When we examine others, we tend to categorize them in a plethora of ways. It just happens. As a matter of fact, it’s probably instinctual. However, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in this categorization behavior through the years, and it is brutal and vicious.
I admit, this ‘dramatic change’ could be totally perceived from my own world view…maybe it’s the people I meet or where I have been deposited in the social realm or maybe I just never noticed it before.
My personal theory is that people have become nothing more than a commodity with the rise of technology.
Think about it:
Want to talk to random people? Try Facebook!
Need a friend? Girlfriendsocial.com will help you with that.
Need a romance? Take your pick! Match.com, eHarmony.com, pof.com, etc.
Need to just get laid? OkCupid.com OR, for that extra scary experience, try Craigslist!
Oh, what’s that? You just want to see a random guy masturbating? Then allow me to introduce you to Chat Roulette, my friend!
Come on up! Don’t be scared! Just fill in these neat blanks here, enter your credit card information (if applicable), and we’ll provide you with more people than you can shake a stick at! And you haven’t even heard the best part: You can be totally shallow and set your standards accordingly. You can pass up on a person because their eyebrows are too thin, or they look paunchy in an outfit, or they aren’t vegan…WITHOUT SAYING A FUCKING WORD to them, EVER! And since you’re at home on your computer as opposed to any normal social situation, your friends can’t tell you just how shallow you are!
People and relationships are being sold on a daily basis online, and whether or not you are alright with this or participate in this, that is your choice. I respect that because I don’t believe in oppression. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t directly involve me.
That being said, I am postulating that this whole buy-sell attitude that is running rampant on these websites is harmful to human relationships.
Why? Because this attitude seems to have generalized across nearly all platforms, and has leaked into the physical world, and is influencing the way many people operate in interpersonal communications and categorization.
Just in case you’ve missed the ‘subtle’ hints I’ve made, I should spell out my feelings for you:
I HATE IT.
I hate it because I feel it being acted out on me…ALL THE TIME.
I don’t want to be seen by my relationship status or lack thereof; I don’t want to be seen as a woman; I don’t want to be seen as a fucking category!
I want to be seen as a person.
A WHOLE person.
And I’m not.
I would like to shift the focus to the dating aspect of this topic.
Whenever I speak to people, especially men, it’s so obvious to me that they’re making checks on their mental checklist with every sentence that comes out of me; it’s in their eyes, their twitches, their entire faces…but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Then, granted I meet their checklist requirements, if I hold a deep, cathartic, and enjoyable conversation and they know or assume I’m not in a relationship, they tend to shift into the romance gear and begin pursuing me…AGGRESSIVELY.
If the man I’m speaking with is attached, he’ll talk to me again.
Until I get the inevitable phone call where he reveals that he’s having an emotional crisis because he doesn’t know how to be friends with a woman.
It’s enough to make me want to slam my head on a wall.
These conversations…they aren’t romantic or sexual or even sexually charged. They’re about life and our own personal journeys. Jesus, if I hopped into bed with every person I’ve had a truly awesome conversation with, I…
Hmm…I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. I guess I would’ve sexed a LOT of people.
Why is listening to somebody or being listened to tantamount to flirting?
Why is making a girl laugh the equivalent to her communicating that she wants to be more than friends?
Why is it that we can hardly ever make somebody feel a bit less lonely without trying to ‘get together’ with them?
Maybe it’s because it’s not the norm to just sit down and talk with people anymore. Maybe…maybe we feel so painfully normal that acting painfully normal is the only way to make ourselves feel safe and loved and accepted, and therefore, we just don’t talk about the deeper feelings…and when you don’t talk about them, you begin not to think about them anymore.
Maybe we don’t even try to look at people as they are, and more try to figure out what they can do for us.
It could be that this isn’t even a discussion about categorization at all; maybe, it’s about assessing and managing intent. And if the subject actually is intent, well…I’m completely fucked.
I’m fucked because I don’t have any intentions for strangers. I don’t see a stranger from across the room and intend to have sex with him or date him or trip him in the parking lot, and (as I understand it) most people do have intent toward everybody they approach. I typically don’t try to pursue anything or anybody (except animals, so I can pet them), relying mainly on the natural rhythm of things, and if I hear a good spot to jump in for a solo or a duet, I do so.
It’s kind of a big problem, though, as the people I tend to meet can’t comprehend the idea, let alone the reality, of a person with no intentions. At the same time, it is equally confounded in my perspective to have my intentions assessed (usually inaccurately) or to be assessed by another, then unfairly placed.