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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"There's a reason it's called 'fishing' and not 'catching'." - Tilghman Island fisherman's response to someone who chartered his boat for the day and wanted a full refund because his party came back empty-handed.

I loved living there. Extremely rich in what I like to call book material. But that's another story. Stories.

Trolling. The kind where you trail bait behind the boat hoping to catch fish. Not the hairy little monster that lives under a bridge. It's like someone used the word, others didn't quite get the point of 'troll', went with the other meaning and now we're stuck with the hairy monster. "Don't feed the trolls." Like Columbus' mistake and now we have America "Indians".

I joined Match.com. They'll warn you right up front to never wire money but I wasn't expecting a full scale assault. This isn't stray women here and there trying to make a dishonest buck, this is organized. If you stick with them long enough it becomes obvious that many of them are reading off the same script.

But before the script comes tactics.

The profiles are almost always 34 years old, short on words with a glam face shot.

They contact you first and they're never local.

Overuse of your name like a buddy-buddy used car salesman, "How are you this morning, Dark?"

Then the conversation deepens...

"What do you seek in a relationship?" Not "What are you looking for?" It comes across as stilted, English as a second language stilted. I have to refrain from responding, "I seek the Grail, oh wise one."

Then they invariably let you know what they seek, "The most important thing in any relationship, especially a new one, is trust. Wouldn't you agree, Dark?" You can see where this will eventually lead.

But here's my all-time favorite, "Tell me of your love knowledge." What the fuck is 'love knowledge'? And this one term was used on three separate occasions. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, three times is enemy action. They're all working off the same identical script with hardly any variation.

I find this attempted manipulation absolutely fascinating. I picture a dimly lit cellar, weasel-eyed women (and men) with dirty fingernails clicking away at their keyboards. The room smells of cabbage...

And there has to be money being made at this. That's scary. I had one texting back and forth for over two hours. I have that kind of time to waste but they're working. It's obviously been practiced, proven and this approach they're taking has been fine tuned to lead to the best results.
 

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You know what would be fun to do with people working off a script in text? Especially people you doubt...share a cultural reference point with you? Just start quoting love song lyrics at them.

"Tell me of your love knowledge"

I gotta take a little time. A little time to think things over.

"Okay."

I better read between the lines. In case I need it when I'm older.

"How old are you/You're not old"

Through the clouds I see love shine. It keeps me warm as life grows colder.

Etc. Etc.

Then just start going....I wanna know what love issssss...I wan you to shooow me...

I think this is what I'll do with my spare time if I ever wind up single again. From my convent. In fact, now that I know this entertainment option exists, my husband had better watch his step.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A convent...pfft.

Hey, I have a good read for you: Elmore Leonard, Gold Coast. I promise you'll laugh out loud.
 

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I picture a dimly lit cellar, weasel-eyed women (and men) with dirty fingernails clicking away at their keyboards. The room smells of cabbage...
I picture an ugly man, with his ugly smile, he is losing his hair as age comes to knock on the door. He's some kind of perverse coward who thinks the world owes him something, so he likes to take advantage of people, but at a distance that he won't be hurt.

As a James Veitch fan I would love to make an account to troll scammers, but m gf wouldn't trust m intentions, lol.
 

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34! Jeez I was looking for someone a bit younger, have you got any sisters?
Troll trolling is a wonderfully subtle art form!
 

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The thing is, they (Match.com) must know. It can't be hard to trace IPs and block them. But hey, it brings in men (=$), so let's create fake spam reports, and replace our poor victims by the same people but with a new hot profile pic so we can trap these people again.

I had a friend (male, 21 or so at the time) who had this online job, chatting to poor unsuspecting men on dating websites. Maybe I should ask him about love knowledge.
 

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A convent...pfft.

Hey, I have a good read for you: Elmore Leonard, Gold Coast. I promise you'll laugh out loud.
That sounds super fun and a good change from the one about wry Newfoundland despair I'm reading now. So I'm in once this one's done. (Also in honour of Raylan Givens.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had a friend (male, 21 or so at the time) who had this online job, chatting to poor unsuspecting men on dating websites. Maybe I should ask him about love knowledge.
You must ask now. Where are you located?
 

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If you're on Match.com you've only got yourself to blame for having your time wasted.

Try Tinder, considering how fast you bounced back from your wife's death you should be set with that.

Ah, the curative powers of grief/pity porn threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
If you're on Match.com you've only got yourself to blame for having your time wasted.

Try Tinder, considering how fast you bounced back from your wife's death you should be set with that.

Ah, the curative powers of grief/pity porn threads.
You're an angry, angry person. The funny part is you think it's the world and everyone in it that's making you miserable.

Here's an idea: Instead of attempting to drive everyone out of the forum that you have a problem with, why don't you just leave?

