Success and Failures at Online Connections

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 4:13 AM GMT
    All, here's what Obscenewish said in a different (gregstevenstx post on mail etiquette) forum thread:

    "...It may also be worth noting that the cyber body and the real-time body are not the same. The cyber body, on a site like this, is two dimensional at best, non-gestural and frozen in a particular moment or series of moments. The personality that is associated with the cyber body is also the result of written rather than spoken text. In other words it is scripted..."

    Here's my observation and query. I have had absolutely no success on websites like gay.com and only a modicum of success on match.com, on even getting to a coffee "date" with people.

    On the other hand, I have met seven people from RJ. First, despite OW's logical assertion that this is virtual reality and scripted (also repeated to me seperately by canuckdave), hence, not to be taken seriously....

    ...the six people I've met are EXACTLY how they appear in their pictures and my impression of their personalities exactly matched their online self-descriptions.

    In other words....they were EXACTLY who they said they were. This is not the case for several of the people I met on match.com.

    So what gives? While OW's analysis fits exactly my experience on gay.com (I cancelled that), yahoo.personals.com (I cancelled that) and match.com, it doesn't seem to fit my experience in the first six months that I have been on here?

    Is this the experience of other people?

    As a corollary, despite the implications in gregstevenstx thread, I rarely don't get a response to a mail to someone on this site, and my mails often go into blackholes on these other sites.

    Is this also the experience of others here? I'd appreciate hearing from those of you who have an inclination to respond.

    John
  • Fuzzers

    Posts: 23

    Aug 09, 2007 5:13 AM GMT
    Hmm... well, I have to say the best relationship of my life so far was initiated through an online connection. Neither of us planned on falling into a monogamous experience. Hell, neither of us were looking for love- but we started talking and the connection happened. We even resisted the experience in the beginning, because it was so unexpected.

    2 1/2 years of awesome. And still best freinds today, and probably for all the tomorrows.

    Point is, a connection can happen online, just like it can on the phone, or in person. What can stall it is time or lack of interest in pursuing said connection.

    What do you want from the other person? If it's sex, well, then an online experience isn't what you're looking for. If it's a deeper connection that you're seeking, then the possibility is there. It's up to you and the other to develop that into friendship or more...

    My 2 cents. Deposited.
  • Fuzzers

    Posts: 23

    Aug 09, 2007 5:15 AM GMT
    And for reference, me and my BFF met on bigmusclebears. So... not exactly a match.com kinda site ;)
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Aug 09, 2007 10:53 AM GMT
    There are two ways to look at the "online connection"
    First it is as Obscene had called it - two dimensional, a want ad for sex per say
    but not all men who use this medium are trying to hide something
    .... and you can usually tell the good from the bad
    pictures that look like that were taken during an eclipse or so tiny that you need a high-powered microscope to make out that there's a body somewhere in there
    ...and the written part of the profile can tell you a lot too
    If there's any mention of the family pet when the guy was 12 I think you get a picture of what's going on
    ... or if there's three mono-syllabic words with a grouping of punctuation made to look like a penis you know what he's about
    ...so just like meeting a guy in the supermarket and / or the beach you have to weigh the possibilities and make a judgment call
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Aug 09, 2007 11:08 AM GMT
    Well there seems to be a couple of different issues here.

    OW's original post was him being cynical and provocative (and humourous, as he always is). I think he's telling the reader to be aware that cyber world isn't often a real connection, and not be taken in by a pretty picture and a few flattering words.

    John, you are too intelligent and down to earth a guy to be taken in by a couple of glamour shots and 'You're hot, let's hook-up' remarks, so I can see how your view might be different. A few guys on here though have complained that they've been mislead by guys. Maybe they expected too much and were letting themselves be taken for a ride. These are the guys that OW is giving his warning/theory to.

    RJ is a great site, because the purpose isn't about dating/sex, it's exercise. Meeting great like-minded guys is a bonus.

    Loz
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 12:49 PM GMT
    I've met a lot of people from online, and most people have been exactly as they appeared in their profile. I've had several relationships (that lasted ranging from 3 months to almost a year) with people that I've met online. In just the last few weeks, I've had half a dozen people come up to me at clubs or pool parties and say, "Hey, aren't you Greg from (insert website name here)?"

    I think part of the reason for my "success" has to do with the websites I frequent. I've never had an account on gay.com or match.com. I've never had an account on manhunt.net or any other menformenforsluttypigsex.com type of site.

    Before discovering this site, my favorites were connexion.org and myspace.com. My last two boyfriends, I met on myspace.com. I've met a couple of boyfriends, and a lot of really hot hookups, on connexion.org. I have to say, connexion is probably my favorite: REAL profiles (the webmaster deletes fake profiles immediately, they integrate the "certification" process into the site very well, etc), good clean layout, etc. I think that frequenting the "right" kind of site contributes a lot to your probability of meeting real people.

