He Said, She Said: blogfan
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.



He Said, She Said: blogfan

2005_01_28heshe.gifConsider the blogosphere as a more than means to exchange ideas; consider it a social network. By now, it’s fairly obvious that communication has changed from three-way calling to group emails, from chat rooms to comment boards, and from phone calls to instant messages. Links, profiles, and revealing JPEGs have replaced the gossip circles of old.
In the case of our very own blog starlets Paige and Matt, the internet has perverted their sense of privacy, anonymity and the good old fashioned three-way call. But could this be a good perversion? See how the cewebrities see themselves in the blog age of gossip, romance and self-awareness.

Matt B
swimfan.gifHave you ever Googled yourself just to see what the world thought of you? Sure you have, you big liar. And like everybody else, I’ll bet you were secretly glad to see your name in print on a handful of message boards, blog entries and what not. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional guilty pleasure, is there?
But Paige got me thinking. Run that search again, but put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Think about the woman you just stared seeing, or the unattainable crush that you’re always nervous around, or that girl from the bad break-up a few months back who you keep running into. Is there anything out on the web that you’d rather they didn’t know about you?
I was introduced to a friend of a friend the other night. During the course of the conversation I found out that she already knew a lot about me, in spite of never having met me, because we’re both on the same message board. That in itself was fine, but knowing that a person you’ve never met could learn so much about you from the web, I couldn’t help but think about what else is out there – like those awful poems that an old girlfriend wrote about me after we’d broken up, or the dozens of photos of me acting like a drunken idiot.
Mind you, it’s not like it was impossible for people to check up on you before the Internet was invented. “Reading about him on the web” is just the new “asking your friends about him,” just like “staring at his active name on MSN” is the new “sitting by the phone.” People talk, and people have always been able to ask around and find out what a jerk or a bore you can be. The only difference is that now, that information is potentially at everyone’s fingertips. All it takes is one jilted lover who doesn’t mind naming names, and all of the sudden the whole world can go online and read about my fear of intimacy and my thing for clowns.
I mean your thing for clowns. Not you specifically, the general “you,” in a hypothetical sense. I don’t have a thing for clowns. Look, this isn’t about me.
My point is that privacy on the Internet isn’t all that different from privacy in real life. In both cases, you’ve got to be careful who you give your phone number to, and you’ve got to think before you reveal something personal about yourself. There’s no reason to be all guarded or paranoid, because in the world of dating, nobody’s going to learn anything about you on the web that they couldn’t learn from somebody else. The web just makes it a lot easier, and makes it a lot more likely that sentences like “I saw a photo of you in a dress the other day” will come up in conversation. As long as you’re ready for that, what’s the problem?
COMPUTER.gifOnce upon a time people only used the phone, making three-way calling the only real threat to communication privacy. Remember the fun of grade six, when a couple of girls would get on one line, dial up a crush and quiz him endlessly about every girl in the class? Oh the feelings of paranoia every time someone asked you how you felt about a guy over the phone for fear he was secretly listening in!
But forget about those days, as they are long gone. The internet killed the telephone, and took dating and crush-flirting down with it. Instead of giggling and cooing into the phone to flirt with a crush, we message over MSN in the most impersonal form of discourse. Who really only uses the phone anymore? I find myself looking at my cell phone wistfully all the time, wishing that I used it more often, but then my MSN beeps at me and I go back to chatting and forget all about voice-to-voice communication.
I actually get very nervous now when someone asks me for my number. While I am always suspicious of his intentions, I also feel as though the number-asker has more balls than me: when you call someone it means business. Sending off an MSN or email is the easy way out, because if you are anything like me, talking on the phone involves a major dedication to the person on the other line. Your focus is on him and his is on you, and the purpose of chatting is for conversation
free of emoticons.
This, however, didn’t stop me from giving out my number about a zillion times last summer. As someone who moves from city-to-city I have the so-called luxury of changing my celly every six months, so if a couple creepers have it, it’s really not that big a deal. I just
maintain the policy of always getting a number in return so my caller ID can protect me from answering an undesired call.
(Sure, there are some people who just don’t answer numbers they do not know, but I am much more curious than that as I can never pass up a ring from an unlisted number. It’s like solving a mystery when you
answer the phone!)
And while I pine nostalgically for the days of three-way gossip calls and non-stop ringing from everyone, limited phone use makes calling someone that much more interesting. Like when calling the boy I adore for the first time, I sit on the edge of my bed, phone in (sweaty) hand, and force myself to dial the number, almost bursting with lusty-excitement before he picks up. And when we finally hang up at 6am because the birds chirping outside my window alerted me to how long we have been talking, oooh I feel just as giddy as I did talking to my very first crush in grade five.