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Eventually the Arnold mod will say "Ice to meet you." - Not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be
Eventually the Arnold mod will say "Ice to meet you."
Another note about last night's RPG meet-and-greet: This morning I got up to a handful of emails that said "It was good to see you!" It turns out Meetup.com has added this function where, if you RSVP "yes" for an event, then afterwards, it'll show you the user icons of everyone else who RSVPed "yes," with a button underneath each icon that says "It was good to see you!" If you click on that button, it sends the other user exactly that message. And when they get that message, there's a button in it that says "Good to see you too!"


Look, there's a great deal to be said for basic politeness. And there's a little bit of charm in the idea of everyone at these meetups hitting all these buttons at each other and sending all these ridiculous rote messages, the exact same impersonal, low-effort, lazy ones each time. It's the equivalent of two people meeting in My Fair Lady and mechanically repeating "How do you do?" to each other: Well-meant, and kinda funny to watch, but a little stiff, and ultimately entirely empty. It's a mockery of an actual exchange of meaningless pleasantries.

Mostly what chafes me is the idea that this button-pressing is mimicking something meaningful — actual expressions of goodwill — and it's supposed to be taken on the same level. In the same way "lol" is now a punctuation mark meaning "this thought is complete," and "Like" can mean "I saw this" or "I would like to win a prize from your company," "Nice to see you" in this context means "I have enough positive feeling for you as a person that I'm willing to click on a thing." It's actually grosser to me than exchanging no post-meeting words whatsoever.

So it was lousy to see all of you, so there. Where's my button for that?

I'm-a feelin': irked

6 people still haven't weakened / Isn't it a great life?
ladycelia From: ladycelia Date: March 6th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
And this is why I still use LJ--there is room for actual communication and conversation. +1's and Thumbs Up, etc. are just not the same. Even a one-line note that is an actual message is better than that.
polyfrog From: polyfrog Date: March 6th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem I see with that is that with it so easy to do, it may become the norm; expected. And then suppose you meet a person whom you do not feel it was nice to meet, but that for whatever reason you don't want to actively snub and make unhappy. The odious new sweetie of a friend, for instance. In the past, you could just let the meeting slide by without remark. But now you are socially obligated to actively say you are pleased to see them, and if you don't it will be fairly obvious that you are actively not doing it.
rollick From: rollick Date: March 6th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I just don't do that. I don't Facebook-like things unless I really like them. I don't RT anything I don't honestly love. I have no interest in getting caught up in new artificial social-media obligations that have nothing to do with actually communicating something I think.
From: lhn Date: March 6th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Likewise. I've also sworn off birthday greetings on Facebook because of its similarly robotic nature. (They don't give you the phrasing-- yet-- but "X's birthday is this week! Wish them a Happy Birthday! WISH IT!" feels about as empty.)

(I just hope that those who notice classify it as "lovable curmudgeon" rather than "snub me, will he?")
muckefuck From: muckefuck Date: March 6th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm with you on that. I don't list my birthday there and I don't think I ever will.

(And I've long since given up on the "lovable" part of "lovable curmudgeon".)
muckefuck From: muckefuck Date: March 6th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
6 people still haven't weakened / Isn't it a great life?