It’s no secret that we live in a cyber world, but the fact that it’s been creeping up on us so quickly makes me wonder how much we really need it versus how much we’re overusing it.
First of all I would like to explain the social experiment I’ve been working on in the last couple months. I’m calling it IM4ROM1991. It started off in a chatroom I logged into for a couple days.
This is me, 22 f nyc:
I logged in and bombarded everyone with a hey, those bored or interested enough to keep the conversation going fed me fragments of their lives until they felt like we bonded. Once we did they started telling me secrets and this is what I learned.
A man in his early thirties was looking for someone to ”crush his balls”, he was one of those guys that pop up and say ”would you like to crush my balls?”, we got into talking and he explained all about this fetish that he has. He explained to me he’d even developed games he could play with people with the same fetish, one of the games would consist of him placing his balls in the pocket of a pool table and have others do the same. Then, women would play pool normally and whenever they would score this would in fact, crush his balls. He had no idea of where the fetish came from but he seemed thrilled to at least know what he wanted.
A woman in her mid forties who’s daughter is 18 and a lesbian was suspicious of whether or not her daughter was hitting on her. The older woman recently slept with another woman for the first time and identified herself as bisexual, she confessed sometimes she fantasizes about having sex with her daughter. I told her I think she’s just trying to rescue the young version of herself that got lost in her 15 year old marriage. She found my advice helpful.
Another woman in her late thirties who’s 19 year old son was about to become a dad and had to drop out of college to work and support the baby seemed pretty sad. She’d recently broke up with her 8 year old girlfriend and her husband was ignoring her. He was aware she had a girlfriend on the side and didn’t mind but recent events with their kid made him hesitate their relationship.
A girl around my age told me she loved bondage and send me photos of herself tied up on a bed with her eyes and mouth covered. This made me doubt if she was the girl in the picture or the person that took it so she showed herself on camera. She looked like a very preppy girl. She explained it was hard for her to find a sexual partner because everyone was so uptight in the UK, I told her to look in neighbor countries. She was nice, polite and fearless/kinky.
There were a couple other stories I captured that might be a bit boring to share but I think I’ve made my point. Part of the reason why I started off in the cyber world was to see how much people in chat rooms have changed. I wanted to see how anonymous it felt, luckily there’s hope but it wont be long before you speak to someone who’s been phone verified and we won’t be able to share those sides of ourselves that can be so spooky for common society, which brings me to tracking people down.
Remember the good old days when you would move, break up, transfer or quit a job and you’d never see those people ever again? It’s kind of hard with Facebook isn’t it? Or maybe you’d meet a stranger you’d like to see in your free time but they’d add you and suddenly be a part of your circle of friends. So long for kinky, hello proper. It’s a tricky situation now a days, even when meeting someone online. Although you would like the mystery to stay alive for at least a couple months there’s screen tests you gotta do to find out if the other person isn’t a serial killer, which brings me to my next point.
I’ve used tinder, match and most recently OkCupid because I have time to surf profiles while working from home and too broke to go out and get very drunk with strangers at cubbyhole.
Tinder: It really sucks, I went on two dates and they were both very depressing. At the end I felt like they were thinking ”you’ve wasted my time because you’re not a one night stand”, and who knows maybe I could’ve been if the whole time I didn’t feel like it was expected.
Match: It’s good, overall. First date off match was very brief, the moment I smoked a cigarette this girl said ”oh you smoke? gotta go” pretty much. The second was actually very good and we clicked until we didn’t.
OkCupid: I don’t really get it. Looks like a bunch of straight girls looking for their first lesbo experience.
Out of all three I’d say Match is probably the best online dating site, not because of my experience but because you pay a little over $100 and they verify your phone, etcetera. Tinder seems to be just hook ups, and in case you didn’t know Tinder is owned by Match and its purpose is to prep my generation for the future - a Match subscription.
But there’s a dark side to online dating. Mainly I’m talking about craigslist, by the way just a day ago the police caught another craigslist killer:
The thing is, even the ads are weird. Who clicks these ads?!
Is it really that hard to invest sometime with someone, telling them what you want, see if they’re into it and doing it with them? I know it’s an investment but these serial killers that are a year younger than me killed 22 people across the country using Craigslist, plus all the other Craigslist killers we’ve heard about. More than 400 people have gotten killed by internet homicide. How fucking crazy is that?!
It was only about a couple months ago that I wiped myself out of social media. There’s still some that I need to look for jobs but I deleted my real accounts, now I have some accounts with no connections to my family or real friends. This is something most of us should do after three years using a network such as facebook. You never know who’s added you that you forgot about, or who pretended to be someone they weren’t and now they have access to your personal life.
I’m really not trying to be prejudicial about being social on the internet. The irony of it all is the fact that I’m sharing this on tumblr. I am very internet friendly but this last week has left me in awe.
The Real World.
This is the part where I tell you about my other side of the project, the real world (omgwhaat!) but there’s a twist, what is the real world with smartphones anyway? I have to specify though, I live in New York meaning there’s internet under the rocks, a lot of people and a lot of smart phones. In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a smart phone. Except me throughout this part of the project. I purposely left my phone at home so I would have no distractions whatsoever.
For you to get the picture, imagine me, a 23 year old girl with dark sunglasses and a book, sitting on the floor chewing ice, got it? Great.
1. Grand Central
Most people were tourists (duh) who snapped photos of mainly those lamps at the 5th avenue entrance. I don’t know why these lamps are so sexy but sometimes I saw about ten people take photos of them with their iPhones. There were also a couple people with professional cameras taking photos of them. Your regular selfies and a couple old fashion posed photos, you know, those where someone else takes a photo of you from a distance. Anyway about 80% of the time, after these people took photos with their phones they wouldn’t put them away, they’d continue moving their fingers through their phones as if it had ADD. Most of these photos probably ended up in #picoftheday #nyc #grandcentral pools.
2. Penn Station
A lot of locals, mostly drunk who flirted with no shame. I saw about five guys hit on girls with no eye contact since the girl would just ignore them smiling, looking at their phones. Probably texting ”omg this guy is SO weird! he’s like, hitting on me, yeah”
This was funny, if it wasn’t people stopping their run to check their messages it was couples fighting. The women would yell at their husbands and get them to do something they didn’t do while they had the most miserable look on their faces, and you wonder why strippers make so much money.
People sitting together would be texting and calling other people while they were in front of a real person! I simply don’t understand this. I never do it, I always leave my phone in my bag.
5. The street
About twenty people were about to get run over while texting, no joke - I counted.
We all see this stuff happen all the time, but when you’re sitting down with a notepad and no phone for about an hour you’d be surprised at how fucking creepy this looks like.
It’s taken me about 7 months to conduct this social experiment so far and I have no idea of where it’s going but I will continue to share my thoughts and progress here, check again in a couple weeks if interested.