Els' Rabbit Trails, marriage and relationships, videos

Deep woods rabbit trail: Why online dating is ruining Western Civilization.

For reasons I cannot begin to imagine (or maybe I can), the largest percentages of clicks this blog receives in any given week are directed towards the posts reviewing the chapters of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance.

Most of the readers are from the U.S., however as many as a third are from around the globe. Something about that book clearly strikes a nerve with people and as they look for analysis, Google sends some here. This factoid is my excuse for a deep woods* rabbit trail post.

A friend recently shared with me a video titled, Why Online Dating is Ruining Western Civilization by Mayim Bialik. Now normally, the combination of a famous Hollywood actress and the words patriarchy spilling from her lips causes me to roll my eyes in a combination of disdain and disgust, but the overwhelming majority of what Ms. Bialik shares here is so funny and tinged with truth that I will forgive her that folly.

It’s worth the 7 minutes, perhaps even if you disagree. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

 

*Deep woods rabbit trail posts are posts that generally veer far away from the subjects of reading, books, writing and education. They are few and far between, as they should be.

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20 thoughts on “Deep woods rabbit trail: Why online dating is ruining Western Civilization.”

  1. Shopping for humans. -snicker-

    But really, that’s all you do now. Shop for humans. We spend all our time selling ourselves. There’s even a NAME for it – “Branding”. Want a job? Want a friend? Want to get business? You better be selling yourself all the time.

    And that constant self-sale is the consequence of not living in communities where you’re already known, at least by SOMEONE. We’re all tiny fish, in a huge bowl. If you want attention, best find some red fins. (And then everyone will have red fins, so now you need sparkly scales. And so on.)

    I like Mayim. I think a few months out of the coastal cities would do her no end of good, but I like her. She’s real.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes…to ALL of that!

    A lot of this stuff, the tendencies nurtured, drawbacks, etc. are also dissected in the “Modern Romance” book. Those posts get an inordinate number of hits compared to everything else on this site. Sadly, Ansari unlike Mayim Bialik, ultimately decided that the options and choices are just too tempting to pass up.

    Thing is, we’re always -I hope- putting our best foot forward. But people as commodities is a horrible idea and for those who choose not to buy all in to it, the road to connection (all connection not JUST romantic connection) is long and isolated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. She’s wrong that “shopping for humans” is something new (men do this every day, with every girl he sees), or that “cultivating one’s image” is new (women in the car mirror???). Everyone is shopping. All the time. Human nature.

    2. Her “too many options” bane is definitely true though. Unnatural. Dunbar’s Rule & all that. Choice damages relationships and confuses.

    3. It’s sad how most women (even raised in the patriarchy, heh) can’t truly grasp how each N count damages their MMV big-time. Listening to her, I realized she was instinctively repulsed by this reality of this but doesn’t really know why.

    4. Think the online “male chest” thing pathetic, both the men and women. Must work I guess; I have been bemused/surprised at women’s chest obsessions since I got married because a) my wife tailors, b) I lift hard, c) women today are shameless pathetic oglers (modern chicks do their very best to act unattractive from the short hair to the slacks to the man-like leer…I feel obliged to either stare it down or turn away in disgust). Don’t grasp the cigar craze tho…some phallic thing? High-roller thing? I get the booze part, social and all that. But I’m feeling real old…

    5. This woman is so stereotypical Jew she’s almost a caricature, from the shameless ads to the money comment to the nose to the Hollywood angle (she’s clearly not very talented so obviously got there with connections).

    6. LOL at her “poetry” comment. Hell lady this Match.com! Brainy people, even midwits, are elsewhere…

    7. I feel bad for women like this…it’s mighty hard for smart or even midwit (she’s more the latter) women to find a date at her brain level. And fame don’t help a woman much either.

    Thanks for the post. I don’t read many female blogs but yours is becoming a common visit since Donal went AWOL…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, SMK. She understates the reality of people shopping for a mate in the broadest sense. But to go on a website or dating app and scroll as if you would through Amazon? Even you have to admit that is next level stuff.

    It eliminates all kinds of possibility to consider intangibles that an in-person encounter offers.

    And yes, she is typical Hollywood Secular Jew in presentation. I didn’t watch Big Bang Theory so I have no idea of her talent level. But, but, but…

    She gets a lot of things right in this video. That she acknowledges the down side of casual sex. That she acknowledges that men and women’s very biology changes the way sex affects us. That the overly curated profiles just add to the fakery of modern life. And it was pretty funny.

    Like I said, it was -too me at least- good enough that I was able to overlook that inane crack about “the patriarchy”.

