Dear Noah: What's 'Linked In' and am I supposed to join it for chicks? – Claude, Barry, Ontario

Dear Claude,

I admire your enterprising spirit, bro, but here's the sitch: The chicks on LinkedIn aren't looking for a boyfriend. They're looking for a job. The irony, of course, is that from the timbre of your inquiry, I'm guessing you're probably a big annoying time-consuming responsibility waiting to happen to someone. That's cool and everything, but it's probably too abstract a concept to sell 'em on. Think you came to the wrong place, Claude.

Still, let's talk about it: The internet. Shit's crazy. People are really getting into it now, you know? Place is going wild ... 24/7, man. I'm telling you, it's hot! You watch enough iPad commercials and it's only a matter of time before you've convinced yourself this hyperlinking thing's solved everything. Including, you know, the whole primal-urge-to-connect-meaningfully-with-one-another deal.

Ironically, the rest of modern television is one billion hours of people weeping inconsolably and hoarding cats in isolation.

I don't get it either, man — but everybody's always talking about how hard it is to meet people. Oh, Jesus, do they talk about it. “It's so hard,” they say. “It gets harder every day.” They look so dejected and disgusting. “People,” they kvetch and complain — at lunch and on long walks when you'd hoped you'd just keep it light and get into this Te'o thing. “I'm so lonely — where are all the people!?” Meanwhile, there's a person right here listening to this garbage. There's fucking people everywhere. The Earth is literally swarming with people. We're packed like sardines into this bitch. People, people, all the time, in every corner, as far as you can see. On the bus, the grocery store, Starbucks, bowling alley, elevator, whatever. There's so many people, in life, forever, high and low, that people arrange to go elsewhere, to where there are fewer people, as a means of recreation.

So what's with the sobbing and carrying on and all the websites and the sad face and the therapist? It's not that complicated: We just think everybody else is really shitty. We're moving powerfully through life, surrounded by people, and we are looking them in the face and saying: “Mmm, fuck it, nah.” Everybody is unimpressive and crappy. Not into it. All this stuff sucks. Do I do it myself? Obviously, pal. I see women on the street, at the office, maybe at my favourite pizzeria, and I think: Shitty, shitty, shitty, shitty. What a bunch of shitty pieces of shit. Weird nose. Bad shoes. Probably, like, doesn't understand stuff. Looks like she dances at parties. (Shitty.) Are they thinking the same about me? As if there were another possibility? I'm a piece of shit. Lowlife, big ears, etcetera. Feeling's mutual. Don't take my slice.

Given all of this human contact, always, everywhere, for everyone, with absolutely no satisfaction, what could the internet possibly solve? Do these internet daters think it grants access to a secret cache of human beings who do not ordinarily appear in the waking world? Who do you think you're gonna find there? It's gonna be the nasty bitch from the pizza parlour. If you're lucky.

Riddle me this, my dude: How come the internet keeps getting more and more awesome, and the divorce rate continues to climb? Surprise! We still think everybody but ourselves is a cocksucking ugly piece of gutter garbage. Turns out there's a ton of people out there, and they're all just about as lousy as the ones we've got over here. Unlimited communication or not, the best feeling in the world is still telling someone to get outta your face forever! But now, I guess, we can get to that quicker, and also in a comfortable chair. Bottom line? If you want a relationship, you don't need an app. You need apathy.

Logging Out,

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