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Apathy of Attraction

I was walking to the library downtown today and some hippyish bum guy was yelling "DUDES! DUDES! The girls want it right now! They are sweet and eager for your love! Wake up dudes! They are ready!" Funny, yes, but he speaks the truth. Everywhere I go lately girls are desperately seeking some kind of man figure in their lives, but are coming up empty handed. I feel sorry for them. I wish I could help, but there's something about San Francisco that is dissolving any desire I have for them. It's actually really creepy and makes me think the human race (this section of it, anyway) is slowly adopting some kind of automatic, subconscious population control.

I see it everywhere: girls are basically throwing themselves at guys but the guys aren't catching. It happened to me just the other day. This really cute girl was hitting on me pretty ruggedly after a show, she asked for my number and gave me hers, but I have no desire to call her. There was nothing wrong with her; she was exactly my type: cute, funny, and short, but I just feel nothing. New Years eve I got propositioned by at least three different people to start 2009 with a "bang" (two of which were pretty cute), but I rejected all of them. I am completely apathetic towards everyone - which is weird because I used to get crushes on every cute girl I saw and even if I didn't ask them out I would think about asking, or at least give a good old staredown or something.

I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older and maybe my libido is slowing down, but I think it more has something to do with this concrete cage we live in - something in the water or advertising or alien conspiracy or who knows what. It seems like more and more people I know are just giving up. And I've overheard enough conversations to know that the girls are really frustrated by it. No one is willing to step up and be a man. Maybe it's just the hipster aesthetic or something, or maybe the human race is doomed (or probably both). What do you think?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
I think it's an affliction of the mid-twenties. Once you get in the thirties, the biological drive kicks in and everyone narcissistically wants their own mini-me.
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
It's not the concrete, my friend. It's the electronics. We are jacked in to the ENTIRE WORLD, we have access to almost ANYBODY, and because of that, we are lost. The artificial connections of the cyberverse are so much easier to build and maintain than actual physical connections in reality; it's spoiling us, and now most of us just don't want to bother with the demands and difficulties of actual human relationships. We are all dehumanized, we are becoming mechanical beginning with the parts that are most human. What significance can a cute girl possibly have to you when you are connected to thousands of people?

Don't believe me? Quit the internet for a few weeks. Your crushes will come back in a flood. Except who among us has the will-power to actually go WITHOUT THE NET for more than a few days? Who among us would DARE deactivate our Facebooks and MySpaces and LiveJournals for a whole month, let alone PERMANENTLY?

Why is internet censorship not something to worry about? Because the "free exchange of information" is actually the perfect distraction--we feel like acquiring information is actually an action; keep the people distracted signing "e-petitions" and joining Facebook groups and you won't have to worry about them actually picking up arms and changing something.

Case in point: what do we do when we are upset by something, or distressed by it? We blog about it, and have a virtual dialog, instead of heading down to the pub together to have a chat about it. Here's another test: if you had to reduce your friends lists to "only people you voluntarily see on a regular basis", how many people would be left? Because without the internet, those are the only people you'd actually count as your friends.
Jan. 9th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
What, you haven't used facebook to look through pictures of a crush, thereby intensifying your attraction? Or arranged to hang out with someone over AIM? Found out the information for shows (quite possibly full of friends you'd like to better your relationship with, or cute girls you haven't met yet) you wouldn't otherwise know about on Myspace? Social networking can be completely conductive towards attraction, as long as you use it to supplement your social life, rather than replace it.

LiveJournal might be in another category altogether, because you use it to discuss more personal matters. Thus the scenario you mentioned, where you leave a short comment instead of actual interaction. Or, if you get longer-winded, you might actually be using up vast quantities of time you could better spend socializing. Or see the uglier side of a person you like, or vice-versa. I personally think that, for the most part, they're kind of lame and whiny.

It seems another important might be the scenario of your internet use. Are you using it at work, where you're a captive audience, and can't spend that time socially anyway? Or are you spending your Fridays and Saturdays at home, glazed to your monitor?

The internet, biologically and psychologically, is a drug. Like any drug, if you want positive outcomes, it must be taken in moderation and under specific circumstances.
Jan. 9th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, whatever. "Intensifying your attraction"? More like finding a voyeuristic substitute for actually interacting with the person. Shows? Well uh, gee, there were "social networks" before the internet where you could just as easily have found out about shows, it's just that you would actually have to CALL people to do it. Anything we do "socially" on the internet can be done just as well without the internet through direct human interaction. And it FEELS BETTER to do it the "analog way", because we ARE social creatures and we crave real interaction for which the digital format is a poor substitute.

I really don't think it matters when or where you use the internet, only how much you use it, just like any other drug. Sure, it's WORSE if you choose to stay home and surf the net instead of going out to interact with people. But the internet causes us all to have a very different view of social interaction, a view which makes us less predisposed toward forming new connections with strangers. Meeting new people is primarily a process of acquiring information; we are now accustomed to doing that online, which is often much more "stimulating", so new people tend to bore us. Or at least, that's one theory I have.

Another is that online social networking in particular makes us in some ways more picky. I think as a society, we've come to place vastly greater importance on very minor details when it comes to choosing mates, because of the way social networking both inflates our egos and the ways it makes us define our identities and personalities. When you are connected to hundreds or thousands of people, I think you tend to be less forgiving when you meet someone new. For one, most of the people in our social networks are NOT potential mates (or else we'd already be dating them)--they're people we find "unavailable" for one reason or another. So when yo meet a stranger in real life, you might see them as being "just like so-and-so"; what you want is someone who seems fresh and new to you, so you tend to dismiss this new person.

Or maybe it's nothing to do with social networking at all. Maybe it's, well, PORN. Some say porn is no substitute for sex, but really, porn is soooo less of a hassle for the average guy. It also really takes the mystique out of sex and simultaneously shapes expectations about it, so that real sex is almost always a disappointment. It's no secret that anytime a new couple has sex for the first time, one or both partners are bound to be disappointed. It takes work to make sex good, work that the internet makes just a bit less appealing.

I think no matter how you slice it, internet use is not generally good for our sex lives. In theory it could be--any new way of meeting people you otherwise wouldn't should widen the dating pool and make sex more likely--but it typically doesn't play out like that.

Or do you have a better theory about why, only in these recent times, men are losing interest in pursuing women?
Jan. 10th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe you're not thinking analog enough-it's just all the marijuana that's making people lose their sex drives.
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
I'm not so sure about either of these theories. People totally smoked weed and used the internet a couple years ago when I was living in Santa Cruz, and we didn't have this problem then. I think the population density is so intense in San Francisco that you just have too many choices, too much social interaction and its hard to focus on any one new person you meet. Its like a bad case of social ADD. I think maybe part of this ADD can stem from social networks, like Iggs said, but also it's coerced upon you by the mad rush of the city and its tireless battery of social demands. People are so stressed out about finding love that they are unable to do so.
Jan. 12th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
The way I see it, anything that's too easy stops being compelling. Girls don't exactly throw themselves at me on a regular basis, but the relatively few times that I've been hit on that aggressively, it's been a pretty blatant turn-off. Of course, I can't help but wonder if there's something socially pathological about the assumption that if we're not fucking everyone, forever, that there's something deeply wrong with us.

Although in all seriousness, it's actually those super tight pants. Cuts off circulation to the testicles, leading to a reduction in testosterone production.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )