Yes you read the title correctly. Today’s topic of discussion is about a relatively common occurrence in this day and age of dating. While you may not be familiar with the specific term “text-fishing”, if you’ve been single and looking anytime in the last 10 years or so, you more than likely have been a victim of this scam. I for one have.
Allow me to establish a concrete definition for this expression.
Text-Fishing: The act of manipulating words, sentence structures, and tones in electronic messaging to portray a false self-image to daters and potential romantic interests.
If it’s still not clear what I’m talking about, let’s move onto an example. So let’s say you found this guy on a dating app. Upon first look of his profile, you think he looks Drake or Idris Elba fine, and you two appear to have a lot in common. Naturally, you send an initial message to see if any sparks fly. The guy then responds to you, and you two strike up a conversation through messaging on the app. It goes well so then you exchange numbers, and transfer the conversation to text messaging. Keep in mind, by this point you haven’t spoken on the phone yet. Instead of talking on the phone first, you two agree to go out on a date.
Well when you two finally meet up, that’s when you start to realize you’ve been scammed. The guy you thought was good looking and suave in text messages, appears to be dull, corny, and uninteresting in person. He has zero sense of humor, and has the personality of plain breakfast toast. You find yourself searching your brain for any excuse to escape this man and this date. If you can relate to the experience I just painted in this example, you’ve been officially text-fished.
Let’s go into another example. Say you again meet a guy on a dating app. After vibing with each other on the app, you move to text messages on the phone and still think he’s cool. Heck, this time you even talk with him on the phone. While the phone conversation may not be as fruitful as the text convos, you still are intrigued based off the text. So you meet him in person only to be disappointed and confused by the man you find yourself on a date with. His energy and personality both fall flat of the guy you were “promised” to meet. Now yes you talked to him on the phone in this example, but he was able to mask the scam by hoping you’d remember the interesting dialogue you two had behind small glass screens.
Look, I realize that text-fishing doesn’t necessarily classify as a felony or even a crime. However, folks that do it are perpetrating frauds, which is causing people to waste time and energy. It’s causing some guys and girls not so ready to mingle. How’s that fair?
And while I wish I could provide some guaranteed way for single people out here to avoid being text-fished, I can only give some suggestions that will raises your defenses against the scam. For starters, don’t agree to go on dates with folks until you’ve talked with them on the phone. More often than not, a simple phone conversation will tell your instincts whether or not a man is who he texted you he was.
Also, while texting, if you find yourself always having to change topics to keep a conversation going, then that’s a sign that a person may not be someone you need to be investing time in. You shouldn’t be in charge of the entire direction of a conversation. If you find yourself in this position, raise your eyebrow, and prepare yourself to move onto someone else.
In short, just be careful of the ongoing fraudulent acts of text-fishing in these streets.