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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wicked Girls....Probably Don't Meet Their New Man Online Because...

......this just isn't likely to be your dream guy.

Is it about your age group? That was proposed to me earlier this week. That my inability to grasp the concept of falling in love with someone and dropping my real world life to go be with someone I have never met had more to do with my generational issue. The fact that I didn't have a Blackberry in my hand at age 12, access to an internet chat room from birth. I gave this serious thought.

Then, I laughed my fucking ass off. Sorry, but I did. No, I really laughed at it. Here is the thing. The people I know who have done this have been of varying age groups. It's not about any sort of generational issue whatsoever. It is a social matter. People who are having a hard time meeting individuals in a normal social setting, for various reasons, are the one's who are doing this. Age is not the deciding or even a determining factor. From teens to late sixties, this decimating the generational argument. Thus bringing us back to a need for social interaction.

My point in the discussion, to catch you up to speed, is that you can't know someone, truly know them, until you have looked into their eyes, seen them, touched them, tasted them, words, while providing some insight, on the internet especially, can be carefully chosen or even stolen, therefore are unreliable. One could take on any persona they chose while on the internet and run wild with it. I find the possibilities frightening, really.

Let us not confuse the topic:

Reconnecting with former loves, as many are doing, or even building stronger connections with old acquaintances, through social networking sites such as Facebook is a different sort of thing.

Match.com or some of the other dating sites, where you briefly communicate with someone then start dating, also not what we are talking about here.

Let me be more specific and give a clear example of the type of relationship I am addressing here. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/11/14/second.life.divorce/index.html
The really "special" thing about this story, Second Life, the virtual world featured here, is also a community that is very involved in Amnesty International, Global Warming Initiatives, Peace World Movement, some rather high minded stuff...you would think that it might have struck the creators that giving the avatars the ability to have sex (yes, the avatars can physically have sex and you can guide them through the motions, one of my author friends is an admin for the site and she has gone into great detail explaining for me) would at some point diminish the overall point of the site.

World of Warcraft, many relationships have blossomed between gamers.

Twitter, can you fall for someone in 140 characters or less? I dare say it is happening, over and over.

Chat rooms and online games are still flooded by lonely people who are hooking up and meeting up. With mobile access to their online sites, people never lose touch with their cyber loves. They feel as if they are tethered to one another, that final step to being together as natural as going to the grocery store.

But what happens when the fairy tale is over? When your on the doorstep. What happens when 6' tall is 5'8" and 180 lbs is really 215 lbs. When "likes to read poetry in bed" really just meant "likes to read the comics from this morning's paper"? What if that basement apartment happens to be under his mother's house? What about that wonderful surprise visit you decided to make after all this time only to have the door opened by the woman he's been married to for 15 years?

The real world is the Wicked playground. We are social creatures, if you aren't by nature, develop it, ease yourself into it, slowly force yourself. It provides you a safety net you will come to appreciate. The internet is a fun place to visit, but you don't want to live here, think of it as Mexico (sorry, but it's true, let's face it, no one wants to live in Mexico)

As for generations to come meeting their true loves online, maybe dating services will continue in popularity, but people inherently lie when given the opportunity, they just can't seem to fucking stop themselves, so no, I don't see the chatroom, game scene, virtual world becoming the "new" social mecca for hookups! That is the final Wicked Word on this one.


Athol Kay: Married Man Sex LIfe said...

I agree for the most part on this. The old joke is that "On the Internet no one knows you are a dog" is very true. You can pretend to be anything you like and the real life reality can be quite different.

It is silly however letting yourself get hooked into romantic feelings over someone that is going to require a 1000 mile road trip to actually meet in real life.

A Mother's Thoughts said...

I agree also, it baffles my mind that people open themselves up to such a crazy notion. Like you said, you can post different pictures, they could be a manic for all we know. Why can't people do it the old fashion way and go find a man. Technology isn't all it cracked up to be when it comes to love! But hey, what do I know.


Phoenixism said...

I think Shawn and Athol, I have the same suspicious and leery opinion of online relationships. It's fun to "meet" people online, I enjoy swapping BS and other long-distance tidbits, but the problem for me is that I cannot devote myself to a relationship which is basically only words and maybe jpg's. Can't do it. So when it comes to online interactions, I keep them light and fun and my personal investment is minimal.

