|Manti T'eo: Catfished!!|
It took me a while, but I plunged into Facebook. I never set-up a twitter account but I managed to familiarize myself with tweets and hashtags. While I have friends who try persistently to get me to watch ABC's "Modern Family" (thanks Jeremy & Sheena), I at least have a basic grasp on the characters and plot line while understanding the show's appeal. Plus, apparently, I bear resemblance to one of the characters - Sweet Moses, I hope it's not Al Bundy!!
But this week, still wading in the waters of my mid-30s, I officially crossed a threshold of Old-ness by going from slipping out of touch to completely losing touch with a major development of this next generation - Catfishing.
An American College Football player, Notre Dame's Manti T'eo, unveiled a story and his heart during the early part of his team's run to play for the national championship this past season - namely, that his grandmother passed away on September 12th and then his girlfriend died of leukemia within a couple days. He went from being one of the best players in the country to a national story to a team and then national inspiration. His was the college football story of 2012 - overcoming a double dose of personal tragedy to lead his team to the highest pinnacle. These circumstances no doubt aided him ing getting nominated for football's highest honor, the Heisman trophy.
Except, his girlfriend wasn't real. Te'o was the apparent victim of a hoax known as "catfishing." "Catfishing" occurs when a person, pretending to be someone they are not, lures an unsuspecting person into an online relationship - usually romantic and usually done not for financial gain but for unapologetic, twisted 'enjoyment.' In this case, a random woman's picture was used, a name was created, a backstory composed, and a death was staged. Phone calls were made and three different persons impersonated his supposed girlfriend (two of them male!). So Te'o, it seems, was completely duped. It's not sure for how long.
|Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, filmakers|
featured in MTV's Catfish: The TV Show
This phenomenon of "catfishing" is so popular that there was a movie made about it in 2010 and has been a popular MTV reality show (episodes of which were re-run a LOT this past week I noticed).
I still can't believe that it's possible to plunge oneself in an online relationship spanning two to three years and never discover the lie. I'm typing this and I still can't believe it. But speaking with others younger than me, they get it. That's when, last night in fact, Katie and I discovered - we have crossed a threshold. For other generations, it was leaving behind 8-tracks, others the advent of the personal computer, some was the passing of leg-warmers (really??!!), then the arrival of the internet. For me: It's Catfishing. I simply don't understand how one could live that dichotomous of a life - one in a present, physical universe and another almost totally unaffected one in cyberspace. I get avatars and online gaming. But to fall in love with someone online and not see them for three years?! I can't imagine infusing a cyber identity into my real identity like that.
I am genuinely curious: What was or is your Threshold of Getting Old?
- Instant Messaging?
- Fashion Trend?
- Surprising shift in Musical Tastes? (I still can't figure out why neither Rich Mullins nor Toad the Wet Sprocket remain popular??)
- Future: Jet-packs replacing automobiles as our regular mode of transportation? (My oldest son's dream by the way...I've let him know his father hopes to live in a world where jet-pack production overtakes the Prius...and that he will be personally disappointed in him with anything less).