that's for all of you aim/meebo/yahoo messenger/ichat/skype/facebook chat/blah blah social networking website users out there...
online dating... Is it legitimate or merely a w.o.t. ("waste of time" for all you pseudo-internet savvy users)?
Who's to say that the picture-perfect alias you're typing to isn't some random, horny creeper that has nothing better to do but flirt, lie, and manipulate you into thinking they're mister or misses perfect?
Is online dating passive? Is it desperate? Is it putting cupid out of his job? Or is it a legitimate medium through which we can sift through a list of potential virtual soulmates till we (ctrl) find
that special somebody who meets every criteria on our highly inflated technological checklist?
I've never tried online dating myself, but I am guilty for ever-so-innocently entering unique chatrooms way back in the day, where I found potential suitors asking everybody their a/s/l.
Of course, the romance only lasted less than ten minutes. It didn't take long till I realized that the people I chatted with were likely to be lowlives: the rejects of society, the anti-social outkasts who lacked interpersonal skills and thus lived vicariously through the shielded society of the much fantasized and romanticized internet dating world.
Granted, this skewed mentality was coming from a pseudo-pornlike screename user: Precious5643 (don't judge -_-).
Years and years later, I have given up my wildly brief internet rendezvous, and have steered clear from lame chatrooms that provoke nothing but disaster. I hardly think I will depend on a virtual forum to find Mister Right but I guess I should never say never. It seems like it would be easier though, don't you think? You list off your existence on a website, and find a most excellent picture to depict your essence; then you hope that by some random twist of fate you will virtually befriend your soulmate, then! bada bing, bada boom. Capiche?
Lol to that.
After using social networking sites for over a decade, I can honestly say that I have attained one great friendship out of random virtual chatting. One day in sunny Lakewood, Colorado, I was mischievously carousing through an interesting chatroom, till I began engaging in a titillating conversation with another fellow.
7 years later, we are now best of friends. He is Mister Perfect. We grew up together during those years, sharing our deepest, most intimate thoughts about life, love, death, and any other topic two wandering souls can foolishly and unceasingly philosophize about. I talked to him during my time in Colorado, when I uprooted back to Glendale, about all the magical people in-n-out of my life, when I moved to Berkeley, when I joined the mafia... etc.
..7 years later, he is but a phantom (not of the opera). It has been perfect though. We "listen" to eachother, he gives his 2-cents, and I give my 23434 cents...reciprocal, insightful, heartfelt, perfect.
Though, is it even real?
Well, virtually speaking, it is. All the conversations, memories we shared, virtual "laughs" and moments of sorrow we experienced were very much raw and in real-time. So I suppose I cannot say that utilizing the internet to meet new people is a waste of time. I got to "meet" a wonderful person and I have learned much about life through his experiences as did he through mine (cliche, but true).
However, I just think it may be a bit standoffish to meet a potential lover through the virtual medium. Human beings are so intricate and simplistically complicated. If I meet this 7-year best friend of mine, I am completely confident that this "perfect" bubble of mine will pop. Not that he won't be perfect, but this image I created of our glorious, conversational friendship will no longer exist, and that's only because perfection doesn't exist....And that's an entirely different story.
But let's imagine we do engage in internet dating for a second.
If we utilize the formal forum, i.e. eHarmony, I would probably have to type my interests and hobbies in some conventional dropdown box and hope that my match takes interest to my silly existence. But how the hell can other viewers truly KNOW who I am? I can list things like "poker" and a list of mafia movies as my interests, and the other fellow on the other side of his computer wouldn't know that I value poetry, sing opera, and go crazy for a living.
If we utilize the informal forum, i.e. random chatting, I would probably first be taken as a porn star (with my age-old screen name Precious5643). Users would conclude that the numbers are indicative of a uniquely numerical sexual position I made up that outperforms the infamous '69'. Or, the famous "what's so precious about you my precious" conversation spurs -_-. Then, after we engage in a wildly poetic conversation about anything and everything, one of us would eventually leave this nonsensical chat and realize that tangible human beings are much highly preferred than ones that can pin themselves up to be anything you want, baby ;).
So, let me be the hypocrit when I say go on with your bad selves by aim-ing or facebooking comrades. Maybe you'll get lucky and fall madly in love. Maybe you'll gain a magical friend who will get the inner intricacies that define your poker-playing, mafia movie-watching YOU. But fair warning to you my friends. Online dating or chatting is much like purchasing an item via ebay or amazon. The picture looks wondrous, the description is fabulous, everything seems too good to be true, until the UPS guy delivers the complete antithesis of what you anticipated. fail.
But please, let me not discourage anybody from testing out the virtual waters. And if you have met your significant other via the virtual net, tell us about it, share your stories...
Or, better yet, if you're interested...