Sunday 16 December 2018

Ask Brian: My friend uses so many filters she's basically catfishing on dating apps

Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues

It is far more common for men to die trying to take a selfie than women. (Stock image)
It is far more common for men to die trying to take a selfie than women. (Stock image)
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

My friend is a massive fan of dating apps and websites.

She got out of a three year relationship at the end of last year and since then has been playing the field.

She's slept around a lot, which she may as well as you only have your 20s once.

The thing is, she was showing me some messages on her profile the other night. When I say messages, I mean nude pics some guys have sent her.

Anyways what's been bothering me is I caught a look at some of the pictures she's been sending of herself.

She's a really pretty girl - but these pictures have been filtered beyond recognition. She's a size 12 in real life, but she looks like a size 6 in these pictures she's nipped and tucked so much.

Isn't this basically catfishing?

I'm in no way judging her, but what if she meets up with someone who thinks she's been lying to him and gets in trouble? I also hate the fact she thinks she isn't naturally good looking enough to land lads on her own without filters.

How do I tell her she needs to stop?

 

Brian replies:

Ah, dating apps. In days gone by you'd have to go to a bar or club and have a few drinks to work up the Dutch courage to initiate a chat with someone. Now you chat to 15 different people simultaneously while at home wearing your dressing gown and a face mask, happily drinking wine on the sofa.

I understand your concern for your friend, and you actually seem to be coming from a really nice place.

But to be honest, anyone who knows online dating knows to reduce the attractiveness of someone's profile picture by at least 50pc. It's just the way it is.

Guys have sent me pictures of them taken 20 years ago, only to be foiled by the Nokia 3310 they're holding. And of course, the general oppressiveness of 1990s Ireland written across their face.

I'd scold your friend for showing you intimate pictures of guys she's been chatting with, but it's par for the course. There used to be a saying about STIs that when you sleep with someone, you're sleeping with everyone they've ever slept with.

Well on dating apps, if you send an intimate picture to someone; you're sending it to all their friends too.

I really wouldn't worry too much about her. Worst case is a guy reacts badly on meeting her in real life. But that's what the block button is for.

You find me someone under the age of 40 who says they have never filtered a picture and I'll show you a liar.

Catfishing is completely different to what you're friend is doing - it's when someone steals someone else's pictures and pretends to be an entirely different person. Your friend is just being a digitally enhanced version of herself.

Provided she's not putting herself in danger and taking precautions, like meeting guys in public, there's really no reason to worry about her.

 

Do you have a problem you'd like some advice on? Email askbrian@independent.ie  to submit in confidence.

Twitter: @Brian_O_Reilly

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