The growing chasm between people
Even as an introvert things were not so bad in 1999. I actually had female friends and a few of them made advances at me but you know how it usually pans out when you pick up on signals and gestures from others a bit too slowly! (Oof!) Gotta learn to seize the day as they say! Opportunity windows don't last forever! Regardless, I went to a couple nightclubs and even was in the middle of a few parties. At least I can say there were chances for even the most antisocial book-worm to occasionally hang out with like-minded people and have a good time! This was one of the few "positive" aspects about college and believe it or not, everything was mellow! Aka, I never heard rumors of any rape accusations. People who got together at least attempted to make their relationships work and even if they didn't,"normally" there were no valuables getting thrown out windows or other acts of passive aggressive extreme angst! I recall one time one of my female dorm-mates had issues with a guy stalking her awhile but it never escalated into anything that you'd read in a reddit or 4 chan creepy pasta. "Eventually" the guy got the hint and stopped making a fool of himself. I don't think he was dangerous,he just crushed out on this one chick too hard and saw her as some sort of perfect angel lost on earth! (What a smuck!)
The internet was "different" then too. Yeah, there were chat rooms. There was stuff like angel fire and myspace. (I think?) Internet explorer was as powerful as google is now! People were more cool with getting to know each other in cyber space. Aka, asking for a girl's email after you gave her a good hard sexting in pms wasn't considered "risque" or "weird". Being pen pals via emails to get to know each other better was entirely "okay". If at some point the two of you no longer "clicked" you just wrote one final goodbye email and moved on. However,certain people found the loves of their lives online to the point they got together in real life and got married. That definitely appealed to the romantic in me!
+Chatrooms began encouraging promiscuity over getting to know people
I still occasionally haunt sex/roleplay chatrooms today and one thing that strikes me as weird is that "exchanging emails" has become taboo. You're expected to always go to the same chatroom to meet your regulars but if they get a wild bug up their ass and decide to create a "new profile" whilst not telling you there's nothing you can do about it. And believe me,I've seen others do this often enough! In other words, you don't truly feel like you can get to know the person behind the characters they portray nor do you feel as if you can make lasting impressions. I find it odd people will try to get me onto skype or whatever (I prefer discord) yet me asking us to be pen pals and exchange emails is beyond the pale. I always found people tended to be a bit more themselves when they write emails but maybe that's just me. All I know is I really miss simply having a list of people I could write to/talk to yet without being restricted to having to go to a specific chatroom to do so! (In which they constantly change their ids and avatars as if everyone is in a constant state of ADHD!)
I'm probably not as angry at e-thots as certain other people are. Young lasses making money off of "being pretty" or "being sexually alluring" is a transaction as old as time itself! "But" I will add the caveat at least back in the day the pretty women us doods crushed out on could "do things". Alanis Morisette would sing with a provocative erotic allure all her own. Paula Abdul could dance her ass off whilst setting her microphone ablaze! Tracy Lords started porn at 16 but then moved on to become a musical prodigy. Jewel came from a good and pure place and her lyrics always expressed empathy for others. Samantha Fox was....she was friggin Samantha Fox need I say more?! Remember who played as Nancy in the movie The Craft? Gawd, I'd fuck her to infinity if she came at me with that same look everyday! (And yeah,she is a great actress in my opinion to boot.) Granted there were gorgeous women who simply posed nude for playboy or penthouse whilst not doing much else so sure,I guess you could argue there were still thots in the 80's-90's. Yet those women were professional models and got chosen for "being interesting" beyond their obvious "assets". (At the very least the ghost writers hired by the erotic magazines to make up their bios would put effort into their background stories to intrigue the readers! It was like wrestling for porn collectors! Extra work was put even into our fap material! Those were the times!)
Today? Go ahead,be mean and be greedy! Literally "ask" guys for money with no veiled pretense of politeness! So long as you're a hawt female you can be the most despicable person ever and still get beta-simps to orbit you so long as you flash your tits and twerk your ass!
Y'know what? All this makes me miss Belle Delphine. At bare minimum she had a quirky sense of humor and got creative! Strangely enough, I think had she grown up in my generation Belle might have had her own weird yet endearing kid's show similar to Pewee Herman's. I dunno, there's just something about Belle that makes me think she'd be wonderful around children (Probably her projection of the manic pixie dream girl) but I digress!