You can't even put your own head in order and you're going to tell me I'm going about my life all wrong? Fuck you, Nell. Fuck you straight to Hell.
 

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@DarkBarlow

I know you ventured into this experiment knowing that the internet is a haven for ugly, broken people. And tragically, said people wouldn't know love if it reached out and slapped them in their wounded maws with their very favourite (but always screaming to themselves in void-driven silicone despair) dildos. So watch yourself out there, and in the meantime, we'll pray for them.
 

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considering how fast you bounced back from your wife's death
If you read, really read, how he spoke of Her, what he has done for Her... these mere glimpses of what we know is far more fantastic; the man can screw a hundred different women, marry and divorce another twelve, and never should we even begin to doubt the life left in his love for Her, forever sheltered in a special place, untouchable. Then. Now. And for the next God knows how many years his own heart can keep that loving piece of Her's left alive.

You should be ashamed. Or maybe I should pity your emotional incapacity.

Even I know that.
 

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You're an angry, angry person. The funny part is you think it's the world and everyone in it that's making you miserable.

Here's an idea: Instead of attempting to drive everyone out of the forum that you have a problem with, why don't you just leave?

You can't even put your own head in order and you're going to tell me I'm going about my life all wrong? Fuck you, Nell. Fuck you straight to Hell.
Ehh... you know you can't really emotionally hurt someone if they don't respect you, right? Make a Discord group if you're so butthurt about me being here and beam up everyone. Or go to the INFJ Discord.

Not really claiming anything about how you're going about your life (I don't know and really don't want to know... Jesus Christ) , and I know you've been here since the dawn of time and are some kind of forum darling here, but this is just...gross. It's been what? Two months since that Litany of Grief ? Three? Kind of jarring.... must be fun to disclose that on first dates.

I actually remember the first few times I heard ya talking about your wife circa 2017, all you ever mentioned of her time and time again was how handy it was to have someone to do your chores for you...I knew it was in jest but it was....gross, and the grossness of reading that stuff never really left me. I figured since you toned it down towards early 2018 maybe you had matured as a person, but here it is again.

I guess rebounding is cheaper than therapy. Here you go:

Hit Meetup.com, pick some key interests, attend the meetings and you won't have to deal with online scamming companies and you'll make more organic connections. If you stick to online sites you have to mass message everyone you find and play the waiting game AND the detective game because that's sadly how it works for dudes. Tinder is simpler and much faster since it's for hookups but some folks actually find relationships there and marry. The less you keep interactions online, the better.


If you read, really read, how he spoke of Her, what he has done for Her... these mere glimpses of what we know is far more fantastic; the man can screw a hundred different women, marry and divorce another twelve, and never should we even begin to doubt the life left in his love for Her, forever sheltered in a special place, untouchable. Then. Now. And for the next God knows how many years his own heart can keep that loving piece of Her's left alive.

You should be ashamed. Or maybe I should pity your emotional incapacity.

Even I know that.
Why don't you tell us How You Really Feel, Nip? I'm shocked, I thought we were besties.

You say "Even I know that" , but if anything you would "Know" this crap better than anyone. Your forum tenure has been mostly you manicuring yourself as some sort of HSP emotionally savvy INTP anomaly after all.

Also, can you tell all that about this dude with unwavering certainty from a bunch of text in a forum? Would you stake your life on it? Do you know how many people online wave yarns like what was in that entire thread for GoFundMes on the regular? Or by 4chan copypasta writers just to kill time?

I read the whole thing, even past the point he himself called it grief porn. The fun thing about forums is: Everyone manicures a persona. All you know about the people in it is what they choose to reveal and what others reveal upon betrayal, and even then there's a shitload that goes unsaid.

What people say only matters when cross-referenced against their interests, motivations and actions. If anything, this forum taught me that better than years, and years of real life socializing, dating, friendships, team exercises, projects, etc.

It's funny, as far as this forum goes, I invariably get "pitied" by those who have zero business pitying others.


@DarkBarlow

I know you ventured into this experiment knowing that the internet is a haven for ugly, broken people. And tragically, said people wouldn't know love if it reached out and slapped them in their wounded maws with their very favourite (but always screaming to themselves in void-driven silicone despair) dildos. So watch yourself out there, and in the meantime, we'll pray for them.
Right, you've been on and off passive aggressively trying to get my attention for a good month now. Ya got it.

If by "love" you mean the thing that turned you into the cringey, oversharing mid-life-crisis that frequented these forums a year ago and into this creature who seems to think passive aggressive pecking order nonsense is how mentally healthy adults convey anything, it's probs for the best if I don't get exposed to it.

If you mean actual love, nah, I know it thoroughly, and I experience it and give it daily. I just don't broadcast it here.

