Facebook hinders the art of flirting

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    I recently noticed a disturbing trend among the college-age crowd. This trend is that, due to the proliferation of Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, the national pastime of flirting as we know it, has become a drastically under performed sport. So much so, in fact, I would say it is becoming less like the Super Bowl and more like Backgammon.”This is preposterous!” you might say. Well, let’s review flirting as it once was. A guy goes with his buddies to a party and meets a few more of his friends who, in turn, introduce him to their friends. But alas, no sparks fly.

    The party seems to be winding down as he finishes his last drink and then, it happens. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees her; she sees him. Time seems to stand still as the two of them make their way across the room.

    They converse on a variety of topics, many of which they seem to have in common. Finally, it’s time to head home, and tension mounts as both wonder who will make the next move. Soon, the guy casually states, “So hey … um, I’m heading home … but are you on Facebook? I’ll Facebook you!”

    What the heck? Two completely single people just spent the last half hour discussing their equal loves for Star Wars and coin-collecting, and all the guy can do is relegate himself to requesting an Internet friendship so he can grovel over the 137 photos of her in her last semester’s “Trip to Spain” photo album? Forgive me for sounding frank, but you better get those digits!

    Now obviously this type of occurrence doesn’t happen all the time. Of course, there are still the avid “digit-getters,” the occasional hookups as well as the ill-advised one-night stands.

    Now, I must state that, as a devoted “Facebooker” myself, I am not bashing these online communication sites. With the hectic schedules people face these days, Web sites such as these are needed to stay in contact with one another, as well as to provide a quick diversion from our busy college lives.

    Not all conversations are meant to lead to a romantic courtship. Many times these Web sites can help a student get to know someone better before taking that first big step of asking for a phone number. But at the same time, you shouldn’t let someone who could potentially turn out to be really special be subjected to a semester of “pokes” and “What’s up?” messages while you work up the courage to ask what should’ve been asked the first night.

    For a large part, it seems that many guys (and a few girls) have sadly demoted themselves to becoming mere bench warmers in the “game of love,” while a starting position patiently awaits their arrival. To that I say: So what if you get shot down? It happens to me … um … I mean my friends, all the time. Also, just because of the simple fact that girls outnumber guys at TCU, and most colleges, almost 2 to 1, guys, you really have nothing to lose (sorry, girls).

    So, the next time you hear “last call” at the bar and that conversation of model airplane-building starts to wind down, take a chance. Get the digits.

    Glenton Richards is a senior radio-TV-film major from Carrollton, Texas.