What if technology became the only way of interacting, getting to know a complete stranger by text and building a relationship with a person you’ve never met!
This is more common than you think, it has almost become the new normal. In current society we tend to interact more through social media, email, text and dating apps. Meeting someone just by accident at your local bar, just doesn’t happen anymore. A potential date would often ask you for your instagram handle instead of your telephone number and for you to be current and up-to-date in your social circles, you must a least have Instagram or Facebook.
I am pretty certain, I’m not the only person who finds it extremely weird when someone actually calls you instead of them sending you a text message, I look at my phone like I genuinely forgot this feature existed.
But how do you know, who you’re communicating with online is exactly who they say they are? #catfish is something that happens so often now, that we’ve become almost numb to it. We tend to take the persons word with a pinch of salt and find the elaborate tales extremely entertaining.
When we eventually meet the person and they turnout to be several inches shorter than you had expected, look slightly older in person and have no facial hair! We often just shrug it off and put it down as a bad date experience but why do we still continue this vicious cycle?!
I was in a hidden location with a female chaperone before I entered the show, my phone was taken away for safe keeping, I was not allowed to contact the outside world or watch the TV Show, listen to the radio nor check social media. I had no idea who was on the show, who was popular and who wasn’t?
I packed my suitcases full of clothes, shoes and home comforts to make my Apartment feel like home. The exact moment I arrived at the Apartment building, I became slightly nervous. I was briefed on exactly how things work but didn’t know what to truly expect as the show had never been done before. Unlike other Reality TV Shows you’ve visually seen how it all plays out.
The moment I was being told how to use my microphone, I knew then… This was real!
When I walked into my Apartment for the very first time, my nerves left my body and I became overwhelmed with excitement. I had to embrace this moment as it was a once in a lifetime experience. No do overs, everything is filmed as it happens.
I decided to bend the truth about my age, because being a model your career is limited to your 20s, you’re expected to retire once you hit 30 but I have never looked my age and whilst on the show my age actually never came up. Looking back now in comparison to the other circlers stories, I don’t even think it was a huge factor.
Winning the very first competition I participated in ‘The Circle’ by answering the tiebreaker question that won the game, I felt like I had just won the world cup. My first instinct when the music came on, was to dance around in victory and take in the moment, my biggest highlight of the show.
I kept my days busy with yoga, cooking, reading, sketching and dressing up in all the various outfits I brought with me. I made good use of my time each day, I never felt like I wasn’t able to cope with the situation. I guess being an only child I am use to being comfortable with my own company and will always find something to do, to entertain myself.
My only regret is that I didn’t go into the jacuzzi on the rooftop, the weather on the days I wanted to go was just to cold and windy.
I forgot the cameras were on 24 hours a day, in every room of the Apartment. I found myself being flirtatious with a person I had no idea if they were lying or telling the truth. I took a real risk fancying someone in ‘The Circle’ and became quite vulnerable because I could have been speaking with a 75 year old Grandad.
My initial attraction was to the photo with the beard, I have a real thing about men with beards and tattoos. When it came up in conversation that he no longer had one, I was genuinely disappointed. But the flow of the messages we exchanged were funny and cheeky, which is my sense of humour, so that is what kept me interested.
This whole concept is mind-blowing, the power of words and what you allow your mind to believe and accept are stronger than you think. People now create relationships over the internet, that last for years and they have never actually met in person!
I guess the fantasy of what could be, is better than the actual reality.
The only time I really noticed the cameras, is when I used the bathroom, you were never filmed whilst sitting on the toilet but the only way I could truly go, was to remove the batteries from my microphone. It was either that or I wouldn’t have been able to go at all. That was my only awkward part of filming. The first time I did use the toilet I thought it was hysterical, laughed to myself at the thought of being sat on the toilet on National TV.
The communication system on the show was extremely advanced, I could be in the bathroom, bedroom, living room or kitchen and could continue messaging with a fellow circler without breaking conversation. This technology would be extremely handy to have in real life, it certainly is the advanced version to handsfree.
Keeping in mind when you’re reading something, you don’t see a persons facial expressions or body language and you may take a joke, seriously. But I do pride myself on having a great instinct to BS and always go with my gut feeling. I know when a person is being sincere and when they have malicious intent. Years of being a model in an extremely competitive industry, I have learnt to read between the lines.
Entering ‘The Circle’ later on in the game, when everyone has already bonded, argued then made up and they all became so jaded to the previous catfish circlers. I really didn’t know who was genuinely trying to get to know me or just playing the game. So I defended myself in all arguments, just like I would in the real world.
Being a woman with a strong personality and opinions isn’t always well-received but I never let that stop me from being who I am and standing up for myself. Maybe if I was a man, the comments I made would have been viewed differently; that I was just acting like the “class clown” and received as light hearted humour.
I never thought the public reaction to the argument would have gone viral, in the very moment of it all, it made sense to confront the issue and clear the air in person. I didn’t truly know who was behind that door? Or if it was a 6ft something man or woman??? But I wanted to find out who it was I had such conflict with, throughout the show?!
ALERT! If it’s my time to go… then I’m going out with a Bang!!!
That very moment I entered the Apartment, a rush of emotions came flooding back to me in regards to the arguments we had in previous conversations. I felt that it needed to be addressed. They were real emotions and would have happened on or off camera.
When I left the Apartment in my opinion the argument was over, I was able to discuss what I needed to say about several situations that happened in ‘The Circle’ and now we could both move on.
When I entered ‘The Circle’ to compete to Win the cash prize of £50k, I didn’t realise I would end up in a love triangle or should I say love square. I look back on it now and laugh because in real life this scenario wouldn’t happen. But in an environment like this, with less than a handful of men and only one I genuinely was attracted to, conversations and reactions to things became more intense.
One of the hardest challenges whilst filming the show, was not having my mobile phone. It was extremely difficult at times and so weird I didn’t really know what to do with my hands. I truly noticed how much I rely on it. It’s actually scary how many times a day I check it.
Now being out of ‘The Circle’ I have made a conscious decision to spend less time on my mobile phone and take frequent breaks throughout the day. It does make a huge difference and you get to enjoy more of what is actually going on around you.
I really enjoyed filming the show, it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions; that is the best way to describe it. To be cast for a show, which I assume was an overwhelming amount of applicants, for a concept that has never been done before, it was a once in lifetime opportunity and I would do it all over again! Thank you to Channel 4 and to everyone at Studio Lambert for creating such a creative and entertaining television show to be apart of.
by PRECIOUS MUIR
Television Show ‘The Circle’ 2018