I’m completely addicted to the show Catfish–where two filmmakers help lovelorn people figure out if their online crushes are actually real people–but I never thought I’d get Catfished IRL.
A few weeks ago one of my Twitter followers told me that someone was using my image on their OkCupid profile.
Confession time: once upon a time I did some online dating. So I figured that my loyal Tweep had just stumbled upon a profile I’d neglected to delete and now I’d have to explain that I online dated.
I prepared to be awash in embarrassment (because even though online dating is totally normal, it’s not something I’m completely comfortable talking about)…until I clicked the link…
OMFG! WTF? R U KIDDING ME?!?! That would be my author picture for my last book, Exes and Ohs, and that was most definitely not my OkCupid profile because I don’t have an OkCupid profile. Absolute panic washed over me. Was I creeped out? Flattered? Furious? All of the above! I mean great she thought I was cute enough to use for her (assume it is a her) profile but HELLO! That’s me! And I instantly thought about who she’s out there duping. Is she Catfishing someone with my picture? That’s horrible! I don’t want to be a part of someone getting crushed because they fell for an online mirage.
My next big question was: is she using my entire life–not just my pic–as a template for her own? I clicked around her page and noticed that there wasn’t much Shallon-ness to be found. Her occupation was listed as an outlet mall manager, and she didn’t seem to have any hobbies or interests. Besides ganking other people’s photos, obviously.
Another thing that bugged me was the username. Shorty_22? Do I look like I use the word shorty? I am not Justin Bieber, people. Um NOR AM I 34. Like, not even close.
I sent the site an email asking them to remove the profile or at least the picture, but in the meantime, I took matters into my own hands and made a fake profile of a dude to try and Catfish her right back!
My guy friend Matt helped me fill out the rest of the profile (I SO WISH I’d screencapped it, curses!) but basically I talked about my love of race cars and how I had a dog named Pistachio. I decided to name him Jarret. Then I sent Shorty_22 a message, which was kind of the strangest part about this whole saga: trying to hit on a girl, as a guy.
Being a girl, I always assume that it’s so easy to chat up a female–just say hi! Compliment her! Be yourself!–but when you’re the one doing it, it’s confusing. And I’m not even actually a guy! And I don’t even know/like this Shorty_22! How is this my life? Anyway. After about 10 attempts and rewrites, wracking my brain about what I liked to hear when I was online dating, I wrote:
What’s up, saw your profile and thought you have a great smile Did you grow up in NV? I’m born and bred but I try to travel a lot, see what else is out there. How about yourself? Hope you’re having a great week!
I felt so lame. Not just because Fake Jarret was hitting on Fake Shallon but because he was doing it so clumsily.
Sadly, Shorty never responded. OH I’M SORRY FAKE SHALLON, IS JARRET STOLL NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? And what about poor Pistachio?
About a week later, OkCupid removed Shorty_22’s profile so I deleted Fake Jarret’s account too–the last thing I wanted was some poor girl to fall in love with a Catfish.
All in all, as irked as I was that someone had stolen my pic, I felt really sad for that person. Whoever they are IRL can’t be so bad that they need to invent a whole new person. I’m sure that Shorty_22 is a perfectly nice, lovable girl who will DEF have better luck in life if she just owns who she is.
Love is like sales–if you don’t believe in your own product, how can you expect anyone else to buy what you’re selling? Hopefully, whoever Shorty_22 really is learned her lesson and stuck to the truth when it comes to online dating–and stays far away from my photos!
Have you ever pretended to be someone you’re not online? What would you do if you found out that someone stole your pic? Let me know in the comments!