Thursday, April 09, 2009

Awkward Conversations With Strangers

"You're reading aloud from the transcript of a conversation you're still having?" - Sally Sparrow, Doctor Who episode "Blink" by Steven Moffat.

Actual Facebook chat, still in progress...

Sujan hi

Karen hello! :)

Sujan how ru
where u from

Karen I'm in Arizona. It's 5:39 AM and I'm thinking about going to bed.
'cause I'm not good at sleeping at night!
Where are you?

Sujan nepal

Karen wow.
I love that Facebook has people all over the world.
We have mountains here, but not huge ones. they only get snow a few times a year.

Sujan here no snow fall that way so boring

Karen We pretty much don't have a winter.

Sujan haha
male or female

Karen female

Sujan ok
what do u do

Karen accountant. need a job.
married, almost 30 years.
no kids, 2 dogs, no cats.

Sujan ok nice to met u
i m not married
24 years

Karen We were all young once! ;);)

Sujan oooo

Karen I hope you meet lots of cool people on FB

Sujan ya thanks
u already met it

Sujan r u there

Karen yes, but trying to get other stuff done too so I can go to bed.

Sujan with ur husband or single

Karen told you. Married 30 years. Very, very married.
He's an editor.

Sujan hahaha
o nice

Believe it or not, this is not the most awkward chat I've had on Facebook, although it's close. The winning entry for that was a conversation with a young woman who wanted to chat about Wrestlemania and Twilight and the movie version of Buffy.

You know, it's not hard to find out more about me online. I pretty much spill my guts in this blog on a daily basis. But people would rather make a personal connection with a complete stranger in some awkward chat on an extremely glitchy server than find out something about the other person first. If you're a young man in a distant country, looking for online female companionship, I'm not what you're looking for. Really, really not. And this is pretty clear from my Facebook profile, let alone my blog, my two main online bios, and everything I've ever written on any social networking site.

But I suspect that most initiators of online chat with strangers, aside from those with legitimate business, i.e. questions related to online gaming etc., aren't looking to make friends per se, much less get to know all about some unemployed accountant in Tucson. The opposite of talking is waiting, the saying goes, and that's true online as well. Sujan didn't chat me up to learn about the mountains in Tucson. He wants to know if I'm young and female and amenable to flirting. And one out of three doesn't cut it.

That's fine. People go online for all kinds of reasons, but the biggest one is to communicate, to make some kind of connection with other people. I do this mostly through blogging. Other people do it through gaming or chat - even awkward chat. And Sujan was perfectly polite, and I wish him well. But yes, I'm married. Move on, please.

And I think he has.

Sujan is offline.


P.S. I should mention the other side of the coin. Another new "friend" turned up on one of the "add me" boards for the game Vampire Wars, where people go to find additional allies for the game. Two things: 1. as far as I can tell, she's never even set up a character name for the game, let alone played it. 2. Her profile picture is of a seriously sexy woman lounging provacatively on a bed, dressed in skimpy black lace underwear. Perhaps I should introduce her to Sujan?


Martha said...

So Karen are you married? ;-)

applebonkers said...

Hilarious post. Thank you for a much-needed laugh.