“How’s it hanging, buster?”
It’s not a stellar way to begin a conversation with anyone. But if it’s how you begin an Instant Message conversation with a person you’ve never met, chances are the two of you aren’t going to fall in love. But honestly, I can’t really blame the woman who sent me this, or all the other failed attempts at romance via IM that I’ve encountered over the years. It’s just a bad wooing format.
I mean, Imagine you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, perhaps listening to your iPod. You’re thinking about your day, what you’re gonna eat for dinner, if should call your Mom later, and then all of a sudden……………BAM!
Someone’s mug is all up in your shit. “Hi! How are you! How’s it going! My name’s Kathy! How’s it hanging, BUSTER?!” It’s uncomfortable. No matter how attractive they are, no matter how clever their intro, you’re taken aback. This is a stranger, in your face, and now you have to deal with them. OK, so you take a second. What do I say to this lady who–
BAM AGAIN. “Sorry, HI! Am I interrupting?! I don’t want to interrupt. You just seem cool! So I just wanted to say HI!” She won’t stop talking, and you don’t know what to do. Is it insulting to just not respond? OK, you’re just going to not respond. Maybe she’ll go away.
BAM #3. “Are you not gonna respond?! Cause that’s kinda rude. Are you there?! HELLO?! HELLLLO?!” And that’s when you turn around and run in the opposite direction.
People don’t like being ambushed. Especially when, if you’re dating online, there’s a whole lot of reading to do before you know how to respond to said ambush. The immediate message function on these sites makes sense, I suppose, if you’ve been emailing a bit and want to step the contact up a level. But that has never happened to me. The only people who IM me are ones who I’ve never spoken to or seen before, and seem incredibly drunk. So then I have to go to their profile, read it through quickly to see what they’re like, realize that they seem drunk more or less all the time, and then watch them IM me over and over and pretend this isn’t happening.
I’m not saying it can’t work, I’m just saying I doubt it will work. Let’s put it this way: I can remember emails that won me over and dates that blew my mind, but for the life of me I can’t remember a single detail from a single chat I’ve had over IM in my entire life. Other than the girl who asked me how it all was hanging, of course. Isn’t that all you need to know?