Funnily, online interactions don’t sap my energy in the same way that real life ones do. I assume it’s related to the fact that I have total control over them. I get to choose who I interact with, how, when, the duration, and about what. This makes me happy because I get personal, social and community interaction on my terms and that works great for me.
Here’s a strange thing though.
I have found the process of talking to respondents to my personal ad utterly exhausting.
I’ve found it really hard work, not to mention emotionally draining and totally energy sapping.
This is strange to me, because for the most part, it’s just email. It should be no big deal. But somehow it is.
I think the difference is in the focus and intent in the ‘personal ad process’.
Normally my online interactions are easy, fun, and light, and if I start a conversation with someone new, it’s because something somewhere sparked a topic that one of us wanted to delve into a little further. Once that topic’s done, the conversation either continues with a natural segue into something else, or it doesn’t. If it goes elsewhere it’s due to mutual interest in ‘whatever we are talking about’, and if it goes nowhere it just dies a natural death due to lack of interest. Either way, there’s no expectation there on either side.
With the personal ad respondents, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like it’s my ‘job’ to figure out compatibility, to do a bunch of work to get to the point where I either tell them ‘no, I don’t think we’re compatible’ as quickly as possible so as not to waste either of our time, or to try and tease out commonalities if I think there might be something there.
I’ve been finding the entire process oddly unnatural, and really emotionally and socially draining. It could be argued that if I’m talking to someone I really like, it shouldn’t feel like that, but the feeling isn’t about a particular individual, it’s about the entire process as a whole.
I deactivated my CM profile to avoid having to politely reply to any more emails. I was finding myself sending cranky responses to perfectly polite and nice emails from perfectly polite and nice men. I recognised that feeling as *exactly the same feeling* as I get when I’ve just had enough of people out in the real world, and need time to myself. I get irritable and everyone pisses me off and if I have to make nice with *one more person* my head will explode!!
I’m really not cut out for this.