I’ve never been one to let social networking sites rule my life. I’d much prefer to be out meeting people in the flesh than chatting to socially inept retards with Photoshopped pictures to rival the cover of The Face. Sure, we all like the odd wank over a webcam, and dating sites can be useful for getting dates every now and again—but the majority of sex I’ve had has been on nights out. I prefer it that way. Then the only shock you get is the one when you sober up, rather than the one where the person you’re meeting looks entirely different to his pictures and the sinking realisation you’re not going to get sex after all.
The reason I bring it up is that I’ve become more computer-based the more time I spend working. I’m either designing my next issue of Polluto, assessing a novel someone has sent me for publication, writing my column or writing one of my own fiction pieces. So I spend a lot more time online. I’ve found myself alternating between cyber-overindulgence and Luddite rejection of all things with a plug on the end. Pens and paper are a blessing. It’s just a pity I can’t do everything that way.
And I’ve noticed: the more I’m logged on, even if I’m doing nothing, the more I notice how active other people are online. They start thousands of threads on message boards. They change their online status every five minutes and get heated over who’s top of the Facebook Campare People polls. Strangely, I’ve been top of a few for a while, even though I ignore all applications requests and shy away from checking such things for fear it will become addictive. I couldn’t become a computer nerd—my skin’s not pasty enough and I have too many real life friends. At least, I thought I did till they all uploaded themselves onto the net.
It’s now reached the stage where friends of mine update their Facebook status via their mobiles when they’re in bars. Even worse, nearly every gay bar in Manchester and London has the internet, and an increasing number of queens spend their time hunched over a computer screen and adding ‘Are you a cunt?’ applications rather than mingling with the totty around them. To a self-confessed socialite like me, that just seems wrong. We’ve become mindless batteries, charging the bionic armies of advertising executives and millionaires known only as Tom.
People are cocooned in goo (and not just from all the cybersex). They don’t get out; they don’t live. They don’t meet up with each other anymore, they just exchange instant messages and rate each other ad infinitum.
Whatever happened to the great outdoors? No one has sex outside anymore. Or even in beds. It’s all filtered through emoticons and MSN nudges. And I swear, if one more person on Facebook pokes me without it resulting in some sort of orgasm, I will grab my nail file and commit murder. Cum should be on young men’s chests and faces, not their computer keyboards.
I think I miss the days when queens went out every night à la Queer as Folk. The clubs are far too empty and I need me some fresh meat. So put down the mouse, grab your handbag and meet me at the bar in five. I need a stiff drink and a cock I can feel.
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