mattbell: (Default)
[personal profile] mattbell
There's been a trend for several years now to lower the minimum effort required for social interaction.  Emailing is easier than letter-writing, blogging is easier than emailing, tweeting and texting are easier than blogging.  I predicted a couple of years back that soon services would come along and automate the horrible burden of tweeting mundane details of your life.

Now there's a new service that provides scripted sexy text messaging.  This way, you don't have to actually think about what you find attractive about your partner; you just choose between message "a" and "b".  Any button-pushing monkey can do that.  The dialogue system reminds me of early 1990s adventure games.  Of course the reason those dialogues were limited is because you were dealing with a primitive NPC (non-player-character) with no artificial intelligence.  In this case, you're dealing with two humans who (presumably) love each other, or at least want to get in each other's pants.

I doubt this is the decline of Western civilization; after all, Hallmark pre-packaged sentiment cards have been around for a while.  But I think if I found myself unable to carry on an actual conversation about my sexual desires with a partner, it would be time to move on, not use a handy crutch.  

Date: 2011-01-04 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
> look

There is a book on the floor.

To the west lies a chamber door, and you can hear the crackle of a soft fire.

From the east you can detect the faint odor of chocolate and baked goods.

Below you lies a trap door; you can hear the clanking of chains in the distance.

> pick up book

You pick up the book: it is entitled "Romance for Dummies."

> i

You are carrying:
A lantern.
A book, entitled "Romance for Dummies."
A short length of rope
A bottle of chocolate sauce

> down

Date: 2011-01-04 09:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-01-05 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Crutches can be useful for the shy, as long as they're seen as temporary.

Date: 2011-01-05 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suppose, though it seems like this particular one is too explicit to be used on a casual acquaintance (unlike okcupid's "woo" feature) and thus it seems strange to be dating someone yet still not that comfortable with them.

Date: 2011-01-05 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Speaking for myself personally, I get comfortable talking about sex when I'm in bed with someone, or talking about it with them in the abstract, a lot quicker than I get comfortable talking about the sexy thoughts I'm having about them when they're not around.

Date: 2011-01-05 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To give benefit of the doubt to the altruists who created the service, I've texted dirty to many people. Most of them were struck dumb and completely lost the ability to keep up their end the first few times we did the sexy texting thing. The service as a training tool could be quite valuable to a lot of shy and not-so-highly imaginative people.

I do also see your point about the world being reduced to a choose-your-own-adventure game, and that scares me.


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