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Kiani and her friend were hanging out in the school gym, watching basketball practice and the kids playing, kind of bored, and so they decided they would sort of play a joke on boys that they didn’t know.
They made a fake account and fake profile on KIK, one of many dating apps, and used a fake profile picture of a girl, a model, that they found on another social media site. She was super pretty, but not famous or anything, so the girls weren’t worried that they would get busted for it.
Two minutes after Kiani posted the fake profile and pictures on KIK app, boys and guys started rolling in with comments. “Hey, you’re gorgeous!” or “Can I get your number beautiful?” – these were things that guys never said in real life to her, and she thought they never would. Because of that, because of the attention, she enjoyed it, and she kept it up – all day – throughout the day, taking messages and commenting as if she was the girl in the photo. She enjoyed the attention from boys she was getting.
When she got home, again, bored, and missing all that attention, she decided to make another fake account – she knew she was catfishing and that it wasn’t right, and that she was just doing it for the attention it was getting her, but she didn’t care, she couldn’t help it.
So she made a new account and started talking to a bunch of guys that she didn’t know. When they asked her how old she was she would lie and tell them she was sixteen, or seventeen, when really she was only thirteen. She kept doing it, going deeper and deeper into the fake person she was supposed to be on KIK app. She enjoyed the attention from boys more and more.
One day, a few months later, her mother was going through her room and she came across her phone, and all the messages from guys on it. She was so mad – yelled at Kiani “you’re only thirteen, what are you doing?!?!?”
She was immediately grounded and her phone was taken away from her. When she got the phone back a couple of months later she promised herself that she wouldn’t catfish again and wouldn’t get back on KIK. But, unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that way. Kiani did get back on KIK and she DID make a new fake account and she got tons of gross and graphic messages from guys.
And of course, she got caught again – when she was in ninth grade, a freshman – her mom busted her and again couldn’t understand why she was still doing it. She thought it was creepy that Kiani was using pictures of other girls to get attention from guys.
But Kiani didn’t want to share the real reason why she did this with her mother – she kept it to herself. But the truth was, at the bottom of it, Kiani felt unattractive, not pretty, not liked for how she looked. She had a lot of pain because kids used to call her names all the time, meaning she was not pretty, and that just stuck with her (even though you all can see how beautiful she is!!!).
If she’s being honest – and she is – she had always been upset about how she looked, and upset mostly about how she felt about herself, and she was jealous of other girls because she always thought they were so pretty, and that all the boys liked them. It made her depressed, sad, feel awkward, unattractive and unwanted.
It also made her feel so sad and alone – kind of un-loved – and that’s why she looked for that attention, why she catfished using other people’s photos, pretend to be someone else, she was not, It caused depression.
Now, some years later, Kiani feels differently – better about herself in every way – and she realizes that she didn’t need that attention from KIK and catfishing, that is wasn’t real and back then, neither was she. No more fake profiles on dating apps, no more cat fishing, no more pretending to be someone she was not. The hurt was gone, the anxiety, low self esteem and jealously are also gone.
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