I'm in Love with the Cault Cault

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Cheesy headline, yes I know. I couldn't help but to be punny in every chance I got.

Ah, holiday. A word so blissful yet so surreal when we're a university student. Yes, the classes might be off, the exams might be on halt, but trails of those somehow would still get to you eventually. No, I'm not talking about the upcoming new semester coming just next week in my campus (yeek! I freak out whenever I think about having to snooze through my blasting alarms that I set to go off every five minutes the night before on daily basis, AGAIN). I'm talking about the campus business—y'know, writing some stuffs about things that you actually like and might enjoy but you just can't because you're being forced to (that's an important keyword there, forced)...

...and that's what I actually went through these last three days.

One of my beloved lecturer that I couldn't stop admiring, Mrs. Kandi, gave my best friend, Steffi, and I a project to help her with her research mainly about power relations between the state and LGBT community as a subculture in Indonesia. The main samples came from Facebook statuses of Indonesians, the pro-LGBT and the con-LGBT, that contained some keywords, like 'LGBT', 'homo', and such; then we analyze the samples with relevant theories. Me, being the one who got the responsibility to analyze it more about the power relations going on between those two mentioned above, had to seek for references related to it.

When you heard about the term 'power relations', what was the thing that first came to your mind? If you ask me, personally I'd describe it as the division of power between the oppressor and the oppressed at first. In some way, that might be correct; but turned out it wasn't so simple according to some eyeglasses wearing, preppy looking philosopher.

It is Michel Foucault, a France born and raised philosopher and social theorist well-known for his postmodernist view. Several of his most famous works include Discipline and Punish, Power/Knowledge, The Order of Things, Madness of Civilization, The Archaeology of Knowledge, and The History of Sexuality.

I myself had a fascination for Foucault when I started to learn about critical theories in university—along with the head-start of my burning intellectual infatuation towards Jacques Derrida, a philosopher too but mostly known for his contribution to post-structural and deconstruction (I'm so big on post-structural *insert heart emoji here*). My lecturers often mentioned Foucault in class and brought up some of his theories when they were giving examples of analytical framework to view and analyze one problem or another. They also relentlessly kept reminding the whole class to look him and his ideas up and learn more about them. And so eventually I couldn't keep my hands off my phone to type his name on Google Search after numerous occasion of my lecturers telling me to do so.

And boy did I regret my decision not to do that earlier.

Because really, his works are magnificent—very thought-provoking, completely mind-blowing. It is truly a vitamin to the brain, an academically euphoric material to satiate your thirsts for knowledge; it never cease to leave me thinking and analyzing and wanting for more—a masterpiece in the form of texts on the sheets of paper. Definitely a pinnacle of theory craftsmanship in the 20th century.

The professor in my department once said something about 'text orgasm', in which when your brain felt such an ecstatic sensation after you read cerebral stimulating texts... and I think I just done had that.

Man, I love doing this.

I didn't lose you, but you're long gone

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Four years,
Two breakups,
And everything in between.

The first year, when we first knew each other. Social media really is an amazing invention. Without it, we couldn't have possibly met. I still remember that night clearly, you were hurting because of your ex-boyfriend. Red-eyed, I went to the coffee shop late night only to listen to you cry.

The second year, when we got busier. But we still made sure we got time to each other. Even when we didn't, we still knew we had each other. You, being a sophomore in university. And me, being a freshman in the same university as you. I was euphoric, we could meet more frequently. Moreover when you told me about your new boyfriend, I couldn't be happier for you.

The third year, when we got closer. We watched a band concert together, the very same band we both were obsessing over, completing our promise we made two years ago. I still remember that night clearly, you were waiting for me to be finished with my work at the office, Exhausted, I went to the coffee shop late night only to exchange conversations with you.

The fourth year, when we got distant. I finally had a boyfriend, we might not go out as much as we used to do. But I still regarded you as someone precious. And then you met these two girls, especially this one girl you went out so many times with. I couldn't help but kept thinking to myself,
"She got something that I couldn't possibly have, she got so much more than me."
I started to feel replaced. And then you did the same to your boyfriend. Before I knew it, all of a sudden I was no longer inside any of your friends list on every social media. At that moment I knew, you are no longer the same person as the one you were. You left people who made you you behind. Replacing every single one of them with someone new.

The first heartbreak drew us together,
But the second one just drew us further.

Everything in between was some bittersweet memories.
Sweet, because our laughter keep echoing in every moment we shared.
Bitter, because in the end memories are what's left.

Thank you for the memories.


Is this really the end?

