Whereas the MTV show only told stories of extreme catfishing (anyone remember the episode with poor Keyonnah, who was convinced she’d been online dating rapper Bow Wow, only to be confronted by a 5″1 woman called Dee when they arranged to meet?), the phenomenon exists in more subtle ways within our every day lives.
Our social media feeds are full of artifice, with filters that transform our faces and a grid that only shows the edited highlights of our lives.
For anyone unfamiliar with the term (or for those who haven’t binged on the MTV reality series that coined the term), catfishing is when a person pretends to be someone else online – usually, someone they perceive to be more beautiful or successful). If you’ve been catfished, you’ve probably turned up to meet someone IRL for the first time expecting the dreamboat you’ve got to know online, only to be deeply disappointed by the reality of the person standing in front of you.
Have you ever been catfished? According to dating app JigTalk, 79 per cent of people using dating apps say they have been catfished and 83 per cent of men have been on a date with a woman who did not look like her photo.
It’s for this exact reason that JigTalk, which prides itself on being the non-superficial dating app, has banned Instagram and Snapchat filters. Any user uploading profile pictures which have been digitally altered, will have the photo rejected.
Alex Durrant, JigTalk’s CEO hopes the ban will improve the authenticity and legitimacy of dating apps. It’s just as well; according to the same survey, 61% of people have deleted dating apps due to the photos not accurately representing the users. “These numbers show that catfishing is really out of control. Only a handful of dating apps are dedicating time and resource to ensuring their users are not catfished and this needs to change,” says Alex.
“We know that two-thirds of men immediately reject a profile if they come across an overly-filtered photo, and women dislike them just as much. Our ban on these filters, as well as our selfie verification tool, means JigTalk users can trust that who they are talking to is who they say they are.”
Still searching for a dating app? Check out our guide to the best dating apps, including this eco-conscious one. Or if you’re fed up, read what happened when one editor ditched dating apps altogether and tested out different ways to meet people IRL.