So there’s a story that’s being widely discussed on the Internet today, and that story is this: Girl makes online dating profile. Girl goes on OK Cupid date with guy. Girl finds out guy is the world champion of card-based fantasy role-playing game “Magic: The Gathering.” Girl publicly rejects and mocks guy for being a nerd. Oof.
The full post is over at Gizmodo, but the meat of it is this:
At dinner I got straight down to it. Did he still play? “Yes.” Strike one. How often? “I’m preparing for a tournament this weekend.” Strike two. Who did he hang out with? “I’ve met all my best friends through Magic.” Strike three. I smiled and nodded and listened. Eventually I even felt a little bit bad that I didn’t know shit about the game. Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire. This is what happens, I thought, when you leave things out of your online profile.
Maybe I’m an OKCupid asshole for calling it that way. Maybe I’m shallow for not being able to see past Jon’s world title. I’ll own that. But there’s a larger point here: that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature; one person’s Magic is another person’s fingernail biting, or sports obsession, or verbal tic. No online dating profile in the world is comprehensive enough to highlight every person’s peccadillo, or anticipate the inane biases that each of us lugs around. There’s no snapshot in the world that can account for our snap judgments.
Her point about snap judgments is pretty true; I know that there are many seemingly “shallow” things I have no reservations about rejecting a guy over, because I want to date someone I have things in common with. I want to date someone who has a similar sense of humor to me, appreciates the music I care about, makes me horny, etc. If your interests are vastly different from mine, or if looking at your body doesn’t make me want to hump it, there’s no sense wasting anyone’s time.
But to publicly make fun of someone for failing to meet your specifications when he was never anything but nice to you, and furthermore, to say he “infiltrates” his way onto dates with people, as if someone like him is fundamentally un-dateable? That just seems a little bit mean. (And you wonder why there’s so much nerd-on-hipster hatred!) Furthermore, to do so on a site that’s all about gadgets seems a tad…hypocritical. Or, as my friend Chris put it, “it’s one thing to be freaking Samantha. It’s another to brag about it on a site that posts leaked pictures of iPhones.”
I guess what I’m saying is, high school is over. It’s great that you’ve decided you don’t want to be a nerd anymore (or at least, not the kind that plays RPGs?), but being in touch with some semi-imaginary cultural zeitgeist does not give you the right to pick on perfectly decent people who just happen to be different from you. Or at least, not in any public arena. Your horribleness should be the secret shame of you and a few trusted associates. Everything is fair game when you’re three cosmos deep at brunch, amirite ladies?