few episodes of the MTV show Catfish which investigates people who have been communicating online if one suspects the other of not being who they claim. The expression "catfished" gained national attention when Manti Teo, the Notre Dame superstar found that he wasn't communicating with a woman who later died, but with a man with a crush on him.
I had heard Jim Rome's interview with Mante Teo that he gave after Lannay had "died," but before the big reveal. I nearly cried. This guy could read offenses, but he couldn't read emotions on the other end. Teo wasn't just catfished, he was deep fried catfished with hushpuppies on the side! Lannay hit him harder than the Crimson Tide front line.
The first episode of the Catfish TV show I saw involved very sad, a slightly overweight and seriously lonely eighteen year old women thought she was communicating with a college student from San Francisco. It turns out that while he was indeed a college student, he wasn't the guy in the picture. That man just seemed mentally disturbed, but not dangerous.
Last night's episode was actually terrifying. The woman in the picture turned out to be a belligerent drunken jerk with a beard. This jerk looked like he was going to get in a fight with the hosts on a national TV. Nev, one of the hosts, was actually on crutches and the man nearly pushed him over. As an attorney, I've seen assault charges brought for less.
I will save my personal catfish stories for another time. I have 5,000 friends on facebook I don't know if all of them are who they say they are. If they buy my books they can read them under any identity they want.