Pictures of perfection.

12/29/2013 The Lady 3 Comments

"Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked." 
                  --Jane Austen

It has been much too long since I wrote last. Apologies, apologies. 

A quick update about Mary and The Bearded Hobbit:

I was quite right about The Bearded Hobbit and his interest in the Nineteen-Year-Old Nuisance. As of a couple weeks before the Christmas break, the two began "officially" dating. Poor Mary. She insists that she isn't much bothered, but she also has asked me more than once why I think the older men in our area tend to date the younger girls. I for one have no answer to give. I repeat: poor Mary. 

Other things to address:

Recently, a reader asked if we find technology to be a help or hindrance to the dating process. In search of a simple answer, I have stewed over this question much longer than was probably necessary. And of course, I have not been able to come up with a simple answer at all. I think that technology can be both a help and a hindrance to dating. 

As much as I love sending and receiving hand-written letters (I truly do love letters), the technology we have is ever so helpful. If I need to contact someone on the other side of the world in a hurry, I have a multitude of means at my disposal. Back in the olden days when I was actually seriously dating men, we could contact each other through seemingly limitless mediums. If my phone was on the fritz (which seemed to happen often back then) we could send each other messages through email, Facebook, etc. All the technology we have is quite brilliant. 

I assume, however, that the question asked was not about how helpful technology is in getting in touch with people, but rather how I view modern modes of dating (aka online dating). 

Ladies and gentleman, please fasten your seat belts.

Due to a creepy experience I had with an online chat room (do those still exist?) when I was a wee lass, I had vowed to never ever be involved with online dating. I was quite hard-nosed about it for years and years, and harshly judged anyone who participated in anything like it. I was convinced there could only be horrible consequences for those who got involved with someone they only knew from online. But after hearing countless tales of what good had come of it for friends and relatives, my heart began to soften slightly.

Online dating is such a regular part of our culture, that it is difficult to condemn it, and I am not certain that condemnation is what it deserves. I think that it provides opportunities for people to meet that other circumstances might never make possible. But with that said, I'm not exactly all for it either. 

In my most personal and most biased opinion, I still never want to be involved in online dating. Yes, I know the rule to never say "never" and yes, I did go through a short Tinder stint, but no more I say! It isn't so much that I think all men to be found on online sites are crummy, fake, or shallow, but it's more about what I've discovered about myself when I've briefly tried online dating/meeting/whatever. 

It is much too easy to be fake. And I am not talking about all the creepers (which definitely exist), I am talking about myself. When chatting or emailing guys online, I feel I am only half myself. I am only the parts of myself that I let them see. My photos are perfectly angled and cropped to only accentuate my best features and effectively hide those flaws I am not too partial to. I am perfectly witty and flirty because I can sit and think about my responses rather than allow the usual awkward babble that tends to escape my lips. Men become interested by the picture of myself that I present to them rather than the reality that I am. And it is not as though I am intentionally manipulative, it is just what happens with online interactions. It just isn't real. At least for me. 

So for my answer to technology and dating: it's a personal choice. It is not for me, but maybe it is for you. Maybe you're not a phony like I am, and maybe you've had great experiences unlike yours truly. Like most things in life, it is a matter of personal taste. 

Oh, be wise. What can I say more? 

Con Amor, 
The Lady

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Anonymous said...

Oh I agree! I am totally different online than I am in person. Maybe that is why I've found success? I present the me that I believe I am, or perhaps the me I want to be, and I feel guys give me a better chance? Makes me wonder whether I am being the real me or the fake me.

Sophie said...

It's so hard admitting that we behave differently depending on the circumstances. Thanks for discussing so well a very real topic :)

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