Modern times.

January 30, 2016 § Leave a comment

Truly we have acheived something today. Never-ending content dished out to our hearts’ content; screens that you can actually touch; effortless hook-ups… the list may go on, but my heart will not. I have resisted the onslaught of modern technology to a certain extent, and though my mother decries my stubborn octagenarian tendencies, although I may be compared to a suspicious Jew keeping herself and her money tucked well away from the risks and novelties of the modern world, I hope to continue along my own analog path as long as humanly possible–humanly being the key word here.

Hah, please, no. I’m not expecting a robot apocalypse. I am, however, (fore)seeing an intense decline in wit and discernment on the part of the general young population. Who can deny having stopped to wonder, somewhere in between level 184 of Candy Crush and testing out that tenth wacky “photo-editing” app, whether this was at all healthy for their once-flexible, ultra-absorbent brain? An organ capable of so much more.

I say “so much more”, and really I mean that for a certain small percentage of the population. Of course many people would never learn to edit photos on their own, and would instead plop themselves in front of the TV or internet to do just the same inane activities as they are doing now. But at least they had to get out of the house to buy groceries; at least they had to flip through a book or perhaps sift out many contradictory facts on Google to reach a conclusion about something; at least they still talked to other people…

Don’t get me wrong. I know very well that people still talk. Working in pubs teaches you that. People still get hammered together, engage in friendly body contact, use their phones not as estrangement devices but as simple photo-cameras, and enjoy social bonding in the real world and not just the virtual. I don’t think that can ever be replaced. But the whole speed-dating thing? Freaks me right out. I never, ever, ever want to get involved, and I feel like some kind of freak of nature just because everyone  seems okay with it. I’ve always prided myself on my casual non-conformism (not anti-, just non-), where I choose to remain unaware or at least blurry-eyed in the face of modern or traditional norms that do not benefit me personally in any way. The amount of futile things people seem to do just to maintain normality is mind-boggling to me to say the least.

But back to speed-dating. What is this hellish device? What have we come to, as a species, that makes us abandon the entire game of seduction in favor of plain old stranger sex (fun once in a while, but surely not exclusively?!)?!? Now, I’ve been around since the advent of normal dating sites. Fair enough. Some people really don’t meet new potential mates very often. They have time-consuming jobs, a stable set of friends, and nothing going on. I’ve seen people get married and have kids with someone they met on a dating site. Whatever; the marriage topic is far outside my scope. But hooking up is something I can discuss, and mainly with disgust at how it’s being done now.

For Christ’s sake, rapists and murderers aside, the one thing I hate the most is having to chat to people that I know nothing of, aside from the fact that they want to bang me. Most people I meet do not impress me anyways, and the mere act of “chatting” turns me off them immediately; but yes, some are still very good candidates for bedroom body-bashing. The charm of unexpected sex is that it comes as a surprise, dingbats; not like a fucking online dinner arrangement with a Chinese delivery boy. The worst part is, they have to meet up in public, not as a date or whatever, but just to assure themselves the person is actually safe and not, as I mentioned above, a rapist or a murderer. Talk about irresistible circumstances. Who wouldn’t be turned on?

Honestly, though. I can not think of a less sexy way of having sex. Hiring a prostitute would be more effective, because they are taboo, professional. But a bland twenty-something with trendy bland tattoos on his bland bare chest, blandly swiping his day away till he finds an even blander stranger who is happy to sleep with him that night? The shudders of revulsion are rising at the mere thought of such a vapid encounter. And then the mating sounds of banal pounding and maybe even some more Tinder-swiping during or just after intercourse.

I find it INFURIATING because my pet occupation has always been sex and its many derivatives. Sex used to be a sensitive subject that made people turn away and blush to themselves in pleasure. Or maybe some friends would discuss it openly and with relish while one of their compadres was off flirting with some newcomer. Sex was something that happened one night with a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance or a band member. Something that involved a loooong story, but it was the one long story everyone was dying to hear (unlike last night’s craaaazy dream you had; sorry). So stop trivializing my pet activity. For Christ’s sake, so many users are so, so young… smack dab in the age where they should be learning all about the game of charm, manipulation, relationships, seduction, and wit… Watch it all go to waste with dating delivery services. People’s standards have officially dropped to the lowest common denominator: the fairly good-looking. No other requirements; just OK-looking. Maybe a kinda funny message or description.

So when in the future a mom is telling her daughter how to know whether a boy is good or bad, she will not tell the girl to listen to her instincts and never get too prematurely attached; she will dig up the guy’s record on all his social media accounts and judge by a couple of pictures she finds. Discernment will take a back seat to efficiency and convenience. No need for quick wit or heightened awareness when machines are there to help you every step of the way. Other humans themselves take a back seat.



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