Thursday, June 09, 2005

Internet Connections

All of this talk (22 comments so far) about blog-o-sphere connections over at Zendervive has me feeling a little like I need to defend meeting people over the Internet.

I'll admit: I've been meeting people over the Internet for five years. When I first moved to New York, I asked my friend how she got dates here because she seemed to have so many. She told me she met men over the Internet. I was weary at first, very weary, but I gave it a try. And there were some pretty horrible guys. There was the guy who couldn't stop talking about his very recent ex girlfriend. We had the same name and apparently I was "just like her." There was the guy who walked me all around the city in August, stopped to buy a bottle of water and didn't offer me any. There was the guy who talked about his "totally hot" pot dealer and the guy who couldn't get it up for me because he had already masturbated three times that day. Let us not forget the guy who dumped me over voice mail. But then there were the great ones: the guy who made me Indian food and rubbed my back. The guy who I danced with all night long. The guy who, on our second date, set up a game of outdoor, candlelight Scrabble (I'll admit, he turned out to be the voice mail dumper, but they all have to end sometime, right?).

I wouldn't have met any of these men in person. Now, of course, I didn't have an instant attraction with most of the people I've met off of the Internet, either. Most of them I wouldn't have found attractive at first glance, but there was something about them, their style of writing, their interests, their humor that I got from their profiles that made me want to get to know them. I would not have necessarily been able to see that in someone at a bar. That's the great difference between meeting someone from the Internet and meeting someone in person: in person, it generally happens because I'm either attracted to him or really drunk. Over the Internet, I'm more interested in his interests and thoughts on life.

Attractive or not, I at least try to give these Internet guys the benefit of the doubt. I think to myself, "if I knew him, would I like him? Is he just like that guy that made me laugh the first day of class and by the end of the semester I was in love with him?" It seems the only fair thing to do, considering I already know so much about these guys and we share some of the same interests. For me, that "instant attraction" generally wears off anyway; I'm much more into second impressions than first. With meeting people off of the Internet, it's like you're automatically getting the second, or maybe third, impression.

I'm not saying one way is better than the other. In fact, I'd prefer to meet someone organically. But that just doesn't happen for me very often. So why not use this method that seems to work well enough? I'm not embarrassed or uncomfortable with it. Besides, I spend more time on the Internet than I do in bars or at parties. It only seems logical that this is how I would meet someone.


PiggyReese said...

I completly agree with you, and mom was always that person who would never meet someone out at a bar a have it be more than a one night stand. She was even once sleeping with a guy I lived across the hall from in my old apartment for the term of the lease! She did end up meeting someone who now she is in a great relationship with, but if she had just met him at a bar they maybe would not still be dating. I have found that for her there is a different way that she has to go about things, and different tools she needs to use. Such as being friends first, meeting during an activity that does not involve drinking first, Not sleeping with someone on the first date, if it is going to last. The different tools one has to use can also include the internet. It is a good way to get the raw sober glance at someone's thoughts, to take your time while talking and then meet. Then I feel there is more of a connection, than if you just meet that night, fuck and hope it might turn out to be something more. But then again if that is what someone is looking for than that's fine too the internet can also be good for one night stands.

todd said...

I agree -- it's a great new tool. NYers seem open to more advances in technology, or maybe it's more attractive woman are open than down here. Maybe I just need to move up there. I used to get a lot of crap for going a date from the web, still do, but I know so many NYers that love match or craigslist or even the blog-o-sphere to meet someone that they wouldn't have initially talked too. Casual dating is a lot easier, it seems, up there. Dating in the South seems more serious, or mabye this is my experience. I have 4 EXs that are engaged or married, and most of my friends are on their way to that lifelong togetherness, so there is some aspect of "peer-pressure" to be with one person.

todd said...

I don't even know how I'm on this site now -- that one crazy post brings everyone together.

Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said...

I fell asleep at work today.

Daniel said...

I fell asleep at a records archive workshop on Tuesday. I know how could one possibly fall asleep during something that exciting. Thing is we were at a large U shaped table and I was right in the middle. I know everyone must have seen me, especially the speaker (who asked me politely to wake up). Oh sorry I thought I was writing on my blog.

emily said...

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