Nev chatting with Megan

Nev chatting with Megan

The documentary “Catfish” was produced on August 2007. The characters include Nev Schulman, his siblings’ two filmmakers (Ariel and Henry), Angela and her family (Vince and Abby).

Nev lives in New York City and Abby an eight year old artist in rural Michigan became Facebook friends which broaden to include Abby’s family (Angela, Vince, Megan). Nev begins an online relationship with Megan.

Megan's profile picture

Megan’s Facebook profile picture

She sends him songs she covers but Nev discovers that the songs are all taken from YouTube. Nev and his family friends decide to make an impromptu visit to Michigan. They finally arrive and  were welcome by Angela. In their conversation Angela tells Nev that she had uterine cancer. After a lengthy chat, Angela drives Nev and Ariel to see Abby. While talking with Abby andher friend, Nev learned that Abby never sees her sister and wasn’t a painter either, a day after Nev received a text message from Megan saying that she has had a long-standing alcohol problem and cannot meet him because she has decided to check into

Nev and his two siblings on their way to Michigan

Nev and his two siblings on their way to Michigan

rehab. This was confirmed by another facebook friend but Nev realizes that this is likely another lie from Angela. After face to face meeting with Angela, she admits that the pictures of Megan were of a family friend, though her daughter Megan 19 is in rehab. She also confess of haven painted all the paintings that she had sent to Nev. Nev therefore realizes that he was talking to Angela while believing he was talking to Megan.

Angela confesses her dubious activities on Facebook as Nev is astonished to her testimony

Angela confesses her dubious activities on Facebook as Nev is astonished to her testimony

Angela confesses of maintain 16 different facebook accounts and was using Megan as one of the alternate accounts to talk to Nev. According to Angela most of what she poses to be is what she had wanted to in real life.

Angela husband Vince talks of how there are people in everyone’s life who keep them active, always on their toes and always thinking. He tells Nev a story about the fishermen who found that putting catfish in the tanks with the cod kept them active and ensured the quality of the fish.

Vince - Angela husband

Vince – Angela husband

At the end of the documentary from the screen text, I learnt that Angela did not have cancer, she doesn’t know the girl on the picture, but also the person on the picture (Megan) was Aimee Gonzales, a professional model and photographer.  Angela deactivated 15 of her profiles and remains with one. Nev is still on facebook and has 732 friends including Angela.

The story of the Catfish can be supported by both Turkles “The Flight from Conversation” and Marche’s “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” on their drive to espouse conversation as against connection.

On page 6, paragraph 2 of Stephen Marche’s article “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”  He states that “It’s lonely business, wandering the labyrinths of our friends’ projected identities, trying to figure out what part of ourselves we ought to project, who will listen, and what they will hear.” Angela uses fake name and picture of Megan to capture the mind of Nev. Like Vince put it, there are people in everyone’s life who keep them active. Nev became romantically attracted to Megan base on the way she projects herself. It is unfortunate some individuals sole use of the social media is to trick and scam innocent people. Angela may have not only devastated the mindset of Nev but made him feel empty after thinking that he has finally found a romantic relationship.

In the article “The Flight from Conversation” by Sherry Turkle, page 2, paragraph 3 she said “Texting and e-mail and posting let us present the self we want to be. This means we can edit. And if we wish to, we can delete. Or retouch: the voice, the flesh, the face, the body. Not too much, not too little- Just right”. Angela did exactly that. She presented herself in the best form she could have loved to appear in real life, she fine tune her voice and personify herself into different characters with the sole aim of catfish. Angela purported not to be happy with her current life as that wasn’t what she dreamt of. I’m not sure catfish can achieve the flamboyant life she had expected rather it will lead to a more embarrassment.



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