    Like

  5. The reason why I liked this video is because of the people shopping part. What she says about this kind of people shopping is that it’s unprecedented– there has never been a time in human history where we had something compiling people into profiles like the Internet. The old matromonial ads never compared, and they still don’t because there is always a person involved. Online dating removes the people involvement piece. Look at what’s happening by removing the people element– we have people looking for marriage mates without getting a truthful background about the other person, they aren’t getting to know them within a people-focused context, and ultimately when you remove the social aspect what’s left is the physical.

    Elspeth is not too far off by comparing it to going on Amazon. I’ve talked to women who said they did “a lot of scrolling” to find someone decent. The scrolling gets worse because if a profile seems too curated, it’s probably because it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. StMichael: She was a child star, actually, who came back to acting for the health insurance (it’s a weird story). She was typecast on BBT. I remember watching her show when I was teen. Do you remember Blossom? No, almost certainly not. I detect a Y chromosome… 😉 A “pretty girl” actress – no. Never was.

    The poor thing is trying to make her traditional values (from the way she was raised, and from her religion – she’s a religious Jew) mesh with modern SJW values a la Hollywood and it’s sad. Why I’d love to get her away from the coasts for a while. She’s got sense, she needs the courage of her true convictions.

    Ladies don’t leer. Neither do gentlemen. (We know you like how we look. We like how you look too. Isn’t that awesome? It’s like that was the design or something). But hey, we live in the modern world, so why doesn’t everyone just act like a poorly brought up teenager instead? That would be “authentic” dontchaknow.

    I didn’t know your wife tailored! Does she have a blog? -bounces excitedly- TELL. I’ve made shirts for the hubster but wouldn’t dare try real tailoring for him. Tailoring for me, on the few occasions I’ve done it, is hard enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good to see another sewing family. My wife is just finishing up a pair of slacks where a friend of ours, a retired cutter (cut fabric for tailors) from Liverpool/Everton made the pattern. No adjustments necessary, amazing fit.

    Regarding Bialik’s video, she’s quite “in your face”, isn’t she? Just might not be entirely helpful on the dating scene, to put it mildly, nor would it be helpful, IMO, in her former marriage. (or am I being too “Minnesotan” this way?)

    Regarding her advice, one thing that strikes me about any “less personal” dating service is that you necessarily have no clue whether the person of your interest is “for real”, and you necessarily lack the social support that often makes a relationship work, or not. My worst relational mistake was made in such a context, and given that Bialik’s ex-husband grew up Mormon, I have to wonder if hers did, too.

    Mrs. Bubba and I, on the other hand, had a lot of support/encouragement from people who knew us both–so we had confidence the other was the genuine article.

    Long and short of it is that I agree to a point with her conclusions, but I’m not following how she got there. We all “shop” for all kinds of things, including mates, but the problem in my mind is when we don’t know what we’re buying, not that we’re shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mrs. Bubba and I, on the other hand, had a lot of support/encouragement from people who knew us both–so we had confidence the other was the genuine article.

    Same with us. Our respective fathers were skeptical, but… on paper (or had it been electronic, like now), it looked pretty doomed, LOL. And Lord knows it was far from ideal in execution and a whole lot of other things. But there was a broad network of people and history on both sides so that at least we knew that each of us were who the other said they were. Also, there was a lot of vouching for the fact that we were both decent human beings.

    Long and short of it is that I agree to a point with her conclusions, but I’m not following how she got there. We all “shop” for all kinds of things, including mates, but the problem in my mind is when we don’t know what we’re buying, not that we’re shopping.

    Again, as I said to StMichael:

    Yes, she missed the fact that we’re all shopping people in the broadest sense, whether for mates or friends, or whatever. But still…and I repeat, that’s different from scrolling through profiles in the same way you would as you scroll through competing brands of a particular product on Amazon, which is where we are now.

    Like any unbeliever, she leaves out some of the intricacies of how she reached those conclusions. But the fact that she reached them at all is (to my mind) worth noting in the same way we all acknowledge the merits of arguments presented by Jordan Peterson or Camille Paglia.

    Perfect? No! far from it. But I have the Word and the Gospel. I found her video useful because it can speak to a broader audience and hopefully inject a bit of sanity into the overall conversation.

    At least, that was my thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can see it that way, or I can see it about the same way as someone shopping the online fashion houses–more or less looking at the style, color, and price, but not so much at construction, materials, and the like. We might say that Tinder/online dating is the dating equivalent of seeing the bright red dress on the surgically enhanced model in a climate controlled studio and thinking that we will look and feel just as good when we’re wearing it.

    Either that, or I am as cynical about American shopping habits as I am about online dating habits. :^)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. ‘Kay.

    Been thinking about the couple’s I know of both in life and have long term correspondence with online who wouldn’t have picked their mate based solely on an online profile.

