Great Podcasts: ‘Sweet Bobby’

cover graphic from podcast

Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify 

A 2023 report shows that around 200,000 people are catfished every year—just in the United States alone. The COVID-19 lockdowns and the isolation that followed, we’re learning, only worsened the problem. Catfishing, for those who don’t know, is the act of coaxing somebody into a platonic or romantic relationship with a fake online persona. It’s a relatively new phenomena, but cases are on the rise worldwide.

London-based radio personality Kirat Assi knows firsthand the emotional trauma from being catfished. And her story is brought to vivid life by Tortoise Media in this surreal, confounding, wholly absorbing deep dive into an eight-year odyssey of love and deception.

The relationship between Kirat and Bobby started in 2009 innocuously enough: friendly banter via Skype, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Over time, the acquaintances became friends and then eventually romantic. Even though the two were in constant contact via social media and texting, the two never physically met in person. And over the course of their eight-year relationship, Bobby wove a tapestry of lies that, on the surface, seem outlandish to the point of absurd: myriad health crises, endless hospital stays, and being in the witness protection program after being shot in Kenya.

These lies kept Kirat both entwined with Bobby and yet safely at arm’s length. When his identity is finally revealed, Kirat goes from wounded victim to a crusader for justice.

Sweet Bobby, narrated by investigative journalist Alexi Mostrous, empathetically deconstructs Kirat’s case, guiding listeners through Bobby’s long con and the damage it did to Kirat’s mental health and emotional stability. And while the podcast only skims the surface as to why people catfish—and that is its only glaring flaw—it succeeds in exploring how loneliness and the need for connection can be exploited in the digital realm.

In this month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, Sweet Bobby is a chilling reminder that, while love is patient and kind, it can also play terrible tricks on the mind.

In Case You Missed It

I Am Enough: Mastering Self Love Podcast
Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify

If love doesn’t begin with oneself, can it lead to anywhere good? The host of I Am Enough, Charity B., asks this question and many others in this engaging podcast that blends wisdom and humor. The purpose of the show is to tackle realistic topics relating to self-love that promote a positive self-image and healthy habits. But listeners can expect much more.

It’s no secret that the past few years have done a number on our peace of mind. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, in 2022, over 50 percent of us experienced anxiety or depressive episodes. And these mental health issues have also done real damage to our relationships. But Charity B. takes a step back and asks: If we don’t start loving ourselves first—in good times and in bad—how can we expect to bring love into a world that needs it? Fresh, fun, and filled with earthy wisdom, I Am Enough is important listening for bruised and battered hearts.

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