Kittenfishing: Why People Lie About Themselves On Dating Sites

Kittenfishing: Why People Lie About Themselves On Dating Sites

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What is Kittenfishing and Catfishing?

When communicating online – whether you’re on a dating site or just chatting to someone on social media – you believe in their words. And when it comes to meeting people, sometimes there are unpleasant surprises.

For example, you meet a young, athletic man online, but you find out on the date that the photo on the site is ten years old and that your conversation partner has changed quite a bit. Or you admire your favorite blogger, but then you see him in real life and realize that behind all the filters and beautiful words a completely different person is hiding. Such behavior on the Internet, in particular on dating sites, is called kittenfishing, and if a person completely fabricates a non-existent identity, catfishing.

Kittenfishing: Why People Lie About Themselves On Dating Sites

The second phenomenon gets its name from the 2010 documentary Catfish. In this film, photographer Nev Schulman wanted to find a girl he had been chatting with online for many months, the beautiful 19-year-old singer Megan. By the end of the film it turns out that there is no Megan: she was invented by a middle-aged woman who lives a thousand miles away from Schulman.

Since then, the term “catfishing” has been used to describe such situations. Kittenfishing is a new dating trend you’ve probably experienced. Here is how it can manifest itself:

  • The person posts old photos in which they don’t look the same as they do now
  • Heavily altering pictures in image editing software
  • Understates or (less frequently) overstates their own age
  • Makes up fictitious claims and achievements;
  • Attributes talents and skills to themselves;
  • Tells stories that have never happened to him or her;
  • Carefully hides flaws (of course, this is about something more serious than a pimple).

How to know if you are being cheated

Kittenfishing: Why People Lie About Themselves On Dating Sites

1. The person looks different in all the photos

There are big differences in build, length and color of hair, and style of clothing. This may mean that the pictures were taken at different times and it is not clear which ones are relevant.

2. Only close-up photos are displayed on the profile

No full-length or at least waist-length photos. It is likely that the person you are talking to is hiding his or her figure, for example, is shy of excess weight or other features of appearance.

3. Shots are taken from an odd angle, the person is almost always wearing a hat or sunglasses

It may be a way of hiding traits that seem unattractive to the person you are talking to. Or they don’t want to be recognized by someone they know. That means he must have something to hide.

4. There are too many filters and retouching on the photos

Overly smooth, ‘plastic’ skin, unrealistic facial and body proportions, effects, and masks like virtual make-up and dog ears can alter a person’s appearance beyond recognition.

5. There are inconsistencies and gaps in the stories about themselves

The person says he knows how to play the violin, but does not know the nuances of the process. Claims to have graduated from a prestigious liberal arts university, but makes gross spelling and grammatical errors.

6. The portrait of the person you are talking to looks too perfect

They speak 15 languages, plays several sports, has traveled the world, a genius, a billionaire, a philanthropist. If the image is so glittering and smooth, there is a risk that it is just an image.

7. The person gives too general information about themselves

For example, he says he works in a consultancy firm but does not specify which one he works in or what he does there.

Why do people cheat others on the internet or do Kittenfishing?

Why do people cheat others on the internet or do Kittenfishing?

1. Cheaters are not confident in themselves

People are afraid that they are real, without their luxurious looks and flashy accomplishments, no one will like them. They have to sugarcoat it.

Being overweight, having a bald head, having skin conditions like acne or vitiligo, an asymmetrical face, scars or even just old age can also be a cause for complexes. A person with such features may try to hide them – at least until they show themselves as an interesting person. So that a new acquaintance will eventually meet him or her according to his or her intelligence, not his or her clothes.

2. They want emotions

For example, admiration: People will admire the owner of a successful business more than they would admire an ordinary office worker. Or even sympathy: Internet hoaxers sometimes make up terrible illnesses, difficult childhoods, and other difficulties for this purpose.

I encountered something like that myself once. I read the blog of a girl who told me that her loved one had crashed on a motorbike and was lying in intensive care in a very serious condition. The posts garnered dozens of sympathetic comments. People supported this girl, asked how she was doing, sent her warm wishes. I was also very moved by this story, worried about the blog’s owner and her husband, keeping an eye out for new posts.

Then someone found out that the whole story was a lie from beginning to end. The events were made up, so were the characters, and the photos had been stolen from other sources. When the girl was found out, she confessed that she had just missed a lot of attention and had not originally planned to go that far in her fiction. By the way, she never asked for any money and even refused when offered a transfer.

Also Read- What victim-blaming is and why it only causes more violence

How to avoid Kittenfishing?

1. Check the information

A search engine and careful questioning can help. Does the person you’re talking to tell you he was in a movie or won a national maths competition? Google it to see if that’s true. Tells you he’s a polyglot? Ask him to casually translate a short text from a foreign language he says he knows. It also wouldn’t hurt to upload photos to a search engine to make sure the person hasn’t stolen them from another site.

2. Offer to talk on a video call

Not from the first message, of course, but when the communication has already begun and is gradually moving towards a meeting. Refusing to make a video call should be alarming.

3. Look for social networking accounts of the person you are talking to

You can search by first and last name, email address, nickname – whatever you know. All the pages you find can be used to verify the information: name and place of residence, age, education, etc. If the person is telling the truth about themselves, the information on the different accounts is likely to match.