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5 Things MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Has Taught Us [JACK'S WORDS OF WISDOM]

MTV’s Catfish has acquired a cult following since its debut in 2012.

The show was spearheaded by a documentary of the same name, in which the show’s host, Nev Shulman, was conned himself by a woman named Angela in rural Michigan. Since then, I’ve tuned in once a week to see what people of all ages, races and parts of the country get themselves into when they start online relationships, and how they deal with the good, bad and ugly truths.

Viewers flock to social networks to discuss the show, so I’ve decided to round up some of the biggest lessons MTV’s Catfish has taught us — basically so that you don’t end up on the wrong side of that screen (or any side, for that matter).

1. Nev and Max are the perfect bromance.

If you don’t watch this show for the drama, you watch it for Nev and Max. The two somehow manage to work a comfort-based vs. reality-based relationship with the people they meet, while still having this adorable relationship with each other. Nev works as the comforting one who dances around some of the cold-hard facts, while Max is sassy, unapologetic and honest, all while holding a handheld camera. A lot of people think the only explanation for a relationship as flawless as theirs is that they’re romantically involved, but nobody can deny that they’re perfect for each other, gay or not.

2. This generation needs to start asking more questions.

Every episode, thousands tweet/Tumblr/text/Facebook update “WHY???” — so I’ll tell you why: This generation — my generation — is entirely too reliant on the information we’re fed on the Internet. Learn to ask questions. Do not just accept something someone has told you simply because you like their disposition or they tell you nice things. Matter of fact, this advice should be taken from the Internet into real life (IRL for you tech-savvy users). If something seems too good to be true, question it…or you can end up looking like Cassie from Season 2′s premiere episode. She was duped by her BFF and had phone sex with her BFF’s cousin. Awkward!

3. Webcams are apparently expensive (not).

It seems like, in every episode, we hear about the catfish not having enough money for a webcam or not having access to one. We truly believe, and Catfish has proven, that this is a horrible excuse. Wal-Mart has webcams for as cheap at $7.98 on sale, laptops come with built-in webcams, and most smartphones have video options that, through a simple app, could help connect people face-to-face. Catfishes need to get it together. And Catfishees, like our friend Ramon, need to accept when they finally do see their online ‘love’. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the Loydas that episode.

4. True love DOES exist, sometimes.

The guilty pleasure in Catfish is yelling about the pending doom on TV and knowing that, most of the time, you’re right. And while the show has normally ended in absolute chaos, heartbreak and confusion, there are a few stories that end up in happiness. In Season 1, three couples ended up staying together despite some of the lies told during their online correspondence: Kya and Alyx/Dani, Mike and Felicia and fan favorites Rico and Ja’mari/James. During this season, however, we finally met a catfish who didn’t lie about anything — he just didn’t understand the importance of a webcam. Meet Lauren and Derek. The first 100 percent successful Catfish couple.

5. Google is your FRIEND.

This should’ve been no. 1, but we like to save the best for last. There is nothing wrong with starting an online correspondence with somebody. You can’t help who you love. But if you have access to whatever site you met them on and whatever chat application you use to talk all day, take advantage of the social networking sites and searches you can use to cross-reference these people’s identities. If Catfish has taught us anything, it’s that a simple Google search and some time show all the answers you need.

Have a silly or embarrassing story, or some good advice, you want to share with readers? Email your stories to angela.stefano@townsquaremedia.com, and you could be featured in Jack’s Words of Wisdom!

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