He Said, She Said: Partyist
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He Said, She Said: Partyist

2005_01_28heshe.gif There are certain behavioural trends that are purely instinctive. One of such primal patterns is this: when you rock the party, you’d generally like to rock the party right.
ist_time.jpgObserving this particular human trait in the state of nature, Torontoist blogalites Paige and Matt provide in depth reasoning into why you would want to go to a party where you possibly have never met anyone there in person before. COME BY TONIGHT!

– Because remember that night you were at the bar last week, and you thought the guy across the room looked like Torontoist Josh but you weren’t sure. And instead of asking the guy you whispered with your girlfriends, especially the ones who also read Torontoist, until “Josh” got up and left the bar, leaving you feeling like an internet stalker? Right. Well tonight would clear up all that confusion, and prevent any from happening in the future.
partybg.jpg– Like that other time that you were at a bar, and some guy approached you not by saying your name, but instead by shouting your MSN name/address? He recognized you thanks to your display picture, and your friends secretly laughed when you awkwardly “introduced” yourselves to each other. If everyone at a party has never really met in person, there will be no secret laughing.
– You can bring a friend who has also never met any of the other attendees, and play people bingo (or, live action “Guess Who?”) all night long. “See, she clearly already knows him, and she has the same hair as the girl in that one picture, so it must be…”
– If no one knows who you are, you can act like the biggest jackass and get away with it.
– That is, unless someone else is playing the “I don’t know anyone so I will judge everyone” card. Then you might get called on your jackass antics.
vengaboys.jpg– You could meet someone and totally hit it off with him. And date (following the he/she how-to guide, of course) and then fall in love and get married. And because technically you met at a party, you don’t have to be that couple who says “we met on the internet.”
– And of course, the best reason would be so you can tell me to stop writing lame reasons for going to a party, because clearly anyone who needs to be convinced to go out isn’t the fun kinda person you want at a party anyways!! (and, also, tell me to stop using double exclamation points.)
It’s pretty amazing, when you get right down to it, how many people there are in my life that I’d call friends, in spite of never having met them in person. Not that I need to tell you that, because you’re probably in the same boat. Ours is really the first generation of people that’s had the sort of technology that allows us to meet so many people without actually meeting them. And of course, we’re also the first generation that’s had to deal with the experience of finally meeting those people in person.
fight_for_your_right.jpgI mean, it’s not as if there are usually that many huge surprises involved in these meetings. The notion of people reinventing themselves on the web is a fairly exaggerated one. We’ve all heard the horror stories about barely legal blondes who turn out to be middle-aged men when you meet them in person, and that’s only happened to me like four, maybe five times. But the potential to retool your own identity is still there, and of course it’s not uncommon to discover that the person you meet in real life is completely different from the person you thought you knew online. It’s sort of like we all have to make two first impressions.
Like many of you, for example, I’m a bit of a regular on Stillepost. It’s a community that attracts a lot of people in Toronto, many of whom have met in person or at least bumped into each other at a show. But it’s also a community with more than three thousand members from all over the country, and since many of them found it through links or word out mouth, it’s inevitable that most of the people you’ll run into on the board will be faceless, as far as you know.
About a year ago, back when Stillepost was still the controversial 20Hz, a few of its members decided to host a party at the Drake and extend an open invitation to the board at large. People came down from all over Toronto, and other neighbouring cities, and for many it was the first time they’d gotten to meet their fellow members face to face. Sure, it might have been a little weird for some, but in a good way. And what’s more, the feeling of community on the board was much afterwards.
To tell you the truth, that’s one of the big reasons I’m looking forward to the Torontoist party at the Embassy tonight. I haven’t met most of the people who work on this website, and going to the Torontoist party at the Embassy tonight will be a great way to finally meet them. “Pleasure to meet you, Matt,” they’ll undoubtedly say. “You did a great job shilling for the Torontoist party at the Embassy (223 Augusta Avenue) on the site today!”
And I’ll say thanks. But more importantly, I’ll enjoy a night out where I can finally get to know everyone in person. Having a forum like the web through which you can meet new people is great, but it doesn’t really amount to much if you don’t leave the house and actually get to know those people. Not that any of us really need an excuse to leave the house and go to a party, but you know what I mean.