PS: Give the Victorian Era attitude about sex toys a rest. We get it, your husband's dick is the axis of your identity. But it's 2019, and fixating on that just makes you sound insecure as fuck about your own sex life.
 

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I dunno, Nell. I think you are really at your most lucid when you're not lashing out at others and are turning a mirror on yourself. Like this:

I've self harmed for various reasons, many of them contradictory, so I can't necessarily zero in on yours: Switching mental pain with physical, an inability to release via crying, thus resorting to bleeding instead, punishing myself due to the conviction that I deserve nothing but contempt, shaming myself by creating visible scars to show anyone who tries to get close so they know to turn back, desensitizing myself to work my way towards suicide, being so numb I need something extreme to remind myself what it's like to feel anything... there's something for every occasion.
That's probably the most believable thing I've ever read from you. Too frequently, though, your posts are about how awful everyone else is and sound rather tinny. That hollow clang is probably why so many people have said they pity you. (If indeed, as you say, they have said that.)

Still, if it's true that you're leading a real-life full of love now, that's good to hear. However (and here is why this is all relevant to the subject at hand) that experience of human love has not seemed to impart a basic ability to recognize that you're being very cruel when you hassle someone vulnerable and processing grief.

Meanwhile, @DarkBarlow is not getting some kind of favourite child preferential treatment in an unfair system stacked against you. He's just artistic and brilliant and has inspired other people in a way that you clearly don't appreciate. This thread is just another outlet for that, and you don't have to like it, but it sure looks self-destructive again for you to weigh in negatively on a game you don't like, giving unsolicited advice to someone you say you don't care about, just because you're inexplicably compelled to.

Your posts suck attention from this thread, and logically, you shouldn't even be here, since there should be nothing here for you. Whatever you need is not in a clever thread a thread about paid dating. So how apt is the name of this thread given your behaviour? (Sometimes artists can be prescient that way.)
 

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I dunno, Nell. I think you are really at your most lucid when you're not lashing out at others and are turning a mirror on yourself. Like this:



That's probably the most believable thing I've ever read from you. Too frequently, though, your posts are about how awful everyone else is and sound rather tinny. That hollow clang is probably why so many people have said they pity you. (If indeed, as you say, they have said that.)

Still, if it's true that you're leading a real-life full of love now, that's good to hear. However (and here is why this is all relevant to the subject at hand) that experience of human love has not seemed to impart a basic ability to recognize that you're being very cruel when you hassle someone vulnerable and processing grief.

Meanwhile, @DarkBarlow is not getting some kind of favourite child preferential treatment in an unfair system stacked against you. He's just artistic and brilliant and has inspired other people in a way that you clearly don't appreciate. This thread is just another outlet for that, and you don't have to like it, but it sure looks self-destructive again for you to weigh in negatively on a game you don't like, giving unsolicited advice to someone you say you don't care about, just because you're inexplicably compelled to.

Your posts suck attention from this thread, and logically, you shouldn't even be here, since there should be nothing here for you. Whatever you need is not in a clever thread a thread about paid dating. So how apt is the name of this thread given your behaviour? (Sometimes artists can be prescient that way.)





You know, you say there's nothing for me here.... while transplanting my posts from another thread, bringing it all here to further shed attention on me.... I'm sure you see it right? You kinda fit the title just as well as I do. Speaking of which, congrats on winning your petty passive aggressive bullshit game.

And predictably you're filling in blanks with off-center assumptions and coloring shit with your own patronizing hot takes, and trying to clarify anything will make things worse.

I don't particularly care if Barlow is the reincarnation of Mahatma Ghandi himself, he could be Jesus himself, if you present to damn near anyone the situation of a man who essentially did an extremely emotional and involved exposé on his wife's stage 4 cancer journey up to her death on an online forum, only to open up a new thread a couple months later about dipping into online dating....you're going to get a fair number of "Yikes" to say the least. I certainly did when asking if acting as I did in this thread was wrong of me. It brings prior sentiments into question, as does talking about her as though she's a living appliance.

If actually pointing that out is fucked up so be it. I think it's just as fucked up to act as he has, grief or not.

If that gets your panties in a twist I'm sure there's a ton of other old personal posts of mine you can canvas this thread with if you want. Anything that you post online is a calculated risk, after all.

Which is probably why you rarely ever posted anything that wasn't self-aggrandizing.
 

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Why don't you tell us How You Really Feel, Nip? I'm shocked, I thought we were besties.

You say "Even I know that" , but if anything you would "Know" this crap better than anyone. Your forum tenure has been mostly you manicuring yourself as some sort of HSP emotionally savvy INTP anomaly after all.
You are friends with that guy?

