Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Perils of Projection

Crom betrays a basic ignorance as to the limits and possibilities of cyber interactions:

Statistically speaking, I would offer the idea that meeting a like-minded individual in the cliquish familiarity of cyberspace is greater than that of meeting anything remotely resembling a Real Man by your definition in the Five Boroughs.
First of all, Crom, Pretty Lady holds no truck with statistics. Statistically speaking, Pretty Lady permanently dwells at the extreme end of the bell curve; in her experience, this is rather like approaching the speed of light, in Einsteinian physics. Everything you thought you knew turns out to be not only incomplete, but inapplicable, from your asymptotic perspective. Statistics, in Pretty Lady's world, may be a decent tool for after-the-fact analysis and understanding, but as a guiding principle in her life, they are useless. Pretty Lady does what she does, and allows the Holy Spirit to take care of the steering.

This is all by the way, however.

The fact is, Pretty Lady has been meeting 'like-minded individuals' through the Internet since 1995. She is not only a pioneer in this regard, but she has been goofing around in cyberspace long enough to know that, inasmuch as it has its revelations and intoxications, it also has its Major Pitfalls. The biggest pitfall being that it is possible for a reasonably intuitive and socially skilled individual to apprehend more about a person's basic character and personality in five minutes of face-to-face interaction, than in six months of in-depth cyber correspondence.

The Internet, my dear friends, is more like one big Group Therapy session than a genuine community. It can be useful, informative, entertaining and productive. It allows for rumination, experimentation, and postulatory dress-up; it is also an excellent way of finding bargains on second-hand cars and bicycles.

However, by far the most major and unacknowledged commodity trafficked upon the Internet is Projection. When we know nothing of an individual except words on a screen, our minds creatively fill in the blanks. We fill in the blanks with whatever fantasy or animosity we have lying around in our own brains; such filling-in rarely corresponds, even remotely, to the physical actuality of another being.

That is why, if Pretty Lady meets a person on the Internet, and she does not meet this person for coffee and a chat within a month or so of the initial correspondence (under two weeks is by far the best) she tends to write off the possibility of ever knowing that person in person, in more than a casual 'Hey! It's you!' sort of way.

She has entertained too many long-distance marriage proposals from delusional, incompetent twerps, and been used and abused by too many self-involved players, to do otherwise.

Now, if a person meets Pretty Lady in person, and then becomes cybernetically involved with her meanderings, this is a different story entirely. This individual is merely fleshing-out and deepening his original impressions; that is all fine and dandy, and can lead to very rewarding friendships indeed.

But all of this speculative nonsense about the possibility of Pretty Lady's bestowing her deepest affections upon a textual construct is simply obnoxious spouting-off. Pretty Lady has an email address, a phone number, and feet. Any gentleman who lacks the confidence or capability to make use of these facts does not figure in her day-to-day life with any degree of significance.


Judge Well Ye Wolves said...

One of your most instructive, and may I say revealing posts yet.

Pretty Lady said...

I beg your pardon?

Judge Well Ye Wolves said...

Oy gevalt. I apologize. There are times when one lays out sentences spun from gold, enclosing logic and thought in delicate filigree. One pats one's back, figuratively speaking, at one's own lucidity. One clicks on the button marked "PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT" with pride and expectation of seeing one's words well-placed as a comment.
Then the words disappear. Into the void, never to be seen by man nor blog. Teeth gnash, brow furls as one realizes that the cleverness is gone, and cannot be rebuilt. It is The Way of the Web. It happens. Teaches zen-style patience and acceptance of the world as it is.
Sometimes, however, one THINKS his words are gone and is grateful because they weren't fully formed, except that it comes to pass that they are, in fact, published for all the web to see and causes the blog owner to politely inquire (I'm paraphrasing, of course) "Dude, WTF?". My apologies again.

Anonymous said...

I must confess, being a very practical person, that the idea of someone seriously proposing to Pretty Lady simply on the basis of her blog is mind-bogglingly ludicrous. It is obvious to anyone with an above-room temperature IQ that Pretty Lady is a (very) artificial construct, even if she hadn't said so herself. She's a witty, amusing construct to be sure, but still artificial.

It would be like someone proposing to Lara Croft (the computer game original) or the cartoon Wonder Woman. Sometimes I simply have to shake my head in bewilderment. Of course I have the same reaction to those men who think the strippers at the local nudie bar are genuinely interested in them.

Often online acquaintances are better for remaining strictly online. One example is Nate. If I actually met him I would find him insufferable. Online I can enjoy his storytelling and simply ignore his delusions and arrogance. I suspect that if I knew Pretty Lady's creator in person, she might make me crazy with prolonged contact (and I her, of course). However, I can enjoy her online without risk of terminal frustration.


Pretty Lady said...

Correction, dear Pappapete--Pretty Lady, did she in fact exist, would make you crazy with prolonged contact. Pretty Lady's creator, I can assure you, needs so much down time as to be certain to send you firmly into the other room with a book, before either one of us reached breaking point.

Pretty Lady said...

Oh, and Papa--shhh. We don't want to hurt Starbuck's feelings. He gets ragged on enough.