Meeting on the Internet- “the joye of emaile”

January 5, 2007

I am a big fan of meeting people through the internet, although I am picky in my methodology. I, for one, do not subscribe to the vagaries of the internet chat room. Internet lag and a lack of secretarial courses in my entertaining but (in this case) practically under-enhanced past have left me with a typing speed and ability more usually associated with police detectives and my aunt in the throes of one of her epileptic fits. I avoid skype and video conferencing. If I want to completely misunderstand someone who speaks the exactly the same language as me with much the same accent I will use a cellphone like everyone else. I, as it happens, like email.

Having been lucky in my parent’s choice of a school in the UK I was planted into an extremely verbal environment. One where a fair amount of mental dexterity was required and which divided the population of the school very much into ‘the quick and the dead.’

I spent much of my first six months at the school on the latter end of this scale but coming from an argumentative family eventually managed to crawl my way through a grey line of the “slightly wounded” and eventually into “quick.” No Oscar Wilde but certainly no Sylvester Stallone either.

After 10 years back in sunny Cape Town where I am perfectly able to hold my own in a bit of light- hearted (vicious, scheming) banter I would, should my path cross those of certain of my old schoolmates, yet again find myself very much in the “dead” category and this is why I like email. Email allows the wit to flow slower, as it must in a brain gently and lovingly destroyed over time by it’s less than sensible owner. And this slower pace, too, allows me to get to know better the brains of others.

It is easy, on the days that I am still one of the “quick” in my chosen environment, for people to assume that I am clevererer(er) than those I may dispatch with an observation or terse word or stolen quote when nothing could be further from the truth. Well, okay, a great many things could still be further from the truth, the books of Enron and the believability of the Iranian Prime Minister (who just got a sharp kick up the arse from his electorate for behaving like a tit; I’m glad one ‘democracy’ out there is working- a bit) to name just two. But, just like the old art of letter writing, email allows thoughts to simmer a little. For a little extra taste to be added and the flavours to mould together.

And, of course, quick cribbing through google because you have no idea what they are talking about. This, in fact, is how I have learned many things previously outside of my education. Like what “Manolo Blahniks” are and, for some reason, the fructose content of soft drinks. Sometimes education is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it isn’t.

Thoughts left to simmer and develop, especially in a fairly uncensored mind, are always worth reading whether you agree with them or not. And also, more indicitive of the qualities of the person who wrote it.

My unrelenting sadness, though, after trawling through a great many sites devoted to “meeting new people” is that I find one gaping hole. For all that humans go on about “the personality counts” not one of these sites, from datingbuzz to to myspace, allows you to browse with ease through people’s written profiles. It would be lovely to be able to read the first 10 lines of a profile- 15 to a page, say, and then click if you wanted to read further. No such luck, no such joy. Nowhere. It’s always photograph, age, location, dedication to tiddlywinks etc.

Oh well.


One Response to “Meeting on the Internet- “the joye of emaile””

  1. Oscarandre Says:

    I agree with about email, Jester – it does enable one to think before committing to “paper.” I am surprised, however, how often people’s emails show that thought is the last thing they applied to their messages – many come across as terse, insulting and/or just plain dumb. A guy I know now prints such emails, takes them to the person who sent them (he works in a very large office)and asks them to read the message to him. This can be very confronting but brings home to the sender just how bad the communication was.

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