Friday, September 8, 2006

A Story and A Question

What gets into some people the minute they leave your face to face company and get behind a computer screen? I'd really like to know.

Consider Exhibit A, who seemed like a really cool person when I first
met him. He was intelligent, charming, and showed no signs of
underlying sociopathic tendencies. We had a first date and it was a
lot of fun.

As we were leaving, he asked me if I'm on AIM. Well, technically I
am, but my sister is the only one who ever really IMs me. No big
deal, though. I gave him my screenname. And, this is where it all
gets really weird.

So, a few days later I'm online and I get an IM from him. For a few
minutes, it's just normal small talk. Then, he starts saying things
that are just a little too overtly sexual for someone I just met.
And, this is someone who has very good manners in person. I had to
blink to make sure I was seeing it right. I would have thought he was
drunk, except that it was about 4pm.

I wasn't sure what to think at this point, but I did already have
plans to see him, again. I was wary going in, but once again he was
fun to be around in person. I saw no signs of the side of him I saw
on IM. He can actually follow my ADD-influenced conversation. He agreed with my theory that the only thing that would save
our society is if a virus attacked the reproductive systems of stupid
people. Stupid people have too many kids. ( I know some really great
people who struggle with fertility treatments, while there is no end
to the fertility of the people we really don't want breeding. What went
wrong with our evolution?) But, even with a smarter society, it would
still be difficult to weed out all the little dysfunctions and
neuroses. I thought about this as I wondered if this guy really does
have two different personalities.

But, I figured that maybe I'd misjudged him. That is until I got the
next IM. This one was just worse than the last. I even asked him if
he thought it was a little strange that we barely knew eachother and
were already talking about such personal things. He told me not
really, but that since he was very much a gentleman, he wouldn't just
bring something like this up over dinner. Good point. But then, why
is it okay online? It doesn't change the fact that he's still saying
it. At this point, it doesn't matter if I have fun with him or not.
I've just lost too much respect for him.

So, I'm starting to think the internet just makes people weird. Not
you, of course, friends and strangers who are reading this. I like
you....well, some of you. Or, maybe it's just that people are weird
to begin with and the internet helps bring it out. Maybe, you just
find out how dysfunctional people really are a little faster. I don't
know if this is a good or bad thing. It does help to weed out weirdos
before you get too attached. But on the other hand, would there be
anyone left? Maybe, the whole reason we get to know people slowly is
so that they can hopefully eventually love us despite all the little
ways we're just as demented as everyone else. And, in turn we hope
that they are not too crazy, but just crazy enough. So, is modern
technology a good thing? I haven't decided yet.