Thank you, Diablo Cody, for that new meaning of WWW (and thank you Kelly for suggesting I read Candy Girl... I'm really enjoying it so far!).
So, I frequent one of those sites that hosts all sorts of random games (for free, or for paid membership). I'm a sucker for a good puzzle game. Or, pretty much any game really... I like games!
What I don't like is the chat feature on the SIDE of the game. Yes, I know, I can minimize the chat. I often do. But then I can't see the progress I'm making toward certain goals, and then I get sad, etc etc.
Recently, I saw a conversation between two members where one was seemingly "hurt" because some woman he had been talking to via the site refused to send him a photo of herself. The other member commented on how "weird" that was, and how this other woman seemed nice, but something was clearly off.
Seriously? I had to minimize the chat because I had several theories on why someone wouldn't send a photo, and didn't want to get into it at the time. However, let me offer some of those theories here:
1) Maybe she is self conscious. This is probably the most over-looked explanation out there. I know I would be hesitant to send a photo of myself to a stranger. What if he expected me to be hotter? Or thinner? Or have longer hair? Or whatever? I'd rather he just keep whatever pleasant image he has of me in his mind and continue talking to me, rather than judging me based on my appearance and throwing everything else out the window because I don't match what he already has imagined me to be.
2) Maybe she lied. Another obvious reason... People lie on the internet. Maybe she's not 5'9 and blonde like she said. Maybe she's 5'2, morbidly obese and has lost all her teeth. Clearly she wouldn't want to send a picture, as this would give herself away. Duh.
3) Maybe she's a he. Along those same lines, maybe SHE isn't a SHE after all. Maybe HE just wanted some companionship, and knew that (sadly) most men in chat rooms are just looking for female attention.
4) Maybe she doesn't have any recent photos. Maybe she's lost 30 pounds since the last one and doesn't want you to see her the way she no longer sees herself. Maybe she doesn't have a good picture from the past 5 years and doesn't want to give you the impression that she's lying about her age. Just saying; these things happen.
5) Maybe she just doesn't want to send a picture. Even if she's been perfectly honest, has self esteem up the wazoo, etc... Doesn't mean she wants to send you a picture. Maybe she doesn't want to play into your perverted sexual fantasies by sending you a picture so you can get every imagined detail right. Maybe she was annoyed because you asked so many times for a picture. Maybe she just doesn't care.
Many explanations are pretty harmless, really. They range from the simple to the incredulous, but each has meaning to someone. The internet has given us all a blank mask. We can choose who we want to be at any given point. It's an exciting, but terrifying, reality.
I won't lie. I've been duped. Bad. So I really, truly understand not wanting to send photos of yourself to someone you'll likely never even meet. Maybe it's best that we all just live in our imaginations online and ground ourselves more firmly in the reality of the world around us.
Pipe dreams, right? Oh well.