Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

My Social Networking Addiction and The Worst Dinner Ever

Posted by evankessler on March 2, 2006

Perhaps this title should be the other way around because that’s the order I’m going to discuss things in, but I suppose order isn’t always the most important element of telling a story, or maybe it is the most. You can look at a movie like Pulp Fiction and use either argument. Anyway, this isn’t Pulp Fiction it’s EvanKessler.com and I don’t think it will ever come to represent anything remotely similar to Pulp Fiction nor will it ever serve as a vital example in a semantic argument on the importance of sequence. So let’s get to it shall we.
A few weeks ago I was present at the worst dinner ever. It may have not been the worst dinner ever to the other three participants who will remain unnamed but if they read this, which I’m pretty sure they have not in the past several months or so, they will recognize the subjects to be themselves. The setting was an eatery near Union Square and consisted of myself, and three friends from the college years, whom were actually also present at a similar outing documented at a significantly earlier date on this blog.

The entire dinner conversation consisted on a soliloquy from each partaker on the relative perfect life that each was enjoying at the current juncture. Contestant number one expounded on her perfect relationship that would no doubt end in marriage. She spoke on the rewards and perils of her job but in the end seemed extremely pleased with the present state of her being. Contestant number two discussed his fantastic new job that he was excited for and his lengthy relationship with his wonderful girlfriend and contestant number 3 was less outwardly optimistic, not portraying a complete an utter sense of serenity but nonetheless generally pleased with her state of being. Then the floor, or I guess table was turned over to me and what did I have to talk about. Nothing. Now, I know I could be coming off as a bitter asshole who does not want his friends to be happy but that is not the case. I’m happy most of the time if people are happy. I just feel as though I was being ambushed by lameness due to the manner in which this discussion was handled. It was less a conversation and more people just taking turns trying to impress each other with fabulousness of their lives, some more willingly than others. It was as if we were all vying for a grand prize of $1 million for the person with best resume so we all just read off our resumes in succession only I had just graduated from high school and everyone else had been gainfully employed for the past 20 years and expected me to have something equal to show but instead I just had my measly 1280 on the SAT’s. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with people being in relationships when I’m not, it just seems as though the majority of my friends in said relationships don’t feel the need to only talk about their relationships. They’re actually good at conversing on other topics and most of the time, do so, as they know it is not always of paramount interest to everyone at the table. Besides, it can only be interesting for so long.

Needless to say, by the time it was my turn at storytelling the contest pretty much came to a screeching halt and everyone felt the need to chime in about how to improve my life so I could have something more like they had as if I want to be exactly where they are. I’m not saying where they are is a bad place or a grand place, but at the same time I don’t view them as people who have it all. It seemed as if they completely lacked the ability to recognize that flaunting their own happiness to someone who is not in that place or didn’t really ask would be completely annoying. It wasn’t done with malice but it also wasn’t done with much tact or aplomb. It was like when you ask someone how they are and they start talking about something totally unrelated to impress you like “We just got the AT&T account and its going to be a really huge deal for the company.” Then you have to say something to compete only you don’t feel like competing because you want to have simple enjoyable conversation instead of a one-up fest.

So as the spotlight was unwillingly shot directly into my eyes, the glare was blinding and faced a barrage of, “Are you looking for work?” “Are you going on dates?” “Have you tried online dating? That’s how I met my boyfriend.” It was a deafening roar and made me feel like a complete charity case like I was still their friend but I was in a homeless shelter and they were serving the fucking soup. I almost felt humiliated but the funny thing was I knew it was coming so it lessened the blow. Through everyone else’s soliloquy I just kept thinking, “Is this going to be broken up in favor of normal conversation?” but with each subsequent, “now your turn” the moment seemed more inevitable. Their questions were returned by “I’m not really dating but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying” and “Of course I’m looking for jobs.” And with that I really had nothing else to say but there was still more to be said and it was unpleasant and bleak and just an overall awful gathering.

That being said, the whole, “I am trying” response brings us to my social networking addiction. Seeing as I’m basically home all day scanning the Internet for job opportunities there needs to be something to break up the monotony of the job hunt and since I don’t have the social outlet of a workplace like VH1 or anywhere for that matter, social networking fills a need.

