I thought I'd give you a little update regarding the whole Catfish saga of Mr #2, or the fictitious 'Seb'. For various reasons I can't go into on here now, I can't give you the full update, but I can tell you about one aspect of the ongoing drama which has gone even further to reinforce my disbelief and amazement at the power of social networking. For those who have just tuned in, yes, this is essentially a blog about a girl going on dates with boys. But very early on, a situation presented itself which showed the darkest underbelly of the world of internet dating, which you can read here:
So, we've established I was being groomed by someone who had stolen an innocent man's photos to pose as a single man online. We'd then, through the awesome power of friends and Facebook, found the poor sod whose photos had been stolen, and whose life was largely being used to entice unsuspecting singletons such as myself, a feat which too this day I still find unbelievable. And that, I thought, was that...
...That is, until a month or so ago when I received a message through Twitter that made me go cold. It quite simply said 'please can you message me. I am the latest idiot'. What the fuck?!?!? Since Seb-gate was still very much in the forefront of my mind, I messaged the girl back, known on here as Miss D. What immediately transpired was that she had messaged me the very morning that her mother, suspicious that her latest online beau might not have been all he cracked up to be, had googled his full name, the rather unusual name of Sebastian Pritchard-Jones. What she found, however, was not reinforcement he was who he said he was, but my previous blog entry naming and shaming him as a total fraudster, and told her daughter to read what I had written. I can't imagine how she will have felt just then, but I don't think it will have been nice.
Devastated at this discovery, Miss D had rung him up immediately, called him a c***, and then tweeted me. They had been planning a trip away together, and until then, she had had had absolutely no idea he was leading her a merrily miserable dance. And why would she? He was a clever, manipulative creature, who had finely honed his act of making people believe what he wanted them to believe. This character is every online dater's nightmare. Once the realisation had settled in, I spoke to Miss D more. She sent me an extensive email of everything he had told her: names, places, anecdotes, habits, likes, dislikes, and the most frightening thing was every single detail was one I knew inside out. This was the finest rehearsed routine I have ever heard in my life. A monologue. A character. And Miss D had had exactly the same thing. It later transpired that the day I had told him to leave me alone, the day after THAT perfume bottle picture, he'd smoothly moved straight on to his next victim. The fact that I had maybe, possibly, potentially saved Miss D from a bigger hurt through my blog is reason enough that I started writing it in the first place. But the fact her mum found it on Google and that Miss D was able to get in touch by Twitter even more reinforces my sheer amazement at the power of the web. For every moment of fear and trepidation the internet gives me, the joy, surprise and warmth that comes back is threefold.