Like catfishing, kittenfishing is an unrealistic representation of yourself, but it goes a little deeper than that.
“Catfishing” is the act of pretending to be someone else in effort to meet others. “Kittenfishing” is the act of representing yourself, using the best-attributes, but slightly exaggerated or misrepresented. And example of kittenfishing comes from a person who had the experience of meeting a guy “who grew up on a farm,” and seemed really down to earth, hard working, humble, etc. Turns out that the farm he grew up on was more of a “compound,” like what you’d see on “Downtown Abbey.” He did grow up on a “farm,” but not the farms that we would think of, but more of an estate with grounds. Anyway, he presented a part of his personality to her that he felt would appeal to her, but when they actually met, his personality was completely different from how he presented it originally.
Why people do this is still being studied, whether intentionally to present themselves in better light, or more because it’s “a little white lie.” People want to appear attractive to others, so they’ll bend and tweak things about their personality, income, height, whatever, just to try and get a few extra clicks on their profile, or to just match with more “options.”
What’s interesting is that nearly 40% of men and one-quarter of women say they’ve been kittenfished. But only 2% of men and 1% of women actually admit to kittenfishing, which some believe backs up the idea that many people don’t even realize they’re doing it.
It’s something to look out for for sure, but you can’t really know until you actually meet face-to-face and really start asking questions. The best thing we can do for now is to just ask as many questions about people as possible and really take our time getting to know someone.