Unlike online fetes, real parties are just too bogged in politesse.
'Tis the season when people do the living version of Facebook all over town. They get their actual 3-D faces into a real room with coloured lights and candles and have a group go at some social intercourse. Party season. Spare me.
I'm starting to think I suffer from humophobia. Been online so long, I'm getting turned off reality people. What bothers me is not so much their essences, but their corporeality - the big stinking meatiness of them.
Most of my relationships come in typefaces now, so I've lost the taste for folks coming up and flinging their arms around me. Unfortunately, when people drink eggnog, they get really huggy.
And I'm losing my tolerance for getting roped into long conversations with needy partiers or wreathed in the breath of verbal diarrhetics on Scotch. I'd rather just scrape off all the niceties and get right to that one interesting sliver that each person surely has to communicate, and then walk away. Which is kind of offensive in real time.
So this season I'm sticking to my keyboard and indoor Facebook cyber-bashes with friends I never have to meet.
I particularly love that little slot-sized "daily status" window on Facebook: "Robert is ...[fill in the blank]" This is where you put your little ad for yourself, which begs for some artful, attractive minimalism. You can say. "Robert is really miserable" or "Robert is in life with each and every one of you." What will it be? Who do you wish to catch with that hook, and by what hook will you be caught?
It's an aphorism party, and when human connection gets compressed like that, there's more core charge to it and... then you're done. Really done. No having to make excuses about getting your drink refreshed and then worrying about running into the person later at the snack table. In digital fetes, it's "So long" and on to the next "friend" and the next, offering a hundred times the social life with one-tenth the politesse.
And there are other advantages to Net carousing, too. The whole staring at beautiful men and women thing, for instance? Totally all right. In fact, you're encouraged to ogle faces. I mean, if you could just do that at parties - max your gawk till you've demystified people - I might go out more.
Plus, there's that juicy "less about [person's name]" button. Somehow, the Facebook software determines which of your friends' profiles will appear on your home page. But if you've had enough of them, that little button makes them just go away and stay away.
Wouldn't that be good at parties?