Catfishing in digital waters: What the quack?

It is worthwhile to note that sometimes even if it looks/smells/ swims/quacks like a duck – it may not actually be a duck. Maybe it hid by the river and stared at a duck for a really long time and thought to itself “hell, I could pretend to be one”. Perhaps it went to a duck university. Or ransacked a duck supermarket.

All the duck juice – shockingly, just gone. And now the world is convinced that it belongs to the Anatidae family.

Not shocking whatsoever is my understanding of human behavior that some people hide more than they let out about themselves. Especially, in the digital world.

Their hips may not lie, but their social profiles don’t always speak the truth. They may claim to be passionate about a variety of consumable topics. From subversive art forms, nomadic-styled traveling, social welfare to feminism, animal rights, political dissonance and poor people who suffer outside the borderlines of their cities or countries.

They may even feign some sort of conversational knowledge about it. But the reality may be that they subscribe to communal thinking to be perceived as being intellectual or altruistic. There is a chance that they may be stalking you too. Google is their best friend, teacher and love guru.

It’s why someone who likes the same band, movie, book or social cause that you do might be a sociopath. In rare cases, a lunatic with a soft corner in his / her poorly-ventilated basement for your vital organs. Kidneys aren’t cheap.

Friends have told me about their first-time encounters with people they have only connected with online. It had been going so well until they decided to meet each other in person. And then, the experiences have ranged from awkward and befuddling to frustrating and creepy.

Catfishing is real.

Northern Pintails (female), Chennai

Unfortunately, it can be cumbersome to go through the day without being able to trust those around us. It may not even be worth the tiring effort. But it is imperative to stay cautious. Leave the rest to instincts and common sense.

Ducks can be trusted. Given how noisy they are, it is hard for them to catch us by surprise.

People though can be sneaky. Unless you spend time with them. Get to know who they are, beyond the facade of accumulated knowledge or the facsimile of borrowed wisdom. That way, you won’t put yourself in a position to be affected by such foolery. Or you will at least see it coming a mile away.

However, if you spot a bird that looks like a duck and quacks like one, be rest assured. It is probably a duck.

(Photographs: Ponneri, Pulicat, Vedanthangal, Sholinganallur)

50 thoughts on “Catfishing in digital waters: What the quack?

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      1. Nah I changed the photos I mean:) I did meet common teals during bird-watching and those experiences are never negative.

        This post is just a cautionary note because I’m assuming people are still as screwed up as they were last I thought about them.


  1. am going to sit here for a moment or two…first am thinking is he referring to me!!! is that all about me? and now that a moment is over am thinking – hell i make for a better duck then there ever was!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thump

    cha ching

    sits back to observe the chaos, one side of mouth up turned, the other pointing down


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m compulsively nice to everyone I meet online (and offline too)…and now I’m wondering if I really AM nice or if I just think that I should be nice.
    Niceness is a personality trait that is so vague and yet at such a high premium. Can you be a duck impersonator and not know it?
    Anyway, existential crises aside, this is really good advice…and it reads like poetry too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘A vegan birder bug-and-garden chick.’ Are there others who would go through all the trouble to mimic? That just seems like a whole lot of trouble…which makes me wonder, come to think of it, why I even do it. For real AND on-line.

    I’m like most people. LOTS of opinions. On-line, however, I mostly keep them to myself. Mostly…but not always. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe splendid. You sound as real as the red cardinal in your backyard Shannon. Couldn’t be loud enough for me. This was more of a cautionary note to the disenfranchised I suppose.


  5. There are plenty of untrustworthy people online, Christy, and it’s always wise to be careful but I have to say that I’ve met and had problems with more weirdos offline (before I ever had internet) than since. Oh, and some ducks aren’t particularly trustworthy either… read up on Mallards!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly, there are some wonderful people have come in the virtual world. So many too through this blog. But this post wasn’t about them at all. It’s solely about the other side (smile). I have been catfished before too hehehe and Mallards – those spectacular fiends!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ஒயிலாய் ஒழுகும் மொழியா
    தீண்டாமல் தூண்டும் மதியா
    மனதின் மறையில்லா மௌனமா
    திணறாமல் திரியும் எண்ணங்களா
    ஈர்ப்பதெது யானறியேன்!

    didn’t feel like translating… didn’t want the flow flawed!! Thanks for dropping by my blog Christy… it came as a feathery reminder that my last blog is 3 months old!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the excerpt, Mridula ❤ inescapable timing too (smile)

      Twas’a pleasure haunting your space yesterday, you write so fluidly and your photographs are gorgeous.

      Please birth more!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for those words Christy…hope this will inspire … for I am kinda stuck …to be precise stuck nowhere!

        And as for those words in தமிழ் .. it’s not a part…it’s the whole… 🙂 penned as my thoughts flowed in…it’s all about your blog (not sure about future, but for now this is all ….all I could pen!) … (your metaphors or similes or imageries whatever u call them…it drags me into a world I love to wander in)…. and as for translation… I wasn’t sure whether you could read Tamil so for a second my mind wondered about translating but decided against!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel humbled, and very grateful. Gosh, so kind are your words. It’s overwhelming in the nicest way possible!

        Don’t fight being stuck, M. It’s like a python’s grip, it’ll get tighter. Just let go, and accept the nothingness of it all. You’re a good writer, the words will come out eventually (big smile)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Cassock-inte Ithihasam. Preacher.The virtual world shows our sepia world vision, the real world our chipped malodorous yellow toothed selves.

    Liked by 1 person

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