Face of a Catfish

The Unwitting (or unwilling) Face of a Catfish

I recently spoke with you about the Catfish phenomenon and how it can have an impact on the victims. But it’s not only the people who swim into the Catfish net that get affected. My friend Kristy, from Florida, uploaded a number of photos as a teenager online of herself. Little did she know she was going to become a Goldmine for fictitious personas. I spoke to her about her experiences with being the face of a Catfish on multiple occasions to see what it’s like to be a victim from another angle.

Hey Kristy! Your pictures tend to get used a lot for Catfish profiles, which is crazy. When was the first time you noticed this was happening?

I noticed it happening a lot when I was 14 years old. I didn’t think anything of it then but it’s been ten years and it’s still happening, which is crazy.

A lot of your photos can be typed in by using your old username – where was the first initial place people would find your photos?

I had put them on a site that I was obsessed with growing up, called Polyvore.

You’re aware of the whole ‘Catfish’ phenomenon – was it before or after the MTV show first started airing that people would use your photos as their own to claim to be a false persona?

I believe Catfish has been around for a few years, I’m not sure. People have been using my pictures as their own for almost ten years, it has died down recently though I still get a few stragglers.

Continue reading “The Unwitting (or unwilling) Face of a Catfish”

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.
Catfished

Why you shouldn’t be ashamed if you’ve been Catfished

catfish

/katfɪʃ/

noun

 2.
USinformal
  1. lure (someone) into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona.
    “he was being catfished by a cruel prankster”

If you’re an avid social media user (and watch MTV religiously), you’re probably aware of the term ‘Catfishing’. There may even be a chance that you have been catfished yourself. While some people watch the MTV show ‘Catfish’ hosted by Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, many people tend to laugh at what is considered the stupidity and misfortune of the victims. I, on the other hand, find the documentary series highly fascinating. True, some of the fictitious personas on there can often seem pretty obvious in the fact that they are definitely not an actual person, but that doesn’t mean you should be ashamed if you have swum into the Catfish’s trap.

Catfished

Social media can be amazing or it can be terrible. I personally have many positive experiences with it and making online friends can be a lot of fun, if you are cautious and know what you’re doing. 99% of the people I have befriended online are exactly who they say they are and I’ve met the majority of them in person, if not video chatted with them should they live too far away. However, I can put my hands up and admit that I – a big fan of the MTV show and have seen every episode released – have been Catfished. Continue reading “Why you shouldn’t be ashamed if you’ve been Catfished”

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Birthday in Brighton

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Well, it’s finally happened – I turned 21. Not sure how, though, since I still feel 12. But you know, that’s how science and stuff works.

To celebrate the milestone birthday, I went to the sunny seaside town of Brighton with my mother and gran before meeting with some friends who lived close by. One in particular, Emi, is an internet friend of mine who originally lives in Arizona, United States. She’s currently in Brighton for a few months on an international study course. We have known each other for almost four years and when she told me she was going to be there studying for a few months and recommended I came to visit, it made perfect sense to take the celebrations of my birth to the ever popular tourist town. I also have a few friends in England who write for the same website as me, so to meet up with Lizzy, Hannah and Verity and invite them along to party with us was a wise idea.

After the hell of a journey from South Wales to Brighton and a deadly walk to our hotel (we underestimated the distance. A lot.) we arrived at the Holiday Inn, our home for the next 48 hours. Earlier in the week, we called to try and get a twin room rather than a double as my mother has recently had an injury which involves the use of crutches for a short period of time and needs the space. She mentioned it was my big birthday and the upgraded us complimentary to an executive room, which was a present in itself. It meant that I was blessed with a king sized bed for the weekend and my mother and gran had a fairly decent sized place to slumber themselves.

View from the balcony
View from the balcony

Shortly after check in and dumping our stuff, Emi arrived outside the hotel and I headed downstairs to meet her. We squealed like two little school girls and ran to embrace one another, with other guests laughing and smiling as it was clear we hadn’t seen each other for a while if not at all. To finally meet someone I grew up speaking to online was such a blessing and I can confirm she’s just as an amazing person in person as she is online. Sorry Nev, no Catfish to reel in here!

