You join a social gathering. Scan the room. Eyes meet eyes. Smile meets smile. Eyes check left ring fingers. Then, all it took was an approach and, “Hey, you’re cute. My name is Phil. Let’s have drink sometime. Want to? What’s your number?”
Now, I’m forced to scan prospects on this horrible electronic appendage: my Samsung Galaxy. Tap, swipe up, tap, zoom, tap, squint, read, decipher, swipe right or left, repeat until frazzled, order drink, and wait.
Then, once a connection is made, it’s time for back and forth messages. Since there’s no actual face-to-face involved, my body language interpretation skills—honed over two million years by my ancestors—are worthless. I need to read into her words to determine what emotional and time investment will be required before connection.
Also, in the oldern days, it was easy to determine danger levels. Is there a big fella next to her with his hand on her ass? Yep. Avoid. Are there physical signs of tainted goods? Perhaps. Evade. Are there snarky friends, overbearing parents, or smelly infants/pets close by? Uh-huh. Run away!
Today, I need to do electronic surveillance to find signs of danger. Scan social media. Google. Search for common friends. Run health, credit, and background checks. (I don’t do that ridiculous shit, but have had ladies put me through it.) Ask my buddies if they ever had some of her and, if they did, was it worthwhile, am I violating any bro codes by pursuing her. Then, I must determine if these “friends” are being honest or setting me up for failure.
A few rounds of this, and I’m scanning Amazon Fire TV for the next series to binge watch solo. I just can’t take it. Don’t have the drive I used to have. Is that caused by dwindling testosterone? Is it fear of heartbreak? Is it laziness?
Fuck, if I know.
The latest prospects have me sending Bitmoji messages and using this new video app called Marco Polo. What have I become? I loathe the millennial I see in the crosswalk with his dislocated neck staring at his phone without any regard for the two-ton machine bearing down on him, but I am becoming him.
If I set my phone facedown at the bar, within minutes it will blink, buzz, and ding. It calls me to pay attention to it instead of the human in the sexy Cat Woman costume right next to me. Rude fucker.
Times like these make me wonder why I ever left my marriage. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but whose is? She was kind and beautiful, and she liked me … enough. I didn’t need to find something better. Now, I’d be thrilled to find something half as good. But, I’m not going to. This isn’t stemming from depression or lack of confidence. It’s reality. In this new electronic realm, it’s high unlikely any satisfactory, lasting emotional and physical connection will come from an electronic connection.
So, I think alone.