In the film Up In The Air there’s a certain scene I really love that epitomizes how we approach love, lust, and dating. Alex (Vera Farmiga) and Ryan (George Clooney) are sitting on a boat when this exchange occurs:
Alex: You’re so cool. Mr Empty Backpack. (Ryan’s keynote speech)
Ryan: You know about my backpack?
Alex: I Googled you.
Ryan: You did?
Alex: It’s what us modern girls do when we have a crush. Does it bother you?
Ryan: It depends.
No surprise that we are now open books of information online, we worry so much about what employers, bosses, and co-workers will find about us. However it also means we can creepily stalk anybody we think is interesting or attracted to. No more dreaming of Bobby in science class, wondering what he must be like- you can go online and glean whatever information is out there. It’s absolutely possible now to have a crush on a person, oggle him/her online, and get over it entirely if you run across the wrong photo, tweet, or blog post.
I know because I’ve done it. Branding yourself has now gone from professional to personal.
This morning I read a great blog post from my friend Date Me D.C., who tells the tale of a date who “really did his homework.” After reading blog posts, tweets, and contacting her friends he constructed the perfect date. You would think it would be a home-run, something that only happens in John Kusack RomComs (complete with a guitar serenade)- but that wasn’t the case. She wrote, “I got the feeling like he studied for the date with the same aplomb that he took to final exams.”
Being able to look-up so much information about my pal may have made the date easier, but it also took all the fun out of it. There was no mystery, no natural discovery, no thrill of the chase.
We all want someone that “gets us” but with all the we share online isn’t it easier now to fake that feeling?
I often tell myself I don’t want to date a blogger or social media enthusiast, in fact I feel that I’d love someone that doesn’t go online at all- because I know she would judge me for who I am in the moment. Not trying to check all the boxes off a virtual list of loves and hates or prejudging me off an obscure tweet.