None of us likes to be rejected, and if we have any empathy about us at all we’re uncomfortable inflicting pain and/or embarrassment on someone – especially since that person’s only crime is thinking we’re kinda neat. When I first signed up for back in 2010 I didn’t know the rules. It turns out that I much prefer being ignored to being acknowledged in cases of rejection.I remember feeling obliged, when I got a message from a woman who didn’t interest me, to try and craft a nice reply that didn’t make her feel bad about herself. If there’s no contact, it’s harder to take it personally. One, when in Rome, and two, frankly it’s a lot easier than responding and rejecting, something I have always been very bad at and extremely uneasy doing. If you get approached by someone you don’t find attractive, for whatever reason, you simply hit delete and move on. I began adapting to these odd new cultural mores, for a couple of reasons.When trying to spark someone’s interest over email, you’ve got to be fun, engaging and good at creating a rapport, while keeping an element of mystery. Do: be proactive Don’t let that classic British reserve hold you back.Accept that dating online will involve some chasing.In “real life,” when someone approaches and asks you out, you’re obliged by social custom to reply. How can I be mean to someone who thinks I deserve that kind of effort?You may not be interested, but you can’t just pretend that the person isn’t standing there talking to you. So we have developed all manner of ways of saying no thanks, in what is hopefully the kindest way possible. And a couple times, women I have written to actually have replied with nice no thank you messages. And – here’s the odd part – a little uncomfortable.
You won’t get anywhere if don’t put yourself out there. Don’t: reveal too much too quickly Nobody wants to trawl through an essay on your life, either in your profile or via those early emails.
And yet, here I am, convinced beyond just about any doubt that what we’d call rudeness in our face to face dealings is a far kinder way of behaving in the online world.
It’s cleaner, it’s less awkward, and as counter-intuitive as it may seem, ignoring people spares their feelings.
More to the point, what are the implications for society as more and more of us are socialized according to the rules of online etiquette?
What happens as the functional rudeness of Internet culture invades our face to face lives?