Moments after we met!
Moments after we met!

Following the meet with Emi, we all headed in a taxi to Churchill Square where we met Lizzy and Hannah before venturing around some shops. Churchill Square shopping center is much more lavish in comparison to St David’s in Cardiff, though for size it’s nowhere near as big. Still, I always enjoy exploring new places when it comes to retail therapy. Shopping done and we hopped into another taxi and finally made it to the place I had been anticipating for months – Brighton Pier.

British cuisine at its finest
British cuisine at its finest

The pier is honestly so pretty and full of the fun fair lifestyle you see in the movies; from different kiosks to attractions, shops and of course, the rides. We headed to Palmers Court for the classic British delicacy of fish and chips. Being from America and only arriving here two weeks ago, Emi had yet to try this well-known meal and so I had to film her reaction for both my vlog and a video to put on Facebook. Needless to say, she very much enjoyed it, even if the fish was too big to finish. I just stuck with a tray of chips, being vegetarian and totally oblivious to the fact that there were onion rings. Had I been aware, I definitely could have demolished some since the long journey had definitely got me feeling hungry.

Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience
Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience

The sky’s gradient became darker as Emi and I wandered the pier and watched all the rides, making notes of the ones we wanted to check out the next day. There were a variety to choose from – ones that spun you around and around, turned you upside down, threw you from side to side and even did a loop-de-loop; we were fascinated by them all and were eager to get a wristband for unlimited access to them all. Before we knew it, day one was done and we said our goodbyes but not before pre-arranging plans for the next day.

The following morning I was awoken from my slumber by my mother who greeted me with a ‘Happy Birthday’ in a sing-song voice, before piling up my cards and presents on the king sized bed I had slept in for the past eight hours, which by the way was such a good night’s sleep. I opened my presents and was thrilled with everything I had; from makeup to jewellery, books and even American chocolate – I was definitely thankful for everything. My gran then woke up and greeted me on my special day before I proceeded to open the presents she had bought me. We then headed downstairs for breakfast to gain fuel for our day ahead of us.

I wasn't very photogenic at that time of day...
I wasn’t very photogenic at that time of day…

Filled up on breakfast, we flagged down another taxi and headed back to Churchill Square where we met Emi and trekked to The Lanes, where we visited the ice cream parlour, Boho Gelatos – a place where British YouTube couple, Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes had recommended to their viewers – and tried some homemade ice cream. Honestly, it was the best ice cream I had ever tasted. The flavours were so pungent and didn’t taste artificial in the slightest. I highly recommend visiting there if you’re ever in Brighton.

Boho Gellato - home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)
Boho Gelato – home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)

Ice cream devoured and we found ourselves at Choccywoccydoodah – the famous chocolate shop in Brighton who then ventured out to London. If you aren’t aware of this place, it’s so well known for its chocolate art that it has its own TV show. They cater for the stars, politicians – you name it, they’ve probably served them. It was here my mother had ordered my birthday cake as we are both fans of the show, so it was pretty exciting to be able to go there. Of course, we had to have a nosey around and though it’s an incredible place, it’s a very small store with many tourists waiting to visit, so it was a very tight squeeze. For someone who doesn’t like small places, it was slightly scary but the fantastic edible art distracted me from the small defined space.

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The highly popular chocolatiers
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One of the many amazing cakes
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Literal edible art

Souvenirs bought and cake picked up, it was time for yet another taxi journey, this time heading to Talk of Tea where we would be devouring sandwiches, drinking cups of tea and celebrating with cake. It was at this point that Hannah and Verity joined us for the afternoon tea and everyone became acquainted with one another, before the big (and embarrassing) moment where a candle was lit and ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung to me. It was an awkward 20 seconds for me before making a wish and blowing out the candle, but it was soon over.