Take this from someone who has even gotten "lucky" off the internet, but it's always been local and I insist on quick meetings. If I have a motive, I will act on it quickly. I'm not about to sit around interacting forever with someone who I really want to meet and pretend they are my girlfriend.

Shawn I definitely believe there is a generational difference in the way we perceive and react to online socializing. There are always exceptions to everything, and I'm not even talking about dating only. I just mean how we approach cyberspace in relation to our own expectations. I'm just saying the much younger generations who were basically weaned on cyberspace are much more inclined to place all their eggs in that basket. I can never do that, and I would go so far as to say that anyone in my age bracket who expects that much from the internet probably wasn't tremendously socially adept before the internet became common.

I think the question, as you said, is one of sociability.

Pennypenpen said...

sometimes, you meet people online by accident. no intentions of meeting anyone, much less liking them. it could happen. HOWEVER.
generally, people in the virtual world are not what they seem.
trust me.
but sometimes, some really great things come from those shitty "relationships".

a wise friend once said to me, i can tell anyone i'm 5'6, brunette, green eyes, with size D breasts, but that doesn't change the fact that i'm an overweight, trailer park housewife. LOL.


Jana said...

I can't even imagine carrying on a relationship on the basis of a few or for that matter hundreds or thousands of words uttered online.
Nothing can beat the joy you feel of setting your eyes, for the first time, on the person who makes you feel happy to be alive.

Brilliant Sulk said...

Okay, I'm scared now.

I'm going to meet up with all the cool chicks at BlogHer this summer. What if they're all creepy dudes from Mexico?

Your post makes me glad I'm not single - I married a man I can throw magic markers at...

Wicked Shawn said...

Athol- True and true, yet it is happening on the daily. Wrecking marriages and devastating mommies who thought their little boys were going to stay in the basement forever.

Lynn- As I said, I wonder if it is a social crutch. But yes, my Fear Factor would kick in, and fast!

Cold Shower- I love interacting with people online, have developed friendships worldwide in such a manner and have lunched with a group of ladies that I met here on the interwebz. I also qualified and stated clearly, that there is a difference in meeting someone online then quickly transitioning to meeting quickly meeting in real life.
While you continue to bang your generational drum, it sounds very hollow. Mainly because the majority of the relationships being formed truly online are by the age group 30-45(source CyberPsychology & Behavior by Kate Bonebrake). Now, I am not the least ashamed to admit that I fall smack dab in the middle of that age group. It is my generation who is utilizing the internet for relationship building. Bullet in your theory. I am willing to concede that perhaps it is the size of your city that skews the use of the internet, makes it a more viable tool. It is less necessary here, where we have more face time. I still stand by my argument that social discomfort is the number one reason.

Wicked Shawn said...

Pen- Beautiful things happen unexpected bullshit, you have the proof. No denying!!

J- For a writer, words can be a powerful thing. Yet, the feeling of a look, the warmth of a touch, the overwhelming power of a kiss.....hard to live without

Amanda- If you get to BlogHer and all the cool chicks are dudes from Mexico, call me and I will fly to NYC right away. Hellz yeah!! Tequila shots all around. BTW, we really must work on your aim. ;)

Phoenixism said...

Shawn, you know I will not be convinced.

Not because I'm stubborn, but because my instincts seem too strong to dismiss in the face of an 8-year old paper written about RL "relations" initiated on the internet (which incidentally was not the gist of my point). Eight years in internet time is like citing a study of marriage done in 1950 as the basis for an argument regarding marriage in the year 2010.

Can you honestly tell me you believe that the dynamics involved in a 22-year-old's cyberpresence (who has known nothing but but that world are identical to the dynamics involved in a 39-year-old's involvement in the internet, someone who probably didn't even begin surfing in any way recognizable until he was in his mid-20s?

That is my only point.
Not relationships which extend beyond cyber space.

Perhaps it's telling that the 30-45 demographic is more apt to pull that cyber-relationship from the digital never-never land and insist on making it real. That might be why that group is so well-represented in this study. A 20-year-old is content to leave a cyber relationship in cyberspace never having been exposed to the life us older folks have (which involved valuable face time).

secret agent woman said...

Wow. It's a big old goofy world.