Monday, September 07, 2009

The fifth rule of online dating is...

...don't neglect the real world. There are a whole lot of options out there. It's easy to become a bit disillusioned with internet dating - if I read one more profile by a "pub lover" who likes "putting the world to rights over a pint", my brain is going to shut down in protest. By comparison, real-world meetings can seem much more straightforward and agenda-free. You like roller-blading? I like roller-blading! Coffee? Simple. Well, maybe not quite that simple, but y'know - the attraction is apparent; you don't have to waste any time emailing aimlessly back and forth; and there aren't a frillion other girls competing for his attention at the same time.

It's good to step away from the screen now and again.

* * * *

Actually, this rule pretty much applies to modern life in general. I read in the weekend papers about an internet rehab clinic that's been set up outside of Seattle, to help people (gaming geeks, mostly) wean themselves off their unhealthy addiction to the 'net. For about a millisecond I wondered if I qualified as addicted (I do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time online nowadays - doesn't everybody with a computer-based job?) - but then I remembered that I went cold turkey for a week in Slovenia and I didn't start getting the shakes 'til day 6.

Part of me is amazed by the possibilities the internet represents (building virtual communities; instant access to vast amounts of information on virtually any topic, yada yada), and part of me is worried about the consequences of living so much of our lives via an electronic interface, not to mention the deleterious effects of exposure to the 80% of online content that is porn/paranoid conspiracies/celeb gossip-mongering/blogs about people's boring-ass lives.

Just typed myself into a corner there. Back-up!

It is rather amazing to have witnessed how quickly the internet has infiltrated every aspect of our lives since we first heard whispers of a "world-wide web" (gasp!) around our High School circa 1991. I was remarking to someone just the other day how grateful I was to have been born into a pre-digital world: one consequence of this was that my generation had a simpler, slower-paced, generally more innocent upbringing. We certainly don't take instant electronic communication for granted. Those post-digital-revolution kiddies are going to freak-the-flip-out out when the grid goes down.

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