Sunday, May 24, 2009
Internet is Killing True Romance
It all started when I turned on my PC and my Yahoo Instant Messenger contact list popped up automatically signing me in when the reality of of my social life punched me right in the gut.
Somewhere in the midst of this new age that we're in, this world of Social Networks like, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Linkedin, E-Harmony. Adam4Adam and other dating and/or Sex sites....we've lost sight of a very important aspect of American culture..meeting people face to face the good old fashioned way. He would be in the produce section in Pathmark, picking through tomatoes to find one without bruises for his Roast beef and Pepper Jack on Whole Wheat and she would would be searching for the perfect bag of apples that were just the right color to use as the main ingredient to her Grandma's famous Apple Pie recipe for Sunday dinner dessert. They would back away from their respective sections and accidentally bump into each other. He would stutter and smile as he apologized and she would demurely let him know that it was okay. This would subsequently lead to slightly uncomfortable small talk eventually giving way to light-hearted banter, laced with lingering eye contact or a subtle touch that lasted a second too long. In the end they exchange numbers and eventually....he takes her out to Dinner and a Movie.
One Date leads to another (if the first date was good) and the two get more comfortable and they eventually end up in bed. If the Sex is good and they're compatible...this leads to more sex and sometimes even love.
In recent times, chance encounters like this have become the exception rather than the norm.
Nowadays it's more common to log into a site, view a profile offering a persons stats (Height, weight, race, religion, interests etc.). If the "Member" finds these stats appealing they express their interest (In many different ways, depending on the site and the individual) to the person whose profile they've "scanned" or "thought was really Hot"!!!
The ritual continues when the other party receives this notification and in return "Scans" their admirer. If they're not interested...with the click of a button (or no action at all). They convey their lack of interest (in some cases disgust), However, if the opposite occurs and they reciprocate the attraction , It leads to a series of spasmodic correspondence between the two. She says she's 10 lbs. lighter than she actually is and he adds an inch or 2 to his height. They both swear they have to have the other and begin fantasizing about the Movie themed eventual meeting (for her: "When Harry Met Sally", for him: "9 1/2 Weeks"!!!
Soon they meet... One always tends to find nothing but flaw, meanwhile the other overlooks the obvious embellishment to certain physical attributes. In some cases (RARELY) the couple end up the same way the first pair in the Supermarket does...Blissfully happy (or at least comfortable with one another to some degree) but more often, they are quick to give up on trying to make something of this "not so random" pairing.
I believe that this is due to how easily they can dismiss their date, log in again, and go back to the old drawing board. The Internet has removed the natural progression of things by reducing people to screen names and their stats, whereas once upon a time...people would attempt to work through differences of opinion while learning to agree to disagree. Learning what makes the other "Tick", growing towards a rewarding co-existence with one another.
Some of us have become accustomed to deleting someone from our friend list and essentially..our lives. We look for perfection where once upon a time we only wanted compatibility.
My question is...while we "delete" people in search of that perfect, exquisite, supreme human being..what the Hell are we offering? Who are we to demand rock-hard abs as we lug around a spare tire? insist on someone with a 6 figure salary and yet you're behind on various Utility Bills? Wanting the Model on the cover of "Vogue", "Essence" or "G.Q." when we barely make the cut for the cover of "Soldier of Fortune" or even "Readers Digest" for that matter?
I miss the old days of realistic (but not lowered) expectations. The days when relationships were based on how well we communicate, the things we have in common, physical attraction (of course) and just plain old liking someone who you can very well grow to love. If it didn't work out...we got dressed, got up, got out and socialized...maybe even bumping into that "special someone" in the produce aisle again. The truth is, I doubt we'll ever find anything worthwhile if we don't work at it. While we're busy "deleting" possible happiness in search of Nirvana...we are also deleting the chances of finding someone we can truly be happy with. What our parents and everyone had before Internet Dating. In closing...who are we to expect flawlessness when we don't have it to offer. Just something us "Internet Dating Aficionados" should give a little thought to. as usual...this is just my point of view.