First off, let me preface this by saying, I joined Match.com a couple of months ago because let’s face it, I wouldn’t mind meeting someone nice, hooking up or even getting laid once in a while and to be perfectly honest which I am nothing but on this here website (it is my own form of therapy), I’ve never actually had a real girlfriend. Cry me a river but I’m not asking for sympathy. I have dated a few women and don’t worry I’m not 100% pure and chaste but the longest relationship I’ve probably sustained has been a month or so. I’ve also probably ruined about 4 or 5 chances to have a relationship since I’ve lived in New York City. Anyway, I thought it would be good to get out there but I wasn’t exactly testing the market since I am nothing but skeptical about online dating. Especially, when you type in your criteria for the type of people you’re looking for and the people that come up do not seem to fit into any category you would ever want to explore. That being said, I have been met with equal amounts rejection as I am aware of my own imperfections (perhaps to a fault) and really only a total of 1 or 2 people have ever emailed me back on that site. I guess to the match.com clientele I’m not exactly ideal. It’s remarkable how many people think they will find the perfect tall, dark, handsome, and wealthy gentleman on there judging by their dating requirement on their profiles. It’s as if the definition for realism were replaced by the definition for fantasy in every dictionary they’ve ever read. For some reason that is okay by me because any website that features advice from Dr. Phil is not exactly my cup of tea and I’m not exactly sure I want to be involved with someone whose cup of tea it s. I’m very close to saying goodbye to that subscription. That’s a good amount of money that I’m not wasting each month.

Match.com failures aside I spend my non-job search time scouring Friendster and Myspace. I don’t look for dates or anything on there it just helps me feel I’m being social which kind of makes me feel lame but when you’re not around people all day it helps to feel you are socializing. I actually did get a date off of Friendster around Thanksgiving and it was awkward. Adam Starling and Betsy Van Stone can attest to the awkwardness. I’ve also been hit on since on Friendster but after a couple of back and forth messages they mysteriously stopped. Oh welll, onto Myspace. Myspace seems to get continuously more retarded by the day. I don’t really understand how it became cooler than Friendster. I think it might have something to do with technical problems or when they started the “Who’s Viewed Me” feature. I guess people valued their anonymity too much. I like Friendster because it seems ultimately more passive. If you want to write someone a funny testimonial or send an occasional message, that’s cool but it is not constant activity.

Myspace is this abyss of constant badgering. However, I am semi-addicted to it now. You can spy on people on Myspace without them knowing but you also have to deal with the crappy music or videos they put on their page, which can be quite the hindrance if you happen to have sound on your computer and the person you are checking out likes death metal, Aaron Carter, or Bow Wow. There are hordes of shirtless dudes showing off their abs and plenty of 16 year old retards misspelling words with Z’s and just generally using bad grammar while showing you how sexy they are and posting pictures of Chickens fucking pilgrims in your comment box. Don’t even get me started on the incessant posting of pointless surveys. So why am I still on this site? Well, let’s just say I’m not friendly with any shirtless people and if someone put an annoying comment I would promptly delete it. I also screen my friends and I don’t really try to find anyone on Myspace, for the most part I let people find me. I also won’t be friendly with anyone that has lots of shirtless friends though I make the occasional exception. It is all about selectivity, otherwise you’d be friends with about 700 terrible bands. I have befriended some unknowns who seem like they’d be interesting and cool to meet in person. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening as I think the majority of those folks have skipped town as of recent. To sum up my Myspace experience, I have a set of guidelines regulating all of my Myspace relationships that keeps my addiction to it in order.

All of this social networking talk brings me to the newest of my addictions, Consumating.
Now, I was originally skeptical about this site because it got a lot of press in the New York Post and we know that by and large the only great thing about the Post is the sports section. I certainly don’t read the Post for it’s right wing point of view or for constant updates on Paris Hilton. After reading the article in the Post, I checked out the site and it’s more or less like a hipster dating site. The problem is I don’t consider myself a hipster and I don’t think real hipsters consider me to be a hipster. The fact is I don’t like to consider myself a part of any group as I’ve deemed it to be extremely limiting to confine ones self to one social strata. That being said, the people on this site are probably the most similar to my frame of mind but it does have its fair share of the too cool for school. What I like most about this particular site is its format. It doesn’t have the same stale dating personal information categories. It more or less just asks you to answer a weekly question, which affords you the opportunity to showcase your sense of humor and wit as well as list keywords that define you. That is much more my speed and seemingly less pressure than trying to impress people by saying what you do for fun or to write a little bit about yourself. In actuality I’ve never looked at any of these sights as hope for my dating life. I more or less like to type out funny things and engage in witty banter. I’ve always figured if I’m going to meet someone it’ll just be through a friend or it’ll just happen. Though, to go back to the worst dinner ever, that just made me feel like I should be pressuring myself, and that is just plain stupid. If anything that pressure just makes me feel less like myself and why would you want to date someone who likes you for not being yourself. You probably wouldn’t.

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