This photo literally does not do the cake justice
This photo literally does not do the cake justice

After the tea, my friends and I decided to head back to the pier where we went on rides. I was intrigued to try the haunted house ride and though not great with jump scares, Emi was a trooper and accompanied on the ride. Our screams could be heard from inside of the ride – hers full of fear and mine full of amusement. It got to the point where I found it so funny that I was in silence laughing and almost incapable of breathing. The kind of laugh that makes your sides feel they’re about to split. We all decided to take a turn on the bumper cars and that’s where we found out why Emi has her license and I do not. I absolutely suck at driving dodgem cars, so I dread to think what I’d be like at the real thing!

 

 

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With Verity, Hannah and Emi

 

The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing
The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing

From time on the rides to time in the arcades, we did a bit of everything that tourists do before saying our goodbyes to Hannah and Verity who needed to get home. Emi and I walked back to the hotel to meet once again with my family before heading to the i360 – a brand new attraction known as a vertical cable car, taking you over 450 feet into the air and giving you an incredible 360 view of Brighton. After a short period of waiting, we headed into the viewing deck along with many other visitors and were hoisted up into the air and above all buildings. The views were magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful. There was a bar on board and Emi and I decided to treat ourselves to a (very expensive) glass of champagne, only to find out it was a taste to my disliking. Oh well, you’re only 21 once, right?

The i360 - it's taller than you'd think
The i360 – it’s taller than you’d think

 

Brighton from above
Brighton from above

 

Cheers!
Cheers!

Following our time on the i360, Emi and I quickly caught a bus back to her place for her to give me the present she had bought me (a fall scented candle from Bath and Body Works in America) which she had previously forgot to bring with her, then headed back to the hotel for a meal in the hotel’s restaurant – Stock Burger – which was delicious. By the time we had finished eating, the night was getting old and knowing we didn’t have much time left together, Emi and I headed back to my room where we sat out on the balcony and did what we do best – talked. Having known each other for four years, we’d definitely been through a lot together, even though our friendship being solely based on our online presence. We talked about the past, the present and things we plan to do in the future. It was so nice to be able to have some time with her and do what we normally do but face to face, rather than behind a keyboard and a million miles between us.

A heart to heart on the balcony
A heart to heart on the balcony

The day was done and we said our goodbyes, giving each other a big hug and promising to meet up again soon, with Emi agreeing to visit Wales before heading back to Arizona at the end of the year.

And just like that, my time in Brighton had come to an end. I tucked myself into the king sized bed and listened to music before falling asleep, trying my best to get as much shut-eye possible before the long and tiring journey that followed the next day.
This was without a doubt the best birthday ever and an amazing way to kick off my time as a 21-year-old. I’d like to thank everyone who spent the weekend with me and everyone who sent me well wishes – it was the best time and a weekend away I had needed for so long. Here’s to 21!

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Get to know me: 25 questions tag

I thought it’d be cool if we got to know each other (or at least- you get to know me) since I’ll be here blogging regularly. I don’t know about you but I like to know a bit about the person behind the keyboard. So, I’m going to do the 25 questions tag! And I tag all of you who read this to do it on your own blog and post a link below for me to see.

1. Do you have a middle name?

Nope. But my friend from my old work gave me the middle name Beyonce. Does that count?

2. What was your favorite subject in school?

Drama was the best. I loved it. Especially improvising.
 
3. What’s your favorite drink?

Hot drink- tea. I love tea and my favourite brand is Yorkshire Tea, I mean have you tried it? Cold drink is Asda brand cherryade and yes I’m specific about the brand as the rest don’t taste the same.

4. What’s your favorite song at the moment?

I honestly change favourite songs every day. I wake up and a new song is in my head for that entire day. Today is Mrs All American by 5 Seconds of Summer. It’s on their American version of the album and I liked listening to it so much that I ordered the American version from eBay. 


5. What would you name your children?

I’ve pretty much got my mind set on no children but if I do, girl – Angel and boy – Griff


6. Do you participate in any sports?

Yes. Marathons. The movie kind.

7. What’s your favorite book? 
Continue reading “Get to know me: 25 questions tag”

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.