I absolutely love complimenting strangers. I hardly even think about it. It's a natural response for me. I'm walking down the street, I see someone with a really cute hair cut, and I say, "Hi! I love your hair!" and they say, "Thanks a lot!" and then we say goodbye and go on to do whatever it is we were going to.
It's wonderful. It costs nothing. It makes someone feel nice. It feels nice to do it. No drawbacks whatsoever. Hooray!
But I've learned through experience, that this isn't the case when dealing with the internet.
1/10 of the time, this previous exchange will happen as stated above and is still great.
But 9 times out of ten, this is not what happens. Instead, one of two bad things usually result from deciding to compliment a random person on the internet.
The first thing is they try to lock you into a long conversation you want no part in. In meatspace, the exchange is incidental and brief. Which is pleasant. In cyberspace, there is no walking away. The messages start pouring in. You feel bad for not responding. When you do, it only perpetuates the conversation. If you try to end it, they laugh it off as a joke, or guilt you into continuing. If I had a dollar for every time a girl has said, "Why do you keep trying to run away?"...
And yes, it is mostly the opposite sex I'm talking about in a gender normative way and from a male perspective. (I never really think about gender at all or belonging to one, but I have a beard and a penis.) I'm mainly referring to the bulk of my personal experiences. Dudes either don't respond, or insult you.
But why should I feel bad for only wanting to say a nice sentence or two to somebody and nothing more? I want nothing from you. Just to say, "Hi that's a cute outfit." or something. No late-night creepy messages 2 weeks later bc you interacted with me one time. No begging for pics. No asking for phone numbers or to skype, And don't offer. That's not what I'm after.
I just like saying nice things to people. Stop making it weird.
The other bad thing that happens, is they think you're a creeper. This one is so much more forgivable than the first because guys are totally shit on the internet. They creep. They stalk. They threaten and insult. I get it. But still, it sucks to have someone think you're a creeper when you're just being nice. I understand where that comes from at least. And I never get mad or send additional messages.
Even I know I can't disregard reality that much.
Still, it's saddening.
I don't know. I guess I've always felt more comfortable around women than around men. I'm a turbulent ball of emotion. Women tend to get that. Guys usually make me feel shitty so I mostly avoid them.
Although ever since puberty, everything has gotten very stupid. When I used to have a nice conversation with someone and it was just a nice conversation. Now when I have a nice conversation with someone, it apparently means I want to fuck them.
And I'm learning about how cyberspace and meatspace are only isometrically similar in aesthetics. The actual mechanics are a different story.
I don't understand social things, but I found something that works for me. Only, it doesn't work on the interwebs.
I don't want to be forced to suppress my harmless desires, but at the same time, I'm causing problems somehow.
And this is only the tinniest part of the confusing everyday nonsense I have to deal with. I could just give up and do what everyone else does. But that's not for me.
I'm trying. I just DON'T UNDERSTAND.