You, Who Cries to Sleep at Night

Photo by Bayu "Paktuwa"

You, whose mind is loud. You let your demons in, for you want to let me out. It's all because you can't stand feeling so empty. Of course, who'd be able to bear an overwhelming amount of emptiness? Even I can't. The voices keep shouting the same words, echoing around the void in your head, but you couldn't care less. All the unchanging noises are better than the quiet, after all.

You, whose body language I speak so eloquently. I can't imagine the day when I'd be forced to chant a monologue of despair with only this mouth of mine. I'd be damned if I could no longer graze you as whole with my five senses. And now I figured, you can't too.

You, whose age is getting shorter and shorter with that burning spirit of yours. You keep longing for the day when you'd be free of anguish, poor you. You burn, like a fuse of a dynamite. Like the flame on the edge, we're getting closer. Death is waiting just right on the corner.

But oh you, whose cry is getting louder and louder. Afraid, you shall not.

For when the time is up, we'd leave everything but regrets. We'd leave nothing but trails of our existence. With every breath we take, we'd leave something that is a speck of awe and wonder coming from our surroundings. Our presence would still linger. And in that moment, we'd be together forever.

Afraid, you shall not.


Please don't be afraid,
I'd only be gone for a while.

Catfish: Permainan Identitas dan Muslihat Berkedok Anonimitas - Artikel Ilmiah tentang Internet


As technology improved and ever since the Internet has been invented, came The Second Media or New Media Age that enables the new way to communicate with each other via computer.

Different from Face to Face communication (FtF), Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) uses the Internet as some sort of virtual space which has a role in connecting everyone from the edge of the world, with no limit of space nor time.

The Internet is a place where anonymity is glorified to develop an opportunity to create a totally different persona of yourself apart from your real life identity; given the fact that the communication is mediated by computer in cyberspace which would later cause social deteritorialization—even deterioration. But those no-limit policy wasn’t exactly limitless.

In fact, there is a huge gap and boundary that separates FtF and CMC. The seemingly real-time interaction on the Internet is apparently tied by the limitedness of space and time. In such situation, the risk of someone pretending to be someone they're not to create false identities is huge.

Rather than a pseudonym, they built a fictional, completely different alter ego from what they really are in real life, usually aiming for establishing an online relationship with someone on the Internet, creating a whole new individual. This practice has become so common on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social medias, that the world has a dedicated term to call those certain imposters.

We’d call them, a Catfish.



Seiring berkembangnya teknologi dan ditemukannya Internet, datanglah masa Second Media/New Media atau Media Baru yang memunculkan cara baru untuk berkomunikasi dengan satu sama lain melalui komputer.

Berbeda dengan komunikasi tatap muka secara langsung (Face-to-Face Communication atau FtF), komunikasi yang termediasi oleh komputer (Computer-Mediated Communication atau CMC) menggunakan Internet sebagai suatu ruang virtual yang memiliki peran untuk menghubungkan semua orang dari seluruh penjuru dunia, tanpa adanya batasan ruang ataupun waktu.

Internet merupakan suatu tempat di mana anonimitas diagung-agungkan, karena ia memberi kita kesempatan untuk membangun persona diri sendiri yang sangat bertolak belakang dengan identitas kita di dunia nyata; didukung dengan fakta bahwa komunikasi tersebut termediasi oleh komputer di ruang siber yang nantinya akan menyebabkan deteritorialisasi sosial — bahkan deteriorisasi.

Akan tetapi kebijakan tanpa batas tersebut belum tentu tidak terbatas. Faktanya, terdapat sebuah jarak dan batasan sangat besar yang memisahkan FtF dengan CMC. Interaksi yang terlihat real-time di Internet ternyata terikat oleh keterbatasan ruang dan waktu. Dalam situasi tersebut, resiko di mana seseorang berpura-pura menjadi orang lain untuk menciptakan identitas palsu sangatlah besar.

Alih-alih menggunakan pseudonym atau alias, mereka malah membuat alter ego yang amat berbeda dari kehidupan mereka di dunia nyata, menciptakan sesosok individu yang sama sekali baru. Hal tersebut biasanya bertujuan untuk membangun hubungan secara online dengan seseorang di Internet. Praktek ini menjadi hal yang sangat sering ditemui di Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, dan media sosial lainnya, hingga muncul sebuah istilah yang didedikasikan khusus untuk menyebut mereka.

Mereka adalah Catfish.

Keywords: Catfish, Internet, Dunia Maya, Cyberspace, Anonimitas, Pseudonym, Teori Media Baru, Computer-Mediated Communication, Face to Face Communication, Facebook, Media Sosial