    I think I might be the only one who was -mostly- my guy’s type from day one.

    Most of the couple’s initial meetings were those where the lady wasn’t exactly what the guy had envisioned: too short, not philosophical enough, too old by a year or two, etc.

    And those couples are among the most solid and obviously smitten I have encountered.

    Like

  11. The shopping for people part isn’t working out well. Isn’t that why the manosphere have complained about women evaluating men with “checklists”? Or treating a coffee date as a job interview?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. E: She gets a lot of things right in this video. And it was pretty funny…good enough that I was able to overlook that inane crack about “the patriarchy”.

    Hey the patriarchy comment was funny and attractive, I wanted to take her out to dinner right then for the humor alone…but she needs to go to some kind of finishing school first…

    MB: she’s quite “in your face”, isn’t she? Just might not be entirely helpful on the dating scene, to put it mildly.

    My thoughts exactly. I could tolerate her for about 2 minutes then I started to get irritated. She’s smart and authentic…just not smart enough to play female…

    H: She’s got sense, she needs the courage of her true convictions.

    Agree.

    H: Ladies don’t leer. Neither do gentlemen.

    Look, I’m all for earthy, healthy, male-female relations. No prude. But ladies should peek and men stare. Any “lady” who stares at me is gonna wilt under my return…at least, I’ve never seen one hold up yet…the kitten does not stare down the lion…some kind of violation…

    H: I didn’t know your wife tailored! Does she have a blog?

    She can tailor and darn but that’s about it. She’s not good enough for a blog…she doesn’t like it nearly as much as x-stitch I’m afraid. Been trying to get her to make slacks and shirts but she lacks the courage. Me, absolutely amazed what females can do with a needle as I get antsy just watching my 2 yo daughter who can sit for hours poking at small things. The difference between boys and girls at 2 is flat-out amazing. I’d rather do 20 hours of hard labor with a sledge than 1 hour of needlework. Serious genetics going on here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It isnt working well. You’re right. The combination of poor social skills, narcissistic tendencies, and heads down looking at phones constantly is bad enough.

    Toss in the substitution of dating profiles for looking at people and saying hello, and…

    Like

  14. SMK’s tougher than me in how much in your face he can take…. :^)

    Saw a hilarious bit on the feed, a Huffington Post writer commenting on her worst date…and all I could see was “OK, you swiped this guy, never talked with him but just texted him, went to your psychiatrist to prepare for your date instead of your beautician, and were done with your first beer before he got to the bar….and you’re wondering why it isn’t working so well?”

    Time for her to give Grandma and Grandpa a call and see how she might shift her approach…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. For those who may not know: Bialik returned to earn her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, in 2007. Her dissertation was an investigation of hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome .

    I’ve heard that she was initially hired as a consultant to the Big Bang Theory to make sure they got the science right, and then got converted to cast member. Can’t confirm that this is true, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Muslims became experts at tiling as decoration because their belief system prohibits them from displaying the human form. Apparently for good reason. Hard to suffer from comparing this one to all the rest you’ve seen if “all the rest” is limited to family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That Prader-Willi syndrome link is a good dose of reality for those on the internet who think that others don’t live up to the standard of “whatever” that they set only because the other is weak-willed. There are a lot of reasons folks have weight problems other than just because they are weak-willed. But that is a subject for a different rabbit hole.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. . There are a lot of reasons folks have weight problems other than just because they are weak-willed. But that is a subject for a different rabbit hole.

    Good morning, Richard.

    The Practical Conservative and her husband recently did a podcast together discussing some of this. For instance, the car-centric life of the suburban mom. Including those of us who homeschool.

    I have taken to referring to the physiques as “suburban bodies”, which I think applies. My current read is a book outlining the culinary history of Americans from the 1920s through the Great Depression, so stay tuned.

    Anyway, TPC and T.W.O.’s podcast can be listened to here:

    https://thepracticalconservative.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/big-fat-podcast/

    Like

  18. Speaking of star Hollywood actresses with good sense:

    https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a22993869/jamie-lee-curtis-confidence-secrets/

    My favorite bit was how she has maintained her marriage of 33 years:

    “Don’t leave. There’s a recovery phrase that says, ‘Stay on the bus…the scenery will change.’ You think you’re having a bad week, but stay on the bus, because one of these days you’ll look out the window and it’ll be beautiful. I think it can apply to almost anything where you feel unhappy in that moment. I’m not a wild romantic. I’m a realist. I respect him. And I just don’t leave.”

    I didn’t need this advice, as I’d already figured it out, but man am I glad this is written in a secular publication with a large reader base. Very well said, Mrs. Curtis!

    Like

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