Online Dating--"The idiot plot"
There is a phrase I heard this morning called ‘the idiot plot’. It’s a term used by science fiction authors to describe the ridiculously over simplified plots where everyone in a story is an idiot whose lack of questioning others or looking at the big picture of the story enables the shenanigans of the story to unfold. That’s basically what I think about modern online dating. It operates on the ‘idiot plot’ and I will explain why in this three point presentation.
- Gross assumptions about others Oooh he posted a photo with people on the beach, he must go to the beach every weekend! And, these good looking tan people must be the best friends that lounge on his yacht that sails around the blue green seas dripping in coconut oil sipping Caipirinhas! Can you not wait to get in on this?!!—Well simmer down now. This is a photo. Guess what, he doesn’t wear a sauve suit and hug little poofy dress wearing five year old bridesmaids everyday either. These are photos people – photos that someone has chosen to make themselves look appealing to you. They have masterminded a visual portfolio. Do not be fooled by these online dream boards.
- Resting all feelings about your possible future on digital communication. Some people are hilarious and filled with carefree IM amusement, others of us cannot be funny or really communicate any inkling of our mood over screen convos. (Yes I mean mysefl) Ergo, that little joke you thought was so cute, to be delivered in person with a nudge and a flirty smile, comes out sounding like an abrasive jab. And, that exclamation point and smiley face you tried to seem open and friendly with, appears to be the ravings of a super crazed enthusiast of emoticons. Try to not box yourself into these places people! If you think you’re going to sound too _____--you are. Go back, pretend you had received this message from someone else, and delete anything that makes you go ‘this person is kra-kra/on too much Prozac/has too many or little ambitions/speaks like Seth Green in “Can’t Hardly Wait” or Cameron Diaz anywhere, anytime.
- Don’t think you are skilled enough at human interactions to do dinner right away! For christ's sakes you just met! Do you walk up to strangers and want to spend two hours in dim lighting hearing their surface version description of their lives that is not personal enough to be interesting, not vague enough to zone out during and think about "Game of Thrones"? I hope not. Meet for a fun outing/walk or a drink somewhere that if the rendez-vous is a bust, it doesn’t sour your night/day. Because you need to be a Harry Potter Death Eater villian and suck any joy from this brief encounter to power up for your next date! When you could meet the love of your life! They are out there people, so inhale the happiness out of that misbegotten run-in and get to steppin’! (Never use that word in your profile)
I'd like to thank Match.com., okcupid and eharmony, for the special bouts of hell that led me to these realizations above. I'd also like to thank the makers of Nature Valley Granola bars, Amy's non-dairy burritos, Pink Berry, Elle Magazine and the other crutches that have helped me through it. Also, a special direct shout out to all the dates I've written about on the site that have driven me to do anything from listening to a sidewalk fortune teller who told me I was cursed, buying books about dating angels, to interacting with guys in real life-HA! As if that's ever worked for anyone! Ever!... Wait a minute...