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Catfish: An Act of Social Deviance or Criminal. Essay Sample.

4 pages
926 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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As technology advanced in the twenty-first century, the world experienced introduction of the internet which made the universe a global-village as people can communicate with ease. Notably, the web resulted in the creation of the social sites which have ensured that people can interact with others who are even miles away. Although these social sites have improved social interactions, they also have negative impacts on the society since some users hide their real identities. The act of using a fake social media account is defined as catfishing,' and the word was coined by the directors of the 2010 Catfish documentary. The paper explains why catfishing is an act of social deviance and explains different reasons why people choose to be catfish on social networks.

Reason why Catfishing is an act of Social Deviance

Social deviance defines the act of an individual going against the communitys norms. There are different societies across the world, and all of these communities have their own rules and regulations which people must follow to achieve coexistence in the society. First, catfishing is a social deviance since it entails cheating. Notably, most communities are against the practice of deception since all individuals are expected to remain straightforward in all their activities. It is evident that most people who create catfish accounts are usually seeking to generate a romantic relationship with other social media users, but now with ill motives. Contrary, societal norms expect that people must respect each other, and this involves the need not play around with others feelings. Additionally, it is legitimate to identify a catfish as someone who is deviant since it consists of impersonating another individual. In most occasions, catfishes use other peoples pictures in their profiles, hence imitating their existence.

Reasons why People Engage in Catfishing Behaviors

First, the principle of innovation refers to peoples modification of their lives so that they can meet the societal expectations. For example, whereas the society embraces wealthy persons, it is believed that richness is achieved through hard work, but some people decide to innovate possible ways of acquiring wealth. Similarly, the people participate in catfishing activities so that they can live up to the societys expectations. It is fundamental to note that most of the catfishes from social media create unreal accounts so that they can start up a romantic relationship, and this is because the society supposes that every individual should have a spouse. Evidently, Angela decides to pose as Megan in the film, Catfish, to enjoy a romantic relationship with Nev.

Second, the conformity theory also explains how people decide to accept the societal standards, but struggle to achieve them through acceptable means. For example, as much as wealth is an essential element in the community, people must obtain it through correct practices such as working hard. Relatively, people participate in catfishing since they do not understand that it is incorrect. Whereas the society might judge persons who have fake social media accounts, most of these users do not know that they are going against the wish of the community, as their primary objective to showcase their expensive or better lifestyles.

Third, the model ritualism states that a person might fail to achieve societal goals, but the will stick to the norms so that they earn respect the community. This definition explains why the catfish behavior is common the community and that is because people are seeking respect from others. For example, it is possible for a person to earn respect in the community when they display lavish lifestyle via the internet, unlike when they seem impoverished. Subsequently, individuals have to create false user accounts since they have to present unrealistic living standards. In the film, Catfish, Angela was forced to create a fake account since she wanted to convince Nev she was a good painter, although it was untrue.

Moreover, retreatism is a fundamental belief that can explain the reason why people participate in catfishing behavior. Retreats are those individuals who are against both societal norms and standards. Relatively, people choose to engage in catfishing since they are not familiar with the rules of the society which expect people to be true to themselves and others. There are possibilities that a person who does not observe the regulations of the society will create a fake online account since they do not care about other peoples conclusion if the truth is revealed.

Lastly, the catfish activities are present today since people are rebellious. The rebellion theory argues that a person might be familiar with societal norms, but they will still defy the rules since they are just disobedient. For example, Angela who poses as Megan in the film, Catfish, understands that it is not right to catfish another person, and that is the reason why she decides to tell the truth to Nev towards the close of the film. Previously, she chooses to rebel against the societys regulations, and that is the reason why she created the fake account.

In conclusion, the paper has analyzed the issue of catfishing on the internet, and that has led to its definition as a deviant practice and clarification of reasons why people choose to catfish others. Arguably, catfish practice is aberrant since it breaks societal norms such as the need to remain truthful. However, theories such as rebellion, innovation, retreatism, ritualism, and conformity explain why humans choose to participate in catfishing. Whereas another person might create a fake account since they are just rebellious despite understanding that it is incorrect, another individual will engage in catfishing without having the knowledge that is wrong.

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