Also, can you tell all that about this dude with unwavering certainty from a bunch of text in a forum? Would you stake your life on it? Do you know how many people online wave yarns like what was in that entire thread for GoFundMes on the regular? Or by 4chan copypasta writers just to kill time?
Then we must presume the same level of (un)certainty for the reactions to it.

I read the whole thing, even past the point he himself called it grief porn. The fun thing about forums is: Everyone manicures a persona. All you know about the people in it is what they choose to reveal and what others reveal upon betrayal, and even then there's a shitload that goes unsaid.

What people say only matters when cross-referenced against their interests, motivations and actions. If anything, this forum taught me that better than years, and years of real life socializing, dating, friendships, team exercises, projects, etc.
That's a very good point.

But I think the level of paranoia can't be a constant. There are things/situations which pulverize, or reduce to the 'reptilian base', the individual specifics of our personalities. (For example, Death.)
It's not always right to go from the full package. Sometimes we just assume the best, like an absolution.

It's funny, as far as this forum goes, I invariably get "pitied" by those who have zero business pitying others.
 
 

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Back in 2011, I went on a dating site because I thought I was ready to date again. This was after a huge turmoil in my life—I sincerely mean huge and I will not speak of the details here. It took a lot for me to do this. What persuaded me the most was curiosity as in how it worked for some—the finding of another that became couples. Any-who, it was quite an experience and, no, I didn’t find—I wasn’t there long.

Here’s how I didn’t troll a troll:
This gentleman sent me a message. I didn’t respond. His profile and message was ok. A week later he sent another. I thought persistent. I still didn’t respond. Two days later another message telling me off royally for not responding because he really wanted to meet me and he was actually a good guy. I thought—oh, hun, I was not really interested in you—this anger has sealed it. I got to see what he was really like without any interaction at all. He could not even take a hint by my non-response. So, yep, this is how I trolled a troll without trolling—one could say, eh.

Yeah, I know that I could have just simply told him that I wasn’t interested, but I didn’t know him and felt that I owed no one on that site a thing. A little cold eh, but self-protected, and at that time I needed self-protection majorly—I was raw and vulnerable due the circumstances leading up to this event.
 

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Sympathy for the Cabbage-Brewers

I wonder whether we’re too quick to assume the people being paid to scam single men via texting are really that different from anything we’ve seen in the past.

In days gone by, that person might have been an encyclopedia or vacuum cleaner salesman. Maybe they knew the kids wouldn’t really read the encyclopedias. Maybe they knew the vacuum they were selling would break before Mother’s Valium prescription renewed twice.

But whether they were self-aware enough to know they were scamming, or whether they actually believed in their wares, they would have presented the “pitch” the same way. “This will make you educated and successful later in life.” “Your clean house will earn you the respect of your neighbourhood.” “Be a man and smoke these.” It was always an emotional draw, whether it was for toothpaste or cars: they were selling ego. They were peddling little moments of existential security.

These cabbage-soaked rooms are really doing the same thing. The fact is, as we careen into 2020, there are increasingly more people whose primary interface with the world is on their screens, an audience of one. There is no husband (or wife) to impress here, no grandchildren to fret over, friends are contractual and tenuous relationships that barely qualify as such. So the scammers fill a void. They offer to take up space in someone’s life and confirm what they want to feel about themselves. It’s actually a time-honoured offer, though it’s tailor-made for the present.

Perhaps it prickles us because it is unselective: the scammers will fluff up the self-esteem of anyone who pays them--just like a prostitute. I think we may be harder on the scammers, however, because at least with the prostitute, people are getting laid. Yet even the people with fake online “girlfriends” and “boyfriends” are making an exchange. Our objection can’t be that they keep their “clients” on the end of a hook and lie to them, because I’m sure prostitutes string along their favourite Johns. So do bosses, employees, service providers and many other more mundane contractual relationships. We exist within an economy based on lies, so it’s certainly not unique in that.

Not to mention, in this context, we can’t really object on the basis of honesty because they’d be spoiling the aura if they pointed out that they were lying. They’re being paid to create/confirm a fantasy. They wouldn’t be good at their job if they told the truth.

Think of it this way: if everyone looking for love just wanted to care for someone else, there are enough people who need caring about in the world for people to just walk out their doors, find someone, and forgive enough to accept them as they are. That’s what you wind up doing anyway, once you find your dreamboat, once you get past the sales pitch we all present to one another at the start. There’s always a whole lot of forgiveness involved.

Or you can pay one way or the other, and learn to tune out the smell of cabbage.
 

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Yes, absolutely yes @Eryngo . There is nothing like the human touch, so to speak (and, I’m not just talking about sex). I never went back nor will I ever. I did satisfy my curiosity though. Sometimes, we have to trudge through the mud to stand and walk again.
 
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