Flowing from my online debate last night that derailed the previous day’s blog post, tonight’s topic will be a completely irreverent and ridiculous discussion of trolling on social media. I have serious thoughts on the topic too, but they are going to be saved for another post.
Before we go any further, I must warn that this post will probably contain foul language, discussion of sex and body parts, innuendo, and other similar unsavouriness. If this is not your cup of tea, stop reading. You have been warned.
Still with me? Ok, so one of the results of the aforementioned debate was that I ended up in a small private chat with some high school classmates. They varied from a friend I’ve been talking to regularly recently to a classmate I haven’t talked to in twenty years. We were, collectively, indulging in one massive virtual eyeroll after another at the level of bullshit going up on display in the public discussion. At some point when, despite my best efforts, the public discussion descended into hitherto unplumbed depths of the ridiculousness and I indulged in a “zingy” reply. One of my friends and I branched off from our small private chat into our own conversation where I admitted at this point there was no value in the debate proper and I was just toying with the opposition. What else do you do when it’s clear that there will be no agreement or mutual acceptance of viewpoints? Vee responded by suggesting that she send me an absurd conversation thread she had with a tinder* dude the week before. She said it similarly devolved into her just toying with a ridiculous jerk.
“Oh please do!” I shot back. Because Vee is intelligent and has a razor sharp wit and a great way with words and, most importantly, does not suffer fools. I knew I would definitely enjoy a chance to watch her in action.
“I’m emailing you the screencaps of the conversation” she told me. “Warning: it contains a dick pic because OBVIOUSLY IT DOES.”
Well of course, because that’s just so … .
Slightly later on in the evening my mouse was hovering over the email from Vee but as I was preparing to click into it I paused because I had a small revelation. It occurred to me, in that moment, that I was about to take a momentous step that was going to change me forever, because, on reflection, I realised I had never actually seen a dick pic before.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my kid came from the cabbage patch or was dropped off by a stork. I have seen my share of male nudity, in photos and in real life, thank you very much. I’ve been on Tumblr, and that’s basically a giant collection of poorly disguised porn mixed in with the current trend of celebrity and fandom memes. But I’ve never actually encountered an honest to goodness dick pic taken by a real guy exclusively for the purpose of sending to someone else (someone I know, no less!) in the hopes of getting laid. I felt like once I saw that it would be something I couldn’t take back. My dick pic virginity, if you will. I felt the need to savour this final preserve of my innocence for a little bit longer before irreversibly “crossing that rubicon” (Vee’s words).
This evening I crossed the rubicon.
What can I say, the dick pic (don’t worry, it won’t be reproduced here) is worthy of every vomit emoticon ever. The rest of the thread though was pretty much every misogynistic stereotype “locker room” talk phrase gathered together in a single place, the reading of which was all made worthwhile thanks to Vee’s crushing smack downs. I’m not going to repeat every ridiculous thing Tinder Dude said here. The guy was about as crude as you can imagine and not particularly imaginative. He vacillated between trying to pin Vee down as someone looking for a relationship and just looking for a one night stand (despite the fact that Vee was not in the least bit ambiguous about her position). If the lack of logic and consistency doesn’t indicate a lacking in intellectual capacity, then calling a woman ugly and then continuing to try and get her to have sex with you definitely depicts a significant shortfall in emotional intelligence.
“U ugly and not my type” was followed up with some more insults, and then an unexpected sort of… backhanded compliment, I guess:
Vee is quick on her feet, literally and metaphorically. She has to be for her job, she has to for her athletic hobbies. This guy isn’t even getting her to break a mental sweat when she responds with:
I have a mental image of Tinder Dude frowning and scratching his head, his face scrunched up with an attempt to deeply parse Vee’s response. Clearly, Vee misunderstood him. I mean, maybe she just needed some clarification? Tinder Dude explained it more slowly to Vee so that she’d understand, but Vee was clearly confusing this conversation with a discussion of farm animals and exotic bird species:
Tinder Dude gets frustrated at this point. He doesn’t feel like he’s making any headway. He wants to get laid. Insults haven’t worked, crass come-ons haven’t worked. Appealing to Vee’s sense of vanity and exhibitionism clearly hasn’t worked. What to do next? “Aha!” exclaims Tinder Dude. “I know what will get her to shag me. A photo of my giant penis, majestically posed over some artfully draped bed sheets!”
Unfortunately (for Tinder Dude), this backfires too. So much so that his already shaky grasp of spelling succumbs to a classic autocorrect pitfall. And Vee is there ready and waiting to pounce and take advantage. She has all her bases covered. Judes? She’s got ’em. Nudes? She’s got those too. In fact, she’s got several choices so Tinder Dude can best match his complexion.
At this point, Tinder Dude is completely puzzled and frustrated. None of his usual approaches have produced the desired result. He’s tried the coy way, he’s tried the subtle way. He even tried the artsy way. There’s really only one option left – the direct frontal assault:
Welcome to dating in the digital age. I’m going to go to bed and give thanks that I met my husband back when this phone was the height of mobile technology and that I have not had to venture into the man market again since. Goodnight y’all.
*Tinder, for those of my readership who are not in the know, is a mobile phone dating app that sends you potential matches based on your location and preferences and you can swipe left or right to either decline or express interest in a profile.