“These dating and hookup web- sites and applications never work. I see people who can get laid or occasionally meet someone that seems interesting, but most of them turn out to be liars or losers. I waste so much time trying to meet up with people. It’s frustrating. What do I do to fight off feelings of just giving up meeting people?”
I can’t even to begin to estimate how many conversations I’ve had with a variety of gay men who feel that using technology to connect with others for friendship, relationships, or sexual grinding is an ineffective and unsatisfying method of engagement that rarely produces any desired outcome. We can spend hours searching, clicking, woofing, flirting, disclosing, and sending pictures of our dogs, sushi dinner dates, throbbing cock shots, or winking pucker. At the end of this process, we wind up feeling isolated, frustrated, angry, and depressed. Unfortunately, this appears to be the norm.
Strangely, we continue to beat our heads against this cyber wall hoping this technology culture will spontaneously change and begin working for us … that one day, people will meet up with us, not disappear when we make plans, and be honest about their intentions. They will look like their pictures, be easy to carry on an interesting conversation with, and remember to chomp on a breath mint before getting close. As we’ve (hopefully) figured out, it’s going to take much more than wishing, hoping, thinking, and praying.
Instead, let’s agree to start working on adjusting our own methods about how to use these tools to connect with others. The only time things change is if we put the effort into changing them. It needs to start with ourselves. When we create change in our own lives to do things differently, it can influence others to create similar changes, especially if they see how modifying old methods can be more effective. If enough people jump on, we begin to have an impact in our community.
Effective use of technology has the ability to connect us with people that we may not have the opportunity to chat with otherwise. I challenge each of you who use technology to support your social life to work on using these tools for what they were designed for, which is to provide an initial introduction to someone. It is the fault of the end users if potential relationships get locked away in the cyberspace void. Quit blaming the tool.
If someone resists breaking out of a technology-focused conversation, then it’s up to you to put your energies into someone that is more in alignment with your interests, goals, and desires. With all the people out there who complain about the games and frustrations online, I’m sure you can find at least a few of those who share the same desires to log off.
I believe that one individual can make a difference. Stand up against this flagrant misuse of potentially amazing methods of meeting people. Stop being technology’s little bitch! For god’s sake, if you have a good chat going with someone, make plans to meet up and do something away from the glow of a computer screen or your smart phone. Once a connection is made, log off from all of these sites and applications so you can enjoy the person who is also interested in connecting in the real world. Trust me, getting off online chats as soon as possible increases your chances of getting off in other much more enjoyable ways.