For starting the fourth decade of my mortal existence on this Earth, my family insisted that I should join civilisation and become a member of civilised society and own a 'smartphone'. Refusing for years to pay the exorbitant sums of money required to own one (did I also mention that I absolutely LOATHE touchscreens?), they decided for my thirtieth birthday they would buy one as a 'gift'. I took it in the original sense of the word 'gift', as in 'poison'.
There was little I could do to resist and they were quite adamant on getting me one and I thought it might be a good experiment in exploring all those forms of social networking that I was denied, due to the fact of me not owning a 'smartphone'.
I wasted no time and the moment I turned on my phone, all kinds of applications software known to be used by homos anywhere were downloaded. I was officially part of the global virtual community of people who experience their social interactions through the effulgent little screens. And I was not particularly impressed. There was nothing new about any of the people listed in those apps. Maybe younger, more gay - in the sense of confirming to this pristine image of hypertrophic bodies, with developed musculature and the despicable attitude that goes along with it. This was definitely more gay and more disillusioned about the notion of a community. You can not form a community where the platform for socializing is as atomised as this. People were even more cynical about what constitutes a community, and if there is one, how they view it and perceive their own position towards it. It was a bit disheartening to come face-to-face with such negative and damaging perception despite the freedom that those new interfaces give.
What was also fascinating was the notion of time. Communication became so instant, almost instantaneous, and at the same time because of how unpredictable telecommunication is, it can also disintegrate and break down in any second (make that a nanosecond) thus creating those long intervals and frequent interruptions that gives space for one to disengage, in a way making this part of what this kind of communication is about: dis-attached, hyper-responsive exchange.
But it also reduces any chance of complexity or nuance. You can not really have a conversation over a smartphone app. With all the contractions and abbreviations, the imperative sense of economy for time and space, there is an obligation for brevity and reducing everything to its bare bones. No flesh, no accumulation, no density - its condensed, rather than dense, everything is stripped to a simplisitic and immiserated version of itself.
Ultimately making understanding itself, completely shallow and crude. Understanding becomes as superficial, erratic and flat as the actual exchange taking place. And just as time becomes unbelievably accelerated, so does understanding - a process that is unavoidably linked to time, and nothing good ever comes from a reduced, rushed understanding.
Only absurdity, hence the title of this post.
In one of those many apps, customised to suit men of all shapes and sizes, I conceded and allowed myself to include men my own age. So instead of filtering my audience to 'only above 40', I told myself might as well open new grounds to explore and put a filter 'not below 30'.
Big mistake. Men, in general, are ass holes, men in their 30s are prime ass holes of all time: inflated sense of importance, false sense of achievement, mistaken idea of "wisdom" or experience and the list goes on.
One gentleman whom I flirted with, in the most licentious of ways, found my wit interesting. And over the span of two days over one of the apps (ironically enough, it was called "hornet"), the equivalent of two months in normal human time, our exchange did not veer from the usual sex talk that everyone usually engages in, in such context. For the record, although this gentleman was seemingly 'attractive' in that typical sense, I never got to know his name, how does he actually look like (despite having a picture of his erect penis) or even where does he live (despite knowing how far, in terms of distance he is from where I live). I never took that exchange more than just idle talk. It was fun to be obscene with an anonmyous entity, and to imagine what he looks like and what kind of person he is, without actually needing to see this person or know that much about them. I found this experience, although horribly disembodied and almost transhuman, liberating. For once I didn't have to project or take this thing, for anything but just idle talk. Idle sex talk.
Lo and behold, with the third day, comes this disclaimer in the middle of another dialogue laced with sexual depravity: "You know you are not really my type.. And I don't like to feel that I am leading you on or taking advantage of your good heart"
I kid you not, this is exactly what he wrote. I quote ad verbatim.
Not your type? Why the fuck did you send me pictures of your penis and ask me to suck it repeatedly or is that the standard greeting on those apps?
Lead me on to where? I don't even fucking know you! I haven't even seen your face! What the fuck is this about? Do you even know me? What do you know of my heart to qualify it as good or bad? I didn't exchange more than a 100 words with you and you think that I will decide the matters of my heart based on that? Really?
Sweet Mother of Mercy!
I wasn't even thinking of anything beyond nice, sometimes exciting flirt with an anonymous male. Really, nothing. I wasn't hoping to see him, I wasn't thinking about it, if the entire phone was destroyed I don't think I will even remeber this person a week after this conversation.
How did I end up in a position where a random stranger can pass such a judgement on my character, my sense of judgement (or in that case the lack thereof) and matters of my heart based on the 50 words he exchanged with me (half of which are not actually any meaningful information about who I am)?
I was just outraged not just because my ego was bruised (after the first day and the kinds of responses I got - this was kind by comparison. Some people "blocked" me right after they saw my face picture, so yeah that was pretty mild), I was genuinely surprised that someone might think that I will decide my future happiness based on anonymous, faceless, 50 word exchange!
What the hell!!
How the fuck did this happen? When did it become ok to make such decisions? Or to arrive at such conclusions? Or to presume that a chat over an app is actually an informed and informative way to get to know somebody and judge the content of their character?
Where was I in that meeting?
The anonymous douchebag proceeded to clarify that 'a sexual encounter is not fat fetched' (so I should not despair and lose all hope in my desperate attempts for sexual bliss) but he felt the need to "clarify" his position. As not to "lead me on". Fuck you you presumpetous son of a bitch.
How about that for an answer?
He then apologized for being "stern" but he could not "forgive" himself if he let me believe something that was not true. يا سوسو؟
You were not being stern, you were just being an asshole.
And I did not decide my future happiness based on the magnificent photo of your toroso.
And I did not decide my quest to sexual bliss based on the fascinating photo of your average penis.
And I did not decide the matters of my heart based on your random use of the endearing adjectives 'adorable' and 'sweet'.
But I did decide that what you wrote represents everything that is banal and absurd about this form of socialization.
My heart and mind, although subject to flights of fancy and delusion, are not so defective and incompetent as to single out a fictitious characters as my knight and charming armour. How about you first slay the dragon and then we will talk?