    I think the OTHER reason for my "success" is my screening process. I chat with people first. I don't really feel a need to rush into meeting someone IMMEDIATELY. And I think that can make a big difference. After all, the real oddballs can only come across as normal, online, for a limited time, before the cracks in the armor begin to show. LOL
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 2:52 PM GMT
    Actually, Greg (gregstevenstx), I will add connexion.org to my list of "un"successes. By the way, several of guys I had seen on connexion.org also have profiles here...

    Two are "buddies" here (and I've met them here but not there, for some reason). But, curiously, there are others with profiles on both that "lurk" here; don't participate in the forums, for example (not that that means anything in particular) and were "stone walls" to communication back on connexion.

    I had basically the same profile (with less stress on athleticism) on those other sites as I do on RJ. So, from my end, I can't figure it out why people whose profile otherwise indicates commonality won't even respond.

    But, on the other side of the coin, it's not that I have not met people on match.com, for example. But there I did meet people whose profiles didn't match their pictures...and who were dishonest.

    Laurence, I guess I center on the fact that this site has been so good...and I've been so successful at connecting with people whose profiles match the reality when we meet. It's just such a contrast to match.com, connexion.org and gay.com, for me.

    And, since I am the same (and my profile is too, basically) on all...I'm just wondering...what is it about RJ that is different from the others and vice versa.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 3:45 PM GMT
    Most of the (very few) people I've met from on-line are pretty close to their virtual persona. The biggest "deception" seems to be concealing how much fatter they are than their on-line alter-ego.
    I think the people with the most fictional on-line presence are the ones who simply vanish when an actual meeting is imminent (though oddly, they themselves usually suggest such a meeting in the first place.)
    As far as specific sites go, there is a definite quantity vs. quality trade-off. This site seems to have a higher-quality population, but it's spread rather thin. For those not in big urban areas, the chances of actually meeting someone in person are probably better on the larger sites.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 5:14 PM GMT
    mindgarden said: "...This site seems to have a higher-quality population, but it's spread rather thin. For those not in big urban areas, the chances of actually meeting someone in person are probably better on the larger sites..."

    That makes sense. But I do have to point out, Todd, that two of the people I have met from RJ are from Toronto and NYC, and here I am in Oakland, CA. :-)

    It's clear that our mutual committment to fitness unites us.

    What's unclear to me is why on these other sites, in which profiles indicate mutual interest, there is, in my experience, so much more flakiness and disinterest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 8:25 PM GMT
    fastprof says: "What's unclear to me is why on these other sites, in which profiles indicate mutual interest, there is, in my experience, so much more flakiness and disinterest."

    I feel a little bit obligated to point out that this is by no means unique to the online world. There are plenty of flakey people in just about any forum where you meet people. Get a phone number at a bar, a party, whatever... and often an initial interest is met with a lack of any follow-up availability.

    The reasons might be different (online, maybe it's a fake profile; at a bar, maybe it's because the guy actually has a boyfriend); but the functional end result is the same.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 09, 2007 8:31 PM GMT
    I think the biggest problem with online dating is that when you read things in black and white a fair degree of it you believe as a given, other than extra large cock cos you know thats always nearly a lie! :-)

    Then you spend the next 6 months unpicking the bullshit, the same happens in the real world to a degree but its information built up over a period of time so you have the ability to sift out the bullshit!

    Im not bitter ! ha ha ha ha
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Aug 10, 2007 1:48 AM GMT
    Come on fastprof...I would say we were a success story, no?

    ...can't wait to see at Avenue Q this weekend!

    - David
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 2:25 AM GMT
    dfrourke..."...Come on fastprof...I would say we were a success story, no?..."

    Oh, gad yes. But you, along with sfnicolas, are guys from connexion.org that were huge exceptions to my experience there.

    Yet, in your case, I had to make huge concessions, you having blue eyes, being handsome, extremely intelligent, humorous and built. I mean, who would ever count that as a success? Just because we have great time together, how can I count that as a success?

    :-)


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 2:30 AM GMT
    gregstevenstx said: "...I feel a little bit obligated to point out that this is by no means unique to the online world. There are plenty of flakey people in just about any forum..."

    But, Greg, my point was that this is NOT the case with RJ, generally, but is my experience (really, not exagerrating) on the other websites/bulletin boards I mentioned, dfrourke and sfnicolas being huge exceptions.

    The dialog you and I are having in the Forums and occasionally off-forum is a case in point too. That simply was so infrequent as to be extremely rare on other sites for me and I was wondering if the disparity is something other people have noticed, RealJock vs other websies.

    I agree with your observation though.

    Maybe I should just change this thread to a congratulations to the administrators/website originators of RealJock for such a success.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 2:34 AM GMT
    fastprof: Somebody should do a study. Maybe it has to do with demographics, or how a person approaches the site. Because the #1 best site I've ever encountered, from my own personal experience, is connexion.org.