My point is lotsa young men throw all their money and time and these "e-stream-entertainers" with there being no chance in hell they'll ever get with that person. At least when I picked up a titty mag my expectations were realistic. I knew I wasn't ever going to be with any of the models within and their photographs were just there to help me rub one out! By comparison when an individual talks to someone else face to face it's more insidious as the con artist with the
upper hand can manipulate and lie to their mark in real time. E-thots have often fibbed about being single (Whilst having boyfriends) just to plant false hope among their donators. It's a vicious cycle liable to ruin quite a few lives before it ends. (If it ever does)
There's a line in the original Spider-man in which Green Goblin confesses to Peter that "the masses" get off more on watching a hero fall than they do watching a hero triumph. Sam Raimi was truly a brilliant visionary ahead of his time in many regards. Indeed, merely log on to twitter for the juiciest most deplorable gossip about anyone you previously believed was a decent human being! Whether it's outright sexual assault or having an indecent relationship with a minor (Who can be as old as 17 but everyone always immediately jumps to the assumption its' a child and pedophilia is afoot!) get ready to gaze into the mouth of madness and lose all hope for mankind!
The mob being right or being wrong doesn't matter,we all feel like we're a few pointing fingers,scything stares,and shouts away from being targeted ourselves and even if we've done "nothing wrong" someone will be more than happy to make up some absurd accusation! Proof is not even necessary as all this amounts to is one big popularity contest. If your reputation cannot endure copious amounts of slander than you're literally in a boat without a paddle!
Is it no wonder why we're afraid to try to form relationships amidst all this mad-cap hysteria? The knife of betrayal in the back always hurts whether it's from an ex friend or ex lover. It seems as if now days the vampires truly go for the jugular and are not happy until whole lives are ruined!
Pro-Jared was able to "bounce back" after being the victim of cancel culture during his turbulent divorce but Zoe Quinn's accusations made Alec (A game developer) end his own life. You'd be right to say the accusations might hold some truth but given Zoe Quinn's dubious record at hoaxes and fabrications I certainly would not believe her myself!
+Cliques actually do help us socialize and we tend not to be in cliques as adults
In HS and college we often bemoan "the cliques". Aka, people of like mind that dress the same and think the same. Yet at least in HS and College you had "no choice" but to interact with others. Eventually you too had your group of friends,united by common goals and common interests. As an adult I found myself outside my small town once I settled down. All the lasses I liked are now married and have kids. Most everyone is still the same. Y'know what? At least they're happy! So many films and big city artsy snoots "make fun" of the simplicity small town life but my friends who believe in God,go to church,and have families are very content with their lives. That's not to say you cannot be a happy bachelor or happy bachelorette BUT on average those who are lonely tend to be miserable at least sometimes. Cliques may seem shallow but they help us connect to others and and help us be apart of the greater community.
I think the reason so many adults stay in hot-topic-mode and get tattoos is because fashion and body art can give the onlooker a quick run down on whether or not they like the same things that are being displayed by the other person. A Bathory band T-shirt or tattoo of Pyramid head can easily start a discussion! (An automatic ice breaker!)
Of course you have to have money to buy cool clothes and money to hire a good tattooist! This is why when I get dreamy eyed around a cute Goth babe wearing nothing but my plain red T-shirt and Old navy jeans she curls her lip and rides her broom off into the night! (I'm a Goth INSIDE,damn it!)
The whole reason I became an illustrator was because I always had a difficult time verbally communicating with people and I was too poor to peacock so there was always the hope some people could look at my art,decipher where I was coming from, and befriend me if they resonated with me on the same level. It "did" work sometimes but other times all I've done is scare the shit out of the normies!
Can we fix it?
Being the chasm between people is growing ever larger I often ask myself if we will ever remedy that problem. So long as technology persists and social applications remain such addictive dopamine and narcissism dispensers I really don't have many answers beyond it would seem as if the internet would have to be entirely destroyed for us to become tighter communities again. (And by proxy be encouraged to form deeper, better quality, and longer lasting relationships locally.) What do you think? Will it take a "tech apocalypse" to remedy this problem or can we eventually coexist with our technology whilst avoiding the pitfalls and destructive temptations it constantly flashes in front of our faces? Is the solution simply re-learning how to go outside more frequently while simultaneously socializing with people in the same physical space? What about people with behavioral,mental,and economically based disabilities? Is there any hope for "them" too? Have we learned enough to "cancel" cancel culture before it destroys us all? Discuss!