The Online Grind

I love the social media, I  embraced it with all my heart and I’m very active in almost all the mainstream networks. Through them I find avenues of expression that would otherwise be impossible or seem too abrasive if expressed in real life.

Before i go into it too deeply I have to qualify what I’m about to say by stating that I have made a lot of friends online…a considerable number of my close friends… Though after we meet, our interaction via whatever network we met off of reduces considerably. Also, some parts will seem misogynistic, but my friends can swear on their lives that I love and respect women. When I speak of ‘anonymity’ I don’t exactly mean a faceless entity…

I remember when I published this entry How To be a Kenyan onTwitter my timeline was a chilled out place with a lot of jest and friendliness. Malice was a foreign concept. Nowadays my timeline is filled with malice, and people who have this misplaced sense of entitlement by virtue of the number of followers they have. So statements like “…talking about me yet they have 100 followers only” are common. Yeah you are allowed to say what’s on your mind but it seems I missed a memo about the number of followers being a source of wealth or authority.

What I find most curious is we’re creating a sub-generation of demigods whose only achievement is online presence. I get it, you have a lot of followers, go you! But what I don’t like or understand is the whole celebrity angle. Most celebrities get on twitter after they’re famous, or become famous after an exceptional talent they have is discovered via any of the networks. Still with me? So I don’t understand how some people walk around with this smug attitude simply because they’re “big” on twitter yet can’t hold up a normal conversation in front of people or actually show why they are famous. Your only contribution to humanity is in a hard disk somewhere…un-quantifiable… Anyone with time in their hands can pull it off easily. If I follow you and you died, and I didn’t know you, and got told you died, I would go to your profile to check the last tweet you made and based on it judge if you’re currently playing a harp or screaming for water; then I’d unfollow since I don’t expect any further activity from that account…at least not in this realm.

I know twitter is a place where you escape the real world, to hide in and say anything or everything you can’t actually say in real life; but I find it sad when the twitter world is your everything and gets to define you. You are seated with your ‘friends’ but you barely notice they’re there because you’re in your own world, online, maintaining your virtual reputation. There is something sad and pathetic about people whose social skills are so regressed they don’t know how to interact with others in a normal atmosphere in person, unless everybody else is drunk…

[WAIT WAIT WAIT! Before you go on i have something to ask – Ed]  Ok. Shoot.

[If they annoy you so much, Ben, why don’t you unfollow them?] Good question, Ed. I do unfollow people who annoy me but they have this even more annoying habit of making their way back into my timeline through RTs and mentions. It’s as if their sole purpose in life is to annoy me!

[You also used to be an asshole sometime back…Pot!] Yes, I was an ass and I embrace the fact that I hurt a lot of people both intentionally and unintentionally, but I also took the steps and either apologized to anyone i offended, or told them to go fuck themselves because they deserved it in the first place. But I don’t meet (new) people and expect them to revel in my awesomeness merely by the number of followers I have. I have to earn respect in person by assuming/acting like none of the social networks exist.

[What’s your view about socialites?]  Suum cuique

[Bigwigs then?] Meh. Define the term…

gerund or present participle: overcompensating

take excessive measures in attempting to correct or make amends for an error, weakness, or problem.

The definition above isn’t a blanket generalization. Applies to many people though.

Anyway, somebody once told me there are stages you have to go through as a man. There is that point your mom stopped being the center of your universe, when you learned to suck up the pain if you scraped your knee or worse. There’s the athletic stage when you pick up a sport like football and learn team-play. The awkward teen encounters as you learn to associate with women and accept you’ll never understand them. There’s the stage you associate sports and/or intelligence with women choosing to sleep with you and not just friend you…further enforcing the fact you’ll never understand them.

Anyway in Why Men Cheat, so long ago, I mentioned that by the mid-20’s most men have identified their ideal woman. What I never mentioned is that men also need to fuck around to realize that most pussy is the same, pardon my french. So that to such men when faced with the choice between a really attractive woman and a less attractive one, more often than not they go for the less attractive one.  The Why is a topic for another time. Vanity is an ugly shade to beauty though.

My point is that after being with several women the objectifying angle disappears, and the number of women you’ve slept with ceases to be a topic of pride when you’re with your male friends. The methodology in picking who you date becomes subject to the same factors you use to pick your friends… Befriending then dating becomes commonplace. Comparisons regarding women are drawn in discussion, yes, but attractiveness is secondary, still key, but secondary.

When social media came of age, adults who were previously awkward and forgotten kids found themselves in the limelight. You know those kids that got left out when you were picking teams for football; the ones who got to cheer from the sidelines with the girls. In the anonymity of the internet they rediscovered themselves. They realized they could project what they always wanted to be, and that is to be noticed and hopefully celebrated. Even the age range of the girls they target is telling of the compensation happening…naive, impressionable and fresh out of high school. Pretty sure they’d go younger if the law on statutory rape wasn’t there.  I’m not saying that is a bad thing(sleeping with young women, NOT sleeping with underage girls), not at all, what’s annoying is the whole sense of entitlement angle that always crops up.

If you’re catching up, go fuck around, do your thing, just tone down the smug especially considering: 1.) you’re doing something people younger than you[i.e your competition] do without the assistance of social media, because…–lean closer– they aren’t late bloomers like you. 2.) You’re doing something people your age did and got over, again, because they aren’t late bloomers.  Being a late bloomer isn’t something to be proud of. And especially don’t expect a reward or believe you deserve recognition.

In a way, social media did to dating and sex what money did to human evolution. The fallen fruits, for the first time, got the chance to be eaten first, leave alone getting eaten at all.


Originally published on Ben’s Yen on 28th August 2013

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