The Circle, Week 2: Real/Fake

Evicted – Miranda (and Fake Flirting)

What if Sammie is a fat truck driver, named Tony?

– Joey

Sammie, a female, had a crush on Miranda. I voted for Sammie, as my favorite player. However, when Miranda’s tattoos aren’t matching, when she has too many hairstyles, in her profile photos, when she is so thirsty and simultaneously too beautiful, she must be a possible catfish. But like Alana, Miranda was authentic; she wasn’t actually a catfish – but she was coming across as one.

The group thought Miranda was a catfish, but production didn’t put it in the edit, just to build suspense. Flirtation is the first impression, but you have to move beyond flirtation, to connect. Miranda didn’t realize this, so she took a hit, in the ratings. Miranda didn’t really have a thesis, so she got axed. She was one-dimensional, flat. Also, don’t invite people to your room, on The Circle. People will wonder if you’re a catfish, because a catfish wouldn’t want someone to visit them. It’s reverse psychology.

Miranda didn’t want to be flirted with, but she always flirted first. Was she lying to the audience or lying to the thirsty players? The perception is that any kind of social connection must begin with flirting – with an ulterior motive. Nothing is purely altruistic. Flirting is a gesture, without expressing a sentiment, just normal conversation, in a flirty way. Flirting is expressing interest, without expressing interest.

Contestants quickly got wise on flirtmances and became starved for a genuine connection. Flirting on The Circle is completely ridiculous and totally, obviously fake. People on The Circle primarily communicate through flirting, but it’s all strategic and for ratings, doled out, within the show. It’s all an expectations game. There’s so much fake flirtation; none of it is real. Everyone is emotionally catfishing, so it’s hard to make any real connections. Flirting all the time, with zero intention of ever hooking up or going on a date defines The Circle.

Tacos as a favorite food is so fake. The hot person always puts tacos, pizza or breakfast food as a favorite food, just to seem more relatable. In that context, a filter, where swear words only come out as food emojis, makes for a good competition.

Also, going on a walk doesn’t sound like a great date; sounds fake. Everything is fake – except for a fake, romantic gesture with a giant teddy bear. Adam/Alex is like ‘I went to school…and here’s a bear.’ Fake flirty. It’s a sentimental, fake narrative. Mr. Bear Bear cover your ears – lots of dating emoji talk around here. Rebecca’s Bear becomes the Big Brother owl, Orwell – a mascot. There’s nothing to talk about, besides flirting – but this IS how people are, in real life.

Evicted – Mercedes

People were on to Mercedes, as a catfish. “Hashtag, everyone knows your fake.” “Poser.” “I didn’t know there was a catfish filter.” Mercedes got crushed. ‘S’ is for ‘savage.’ Also, these people don’t know how to use a hashtag; those were *not* hashtags. Anyhow, the secretly held opinion can never be changed, or challenged. It can only be addressed and altered once it is out in the open. At least Mercedes got Antonio out of the game.

Dallas Chris (and What The Circle Is)

Chris, from Dallas, Texas, is the Brian Heidik, of The Circle. His body language doesn’t always match the energy he is putting out, on the social media site. His situation is like when you are a good writer, but, in person, you don’t know what to do with your hands, or how to position your body. Chris doesn’t know if he’s talking to a catfish – he doesn’t know this person, physically. He has never been in this person’s presence, he just knows who they are, on a computer screen.

One gets used to just seeing the virtual avatar and one then forgets the body behind it. It’s an exercise in picture dating. The scenario is all very brain-in-the-vat, a philosophical concept, created by Rene Descartes. When you’re talking online and then you meet someone, in person, a real human being, it’s such a relief. It speeds up connections. That was the magic of Miranda and Joey meeting, face-to-face, after Miranda got eliminated.

Regardless, The Circle is a good sociological experiment. It is fully exploring a sociological idea – namely, the phenomenon of the catfish. Chris does know some seminal rules, though: never say your real opinions, on a reality TV game show, and no saying ‘I told you so.’ If you have to sit there, trying to figure out how to be friendly, you’ve already lost. On the fun side, The Circle apartment is also like the show Friends, for the modern day.

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