Meeting Someone You Only Know From the Internet

I know you probably shouldn’t get into cars with people you only know from the internet. I have read about every missing white girl in the past two decades, I’m well aware of how fucked strangers can be. But, I feel like having an internet presence is the new getting set up by a friend? Like, he has a following, that means he’s not crazy, right?

He tells me he likes my blog. I kind of die a little bit because then I don’t have to explain to him that I am crazy and overly serious and going to talk to him about my dumb theories like how I think the NFL is good for feminism. This is already the best dude I’ve met this month and we haven’t even left my street.

I ask him to write about whether Pink Floyd is the original chillwave band because I think so but I’m not into either Pink Floyd or chillwave enough to speak with authority.

“I used to take a lot of drugs and listen to pink floyd”
“Did it make you feel like you were one with god?”
“totally.”

I wrote a bunch of questions in my notebook, I say I’ll pull it out when the conversation dulls and it never does. We drive to his neighborhood on the other side of the city but don’t go to his house.

He tells me about Allaister Crowley. He had sex with men I guess not cause he was gay but it was some spiritual thing which sounded dumb but I guess it was about embracing things that make you uncomfortable, which is a truth seeker thing. It’s weird to meet another truth seeker. Like, I have met a million philosophy students and religious people and other’s who would self-identify as fitting into this category but don’t. What I mean is, it’s weird to meet someone who is so similarly detached from whatever they find they think might be true. He isn’t secretly rooting for it to be Christianity or Atheism or Non-Denominational Utilitarianism. He’s just putting one foot in front of another down a path until its block. Then he tries the adjacent one.

We stop at a gas station because we’ve been driving around all night. I try to catch up on my phone while he goes inside. No, I’m not murdered yet.

“Do you smoke?”
“No, do you?”
“No.”
“Damn.”

He tells me something is off the record and I think about this blog and how weird it is that he knows I’m going to write this.

I ask him what he thinks the meaning of life is. He thinks it might be drugs or something kind of boring. Maybe love. I look through his iPod, it is so good I actually feel a rush of affection for him just based on the summa mp3 player in my hands.

We go back to my house and sit on the couch. I’m actually not sure what I’m supposed to be feeling. This isn’t a romantic event but I get tripped up when someone has a good personality because if they have a good personality, what reason is there to not have romantic feelings? I have a hard time having male friends because of this: what is the difference between respecting someone and feeling attracted to them? Is that why you are supposed to fall in love with your eyes? To differentiate?

Anyways we sit inside talking for longer talking about what our friends are doing that night: hipster dance parties. I kind of want him to leave because I’ve had such a good time I am worried he is going to say something really gross and I’ll have wasted the night and all this emotional energy thinking about how great he is.

We stay in touch but now when we talk there’s other people around. It’s reverse progress. We might have to take it back to the internet, just to get some privacy.

How Not to Make The World Better

Raise awareness. Lots of it. Create a viral meme that points to an outrageous but oversimplified issue. Ask people to RT you and tell their friends. Don’t have a specific call to action. Continue to do this with a new cause each week until every person in your life zones when they see your name on their feeds.

Criticize. Spend your time reading about people trying to address causes important to you. Write about how they aren’t 100% respectful or ethical or inclusive. Propose only solutions that are completely unrealistic or no solutions at all.

Discourage people from asking questions. There’s a group of feminists that don’t want you to ask questions about feminism. For real though. If you want to know about feminism you should pick up a fucking book and stop wasting their precious time because it’s not their job to educate you. I don’t get this even a little bit. Write books and websites and lobby for change all you want to but the number one way to get someone on your side is to have a relationship with them. If you could explain to your friends and acquaintances why equality is so important to you, they’ll be swayed a lot sooner than staring at some edgy t-shirt you printed. Maybe you think they’re boneheads for not already understanding what you’re telling them, that’s okay. But people have to start somewhere. You did.

Splinter. You found a niche cause like solving cancer, cool! Start your own charity and name it after yourself. Make yourself executive director and put it on Facebook. Start a fundraising campaign to fund your new charity so that you can cover all your start up costs instead of asking people to donate to an established non-profit already in place, working, and with a lower operating cost. I’m sure you know better though!

Be as unlikeable as possible. Get a blog and twitter account you use mainly to shame people for being less knowledgeable than you. Be a generally negative bitch who plays into the worst kinds of stereotypes people have about “progressives” and scare a lot of people away.

Things to Do While the Internet is Down at Work

Use your cell phone to Google your antidepressant and find out how many people of your age and demographic killed themselves while on it.

Consult your mobile web browser history and read the bottom tier blogs you only read when extremely bored, like when waiting for an oil change: your high school friends’ mommy blogs, that recipe blog by that lady who calls herself The Skinniest Cook, the one with long, miserable, Livejournal style essays by your old histrionic coworker, the travelog of your missionary cousin.

Try to manually pluck your eyebrows in the reflection of your blacked out computer screen.

Give yourself your first ever self-generated, full-head French braid. Retreat to bathroom to look at it from all possible angles, glancing furtively at your iPhone every 90 seconds to make sure it’s not back on Wi-Fi.

Absentmindedly navigate to People.com. Feel embarrassed when the page won’t load and you realize and that this means you literally have a celebrity gossip tic.

Drink coffee. Drinkcoffeedrinkcoffeedrinkcoffee. Feel ill. Tell jokes to entertain your coworkers because you are basically the equivalent of workplace high.

Blatantly flirt with the one coworker who, though not objectively hot, is definitely like an 8.5 by comparison to the rest of the nerds you spend 9 to 5 with all week.