Wandering clicky-clicky about the internet, I encountered an article: How To Talk To Girls On Twitter Without Coming Off Like A Creepy Rando.
My first thought – aside from a wince at the word Girls in the headline – was: Can’t be done.
Anyone predisposed toward labeling people as creepy randos won’t be dissuaded by anything the randos might say or do. Really, it goes the other way: any attempt to demonstrate non-creepiness or non-rando-ness (if that’s a word) just digs the hole a little deeper.
The article lists a half-dozen examples of creepy-rando behavior, that aspiring nice guys absolutely must avoid. They’re all (inversions of) fairly obvious courtesies one should extend – not just to women on the internet; but also to men on the internet, and everybody out in the real world.
- Know your audience.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Mind your own business.
Too little attention is given on the internet to basic good manners – the rules we’re all supposed to learn, starting shortly after we finish toilet-training. That’s because framing the discussion as icky stuff men do that women have to put up with will get more page-views than something less confrontational or more inclusive, and the notion that women on the internet might lack courtesy, or might misbehave, is anathema.
(Myself, I am well beyond the target demographic for that article, much closer to harmless geezer than creepy rando, and not at all interested in using the internet as a free dating service. So the advice in that article isn’t terribly relevant or useful to me.)