    Of course, now that I think about it, a lot has to do with how a person approaches a site. I have a friend who I introduced to connexion, saying "you have to check this site out it's so awesome! I meet the best guys on there!"

    A month later, he says "I don't get that site, nobody talks to me on there."

    So I ask: "Did you email anyone?"
    No.
    "Do you go to the 'who's online now' page and message anyone?"
    No.
    Do you log in there often?
    No.
    Well then how the #&$&^%! do you expect to meet anyone from it????

    Connexion, like RJ (from what I've seen), is overtly social, rather than sexual. I think that will appeal to some people and not others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 2:41 AM GMT
    Greg...

    ...oh yes, I approached that site just as I did this one. I made lots of attempts. Look, I am not whining, though it sounds like it.

    I'm just so happy that I found RJ.

    I still think it has to do with the commonality of fitness here and that others on other websites have other agendas?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 2:57 AM GMT
    I've found that the online world varies much like the world of bars. Different locations draw different crowds... Sometimes the differences make sense, and sometimes they don't.

    Gay.com's peculiarities may have something to do with the fact that they are the largest and most general site. I've found they have a large number of transient users, whereas more focused sites like Realjock seem a bit less prone to that. Also, Realjock's main draw isn't chat per se.

    I have started noticing that the more focused the interest of the site, the more likely that people's profiles are accurate, and the more likely people are to at least respond to messages. There are flakes everywhere, but the more focused interests seem to at least better your chances of at least having a dialog.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 4:20 AM GMT
    italmuslbtm: "..I have started noticing that the more focused the interest of the site, the more likely that people's profiles are accurate, and the more likely people are to at least respond to messages..."

    That's got to be it. It's the same phenomenon when you gradually get to like someone, say at the gym, you never thought you'd like or be attracted to...until you realize you've seen him three dimensionally, and you have time to evaluate the common interest angle.

    Not so with match.com etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 4:37 AM GMT
    I think bot of you were right..

    And I am here basically because of forums like this... This is one very special site as some of the intense and highly controversial conversations I have had here are only carried out with my closeste friends, yet I have them here with "2 dimensional" figures...

    And I became friends with Fastprof because of the special nature of the forums here... And people who contacted me who has not posted on any forums, I have yet to meet... So when I visited CA for a vacation, we met up and it was even better than I had expected!

    Fastprof, my sister and I LOVE your house!!! And your cat too!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 4:45 AM GMT
    NYCMsc4Musc: Yes, the feeling is mutual...but that's the strength of this site...

    ...why the others are different has to be, as you guys have pointed out, the commonality of interests..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 5:06 AM GMT
    I haven't met anyone off this site although one of my best friends is on here and his profile and board postings mirror his real-life personality.

    My experience of other sites is quite varied. Some guys are nothing like their profiles - usually because they have intentionally misrepresented themselves or because they have put up pictures are old or particualarly flattering. I have met some really great men using other sites like gayromeo.com and even manhunt.net.

    The worst one is gay.com. It just doesn't seem to work for me and seems to be a really static site.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 5:50 AM GMT
    I have profiles on gay.com, out in america, manhunt, and realjock. I also tried match.com briefly. I rarely check my gay.com profile since discovering realjock. I have met more genuine people on manhunt than on gay.com and the most phonies on match.com. I agree with fastprof that there is something different about the guys here on RJ. Perhaps it is the common theme of fitness or desire to be healthier that attracts a different crowd than the other sites. I think gay.com and manhunt are basically hookup sites, so that attracts a less than real crowd. I have tried to meet people that I've chatted with and usually meet with disappointment instead. I really enjoy the forums on here and everyone with whom I have communicated has been very gracious.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 4:18 PM GMT
    STOP LOOKING AND JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT! True love will hit you in the face when it happens.

    I must say that I meet some great guys on this site and If I was geographically closer, I would have some wonderful friendships. A couple I would date!

    Have to run, things to do and someone to see.

    Rick
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 4:37 PM GMT
    rksportwear said: "...STOP LOOKING AND JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT! True love will hit you in the face when it happens..."

    I agree with this. As others have pointed out, I have tripped across the people I truly loved in everyday circumstances...not while on a "quest."

    On the other hand, as gregstevenstx implied, you have to "put yourself out there" in order to trip across guys. You can do that at the gym, or in a running club, or on a website like this.

    The friendship that rksportswear and I have is another example of a successful outcome of RJ.

    Also, as peterstrong put it in his profile at one time, I really wish all my RJ buddies were all in the SF Bay Area....I agree that lots of close friendships and, probably, dating relationships would be the outcome. I'm already deep "in like" with all that I met so far... :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2007 5:33 PM GMT
    John, I agree with you 100%.