Week 7 - Catfishing and Personal Branding


       Week 7 was a little different to the earlier classes, simply because the entire class was conducted through the chat instead of using voice as Acuppa Tae’s voice was not working. As a result of this, it took longer to discuss our topic than usual. It required everyone’s highest attention which in a way was a good thing. It appeared as though more people contributed to the discussion as they were forced to follow each message that was sent. 

       During the class, we discussed the topic of online personas. One particular article that caught my attention was from last week’s reading list which featured a man who pretended to be a Syrian lesbian blogger. It caused major outrage when it was discovered that the entire blog was a hoax. ‘Catfishing’ is the term used today to describe a person who steals another’s identity to assume as their own in order to trick other people and more often than not; to pursue online relationships. This allows the ‘catfish’ account to create a persona that’s different to their own, allowing them to be whoever they wish to be. However, this always ends in someone getting hurt. Having your photos stolen and used on such accounts is just as devastating as it is being tricked by false identities. Most people don’t dare to think about the implications associated with their actions and think that they did nothing wrong. I personally don’t understand the motive of such actions. It is understandable to dream of having a different life but to steal someone’s identity to achieve this is beyond me. This makes me question the credibility of social media or online sites, especially when dealing with people who I haven’t met in person. That is why it is difficult to trust people as a lot can be misinterpreted online.





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        Online personalities however, do not only include ‘catfishing’ but they can be your personal identity that you create on any one of your social medias. I know from experience that an individual’s personality is a key factor in attracting loyal followers. Whenever I look through YouTube videos I find that I tend to subscribe to people who have a unique, confident and inviting personality which makes me want to continue watching. You want to be interesting and unique to gain some following but it isn’t just the person themselves that can affect an individual’s identity. It is also the means in which you present yourself and your content. You need to be consistent in what you do and post without being all over the place. Organisation is key! I think that such factors are also relevant to personal networking. By using what you learned from building a personal identity, you can easily reflect that back into your professional life. By building your social media following and engaging with your audience you have more chances to spread your ideas whether they be personal or professional.


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       Following on from last week’s group meeting, I decided to post the list of topics that we need to discuss in the project, into our group chat to determine our next step. I decided to start focusing on the third part which is to focus on the impact of the #MeToo campaign and how it resulted in women around the world saying ‘me too’. Since there is only three in my group, including myself, we’ll all have to do part two together. I do admit that I haven’t progressed with the project as much as I would’ve liked to but that shouldn’t prevent me from counting on. It is rather challenging to juggle several assignments and projects at the same time and so my online life had to take a step back while I dealt with my ‘real life’ tasks. Nevertheless this does not mean that I have completely forgotten about the project but it just shows that in the end, our real lives still prevail whether. I think it is the fact that we are not meeting face to face, detaches it from the feeling of being real and makes it seem that what we are doing is only part of the online world. However I think that sometimes it is good to have a balance of both. 

Until next time!




References 

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/catfishing-the-truth-about-deception-online/
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/1754916/catfishing-meaning-identity-stealing-online-uk/
https://socialcatfish.com/blog/what-is-catfishing-online-dating/

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