Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sociological Observations

Pretty Lady may just mention that her interest in online dating is, at this point and for the foreseeable future, purely academic. She has been through the trenches, collected both scalps and war stories, and is now thoroughly Over It. Thus it would be both self-indulgent and redundant of her to offer any actual advice to would-be online daters, particularly as Miss Rachel has done such a splendid job of it.

However, there is one Staring Observation she would like to make, after shaking her head in wonder at the psychological delusions of folk, lo these many years. And that is, when posting to an online dating site, people have a large tendency to forget that however you frame the interaction, those are still people out there.

Thus it seems to her a bit quixotic of some of them to fill out a laundry list of requirements which ignore this obvious fact. They treat the personals as though it were just one more online shop, where they can custom-order a Fantasy Partner to fit, no matter that such a person has never existed since the beginning of time. Moreover, they assume that the dictates of civil social intercourse are, by nature of the medium, suspended; they think nothing of going boldly ahead with the sort of behavior which would get them forcibly ejected from any in-person interaction, even an in-person interaction in the sleaziest of dive bars.

Pretty Lady is by no means suggesting that these people alter their attitudes in any way. Why should they, when they are making the screening process so simple for their would-be victims? Pretty Lady holds no lasting grudges against the legions of males who bombarded her with petitions for 'discreet' affairs, multi-racial threesomes, and anonymous sex in doorways with partners she met ten minutes ago. She amused herself greatly by informing these individuals that she is about as 'discreet' as a twelve-year-old boy on typewriter fluid, and left it at that.

For there is something about the pseud0-anonymity of online interactions that causes people to believe that they can Get Away With Something; that 'being honest' about one's baser instincts will finally be okay, that a person can be as selfish, inconsiderate, rude and unrealistic as he or she likes, and things will magically turn out for the best. That the Lady in the Computer will be the perfect goddess who absolves a person for stating, forthrightly, "I'm looking to cheat on my spouse without any consequences, okay? And I don't want to be considerate of your needs or anything, so don't go getting clingy on me."

Pretty Lady supposes that this sort of thing will die down eventually, once people get shot down a few hundred billion times. Meanwhile, they may continue in their courses unadmonished by Pretty Lady, who is far too pleased with Life right now to bother with them.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, people can be really strange when hiding behind a computer system. Silly really if you think about it 'cause readin, writin, and speakin are all kinda the same form of communication. I think it is the release from visual scrutiny that encourages such outrageous online behaviour... then again, all men are sickos (their match met only by the women they pursure).

Anyway, whateva - peace.

Anonymous said...

All men are sickos?

Gad, I'd hate to run into the "men" this unfortunate female has been exposed to.

It would appear that a real male has never crossed her path... sad.

Pretty Lady said...

Yes indeed, Bobert, I must second the notion that all men are NOT sickos. There are some very nice fellows out there; the trick to finding them is to give the sickos a boot in the behind as soon as they make their sicko nature known. Only then is there enough space in one's life for a healthy person to enter it.

One cannot Reform a sicko. One cannot be Understanding of him. One cannot be giving and accomodating and flexible; one must merely give him a BOOT IN THE BEHIND.

This word of wisdom brought to you by Experience.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I just went on-line dating for a month and had a wonderful time. A little intense at times, which seems a product of the this particular format, 60miles per mintue as one scrutinizes masses of info. Of the people I met, under 10,the worst case was "no chemistry....period...on any level..". Two or three are heading to friendships,one is heading in the direction of love.
Of the people I didn't meet but interacted with on line ( a lot),
one was a head case, one or two just were tooooo intensely looking,
and a half dozen were wonderful communicators. I have to say, nary a single contact was risque, sex was never even broached, profiles were wonderful to read and gave me a sense of how wonderful humans can be. And I never had to strain my ears to hear every other word as in a bar.
People who were not interested in me were polite and/or did not respond, which was fine. And I signed off in 22 days. Yippie, what a relief....just from the intensity of the contacting and searching. The only really negative turned out to be that when you quit the program, they still leave you on and available to the end of the contract...which in my case was 30 days. At this point, it feels like the county jail....not horrible,but it will be nice not to have access to the temptation to look for more when I have already found enough.