Online Relationships – Are You a Catfish?

Nev Schulman

Remember 2010′s Catfish? The documentary film followed the story of Nev Schulman who met what he thought was his dream girl on Facebook. He had an intense seven month online relationship with her only to eventually discover that everything about her online identity had been a complete and elaborate fabrication. As it was described (charitably) by an interviewee in the documentary, she was a “catfish,” someone who keeps you on your toes and keeps you guessing. 

The film was a big hit on the festival circuit, even though some viewers were suspicious that parts of it had been staged to heighten the drama. Regardless, the story resonated with a lot of people because misrepresenting one’s self online is becoming an increasing phenomenon.

In fact, right here on AfterElton we’ve had several instances of very active members, people we felt we came to know well online, who turned out to be totally fictional creations. The troubled gay teen is actually a Minnesota housewife; the hunky gay Scottish cabler who befriended dozens of people on the site and then tragically “died” in a car accident – only it turns out he never really existed.

Do you truly know your online buddies? And are you really the person you represent yourself to be online?

Interesting questions and MTV aims to explore them with a new reality series. It’s also named Catfish, and the adorable Nev Schulman will be traveling the country interviewing people who have misrepresented themselves in an online relationship and want to set things right.

I bring it up now because they are currently in the process of casting for this project and the producers reached out specifically to AfterElton to see if any of our readers might have a personal “catfish” story of their own they’d like to share.

  • Do you spend hours talking or texting with someone you met online? Are you afraid to meet them because you haven’t been completely honest?
  • Are you in a long distance relationship with someone you’ve never actually met in person? Have you been holding something back from them…or have a secret you need to tell them?
  • Are you using a fake profile on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Plenty of Fish or some other site? Has someone fallen for your online alter-ego?
  • Do you keep making excuses for not meeting in person because you have something you’re avoiding telling them?  Are you afraid they won’t accept you for who you really are?
  • Do you have a talent for creating believable online alter-ego’s but have gotten in too deep?
  • Are you currently using another online identity to get to know someone you have a crush on or…to keep track of an ex, a former friend, or someone who your ex left you for?
  • Do you need help figuring out the best way to finally tell them the truth? Are you looking for a safe way to explain yourself and reveal the real you?

If any of these apply to you then the producers of MTV’s Catfish would love to hear more about your story. The link below will take you to an online casting application. We’d love to see an AfterElton member make it on the show, so give it some consideration!



  • MUST be between the ages of 18 and 30
  • MUST have never met in person
  • MUST live within the U.S. or Canada


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