February 1, 2011

Five Things To Do When Drinking On The Internet

Although alcohol is called a ‘social lubricant,’ there is a constituency of individuals who consume alcohol outside of social situations as well, instead preferring to imbibe while: using snowbanks on sidewalks as an excuse to avoid friends and ‘stay in’ on a Saturday night; exaggerating states of illness as an excuse to defer social plans while insisting that you ‘really wish you could, and other such reclusive behaviors exacerbated by winter and/or alcoholism.

In a prior age, people drinking alone at home had little else to do but stare at the walls, possibly while playing records and entering a major state of angst about life/emotions. Today, however, there is the internet, which has become the ideal companion for drinking alone, or for tacking on some extra ‘hang time’ after returning home from a party and not feeling like going to bed yet.

When one is highly intoxicated and in the presence, privately, of a computer connected to the internet, there are several activities in which one can commonly engage. The following guide will prescribe the top five most useful common behaviors for transforming the act of being drunk at home alone into a wildly social activity. Warning: One or all of the following undertakings will be regrettable in the morning when you are sober and have to get up for work in the morning and people ask you why you’re hung over, assuming you have attended a relevant and exciting social event when in fact all you did was utilize the internet.

IM Friends  And Colleagues, Revealing To Them Hithertofore Undisclosed Opinions/Feelings. Look at your Gchat or AIM ‘buddy lists’ and select a person who happens to be among the few online at an absurd hour to whom, in that moment, you feel fairly spiritually connected. This is likely the one colleague at work whom you have up until then known only in a professional context with minor social tangents, but now you are going to ‘bond’.

It can also be someone with whom you have had a sequence of awkward semi-romantic interactions including but not limited to: having been introduced insistently by a friend who thought you would ‘get along’ except you failed to cross that crucial connection barrier and make ‘real plans’; having slept together once while highly intoxicated and then not communicating again over a span of three to six months; being vaguely aware of each other’s ‘internet presences’ without having made actual one-on-one contact; experiencing sexual tension while they were dating a friend of yours and now they have broken up with your friend and over the past five to eight months you have periodically thought about them while recalling that they seemed like they were attracted to you.

Open an IM window wherein you initially try to pretend you’re not drunk until you say something that seems a little bit ‘left of center’ that causes a ‘hitch’ in their response, prompting you to qualify that you are drinking and asking them to disregard anything you might say from that point in time. Email them some writing that you have in progress and confide that you have never shown it to anyone and desire their ‘feedback’ while feeling embarrassed about revealing it. Use a lot of jovial text communication probably including ‘emoticons’ or the phrase ‘haha’ so they understand you are not taking the interaction especially seriously, even though you are sitting there half-considering proposing that you ‘hook up’ sometime. Flirt when you would not otherwise flirt, using incredibly inappropriate innuendo. Feel really weird about it the next day; resolve not to IM this person any further.

Optional: Explain to the stranger some degree of childhood trauma. As you begin to sober up, apologize profusely for being so forthcoming/’oversharing’. Re-read the text log of the IM the next day and notice that you typed quite a lot while they typed mainly ‘cool’ and ‘haha’ to everything you said. The socially-awkward over-disclosures you made online are likely to overhang your interactions with the target for the rest of the time you know them.

Realize You Feel Very Strongly, Probably Negatively, About A Person, Issue Or Item Of Media All Of A Sudden And Broadcast It With Alienating Aggression Across All Of Your Social Networks. Suddenly decide that you hate a very popular and widely respected work of fiction or television [ideal examples: ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen; the television program ‘Mad Men’]. Tweet about it and get into arguments with distant acquaintances or strangers. Post a status update to your Facebook page demanding people ‘unfriend’ you if they disagree that a band or musical act [ideal examples: ‘Salem’; ‘Ariel Pink’] is somehow wildly overrated, in bad taste and reflective of [something germane to ‘the times’].

Become very upset on Twitter about a political issue. Insult popular ‘pundits’ who have taken a position opposite to yours. Aggressively text your friend about it while tweeting articles that make you very angry. Ensure that you use all caps.

Become exceptionally angry about a person in your close social circle, and in a fell coup decide that you hate them, except you don’t want to say who they are so you post vague tweets, Facebook status updates or Buzz updates about ‘people who [thing that has offended you]’, saying that the behavior disgusts or alienates you. Imply your superiority without ever calling out the individual or their offending actions so that everyone will wonder.

Optional: Re-read your updates to your various social networking outlets, realize that you sound either too specific toward the object of your vague distaste and/or completely insane, delete everything. Be wholly convinced that ‘everybody’ saw it anyway and figure that now everyone thinks you have an unvoiced, manic agenda against something or other.

Embark On A Nostalgic Journey Of Media From A Prior Period In Your Life That Is Strongly Evocative; Dwell. While aimlessly surfing the internet drunk, something will remind you of a web series you enjoyed while part of a close circle of friends in college with whom you are no longer in touch, an ‘epic’ band from the 1990s that is no longer popular but remains a ‘capsule’ of a certain time period now widely viewed with derision by modern adults; a cartoon that you enjoyed in the 1980s or other media that was either so ‘huge’ in its time or reached such a niche audience briefly that it is now unseemly to speak of it as if it were still relevant.

Intensely consume Wikipedia entries related to actors, artists or musicians who were involved in the nostalgic item of media. Tweet several successive updates pertaining to the media, demand to know what became of [starring actor] or [band] or [broadcast network programming bloc]. Become increasingly agitated if your enthusiasm does not appear immediately to resonate or result in @-replies or Facebook ‘likes’; aggressively deride whatever form of media you decide has taken the place of the object of your nostalgic journey.

Become even further agitated if there is a positive response to your memorabilia ‘trip’, decide you are suddenly best friends with everyone who agrees with you and that they are the only ones who can understand you. Type ‘RIGHT’ or something of that nature; spam the unfortunate participant’s Facebook wall with links or personal stories about your new amazing bond over the offending media.

Optional: Obsessively insist on re-acquiring the defunct item of media; scour Amazon, eBay and foreign-nation message boards. Determine to ‘rediscover’ this quintessential gem at any cost. Two weeks later, feel a vague sense of embarrassment and regret when a DVD box set of [something] arrives at your home with a packing slip enclosed indicating that you paid like $68 for it. Attempt to feebly justify the purchase by aiming to reconnect to your passion; fail, and either hide the offending item or tell visiting friends and acquaintances that it is ‘ironic’, just be like “yeah I like to get drunk and buy things on Amazon.”

Excitedly Employ Facebook Or Email To Undertake What You Believe At The Time To Be Professional Networking Despite The Fact You Have No Ability Or Intention To Follow Through. Think a lot about your career and send Facebook friend requests to people by whom you might like to be employed, with whom you think you have ‘career goals’ in common or with whom you feel it might be advantageous to be associated. Write excessively long introduction letters; engage the individuals in communication about how you have all these great ideas. Email individuals with public internet presences and tell them about all your great ideas. While engaging in this communication you should feel quite certain that you’re being exceptionally articulate or motivated, like you’ve ‘stumbled upon’ something and you, along with these individuals, are on an exciting new current and it’s all going to work out and this project you are drunkenly conceiving in front of the computer while intoxicated after midnight is going to be the best thing ever.

When your unemployed friends return the social networking promise them that you can get them jobs or introductions to various well-placed people you claim to know despite having met them like once and despite being plagued by the creeping sensation that there is no reason, actually, that the well-placed person would want to meet or work with your unemployed friend.

If you are the one who is unemployed, network boldly with your well-placed friends and exaggerate your qualifications. Talk about some work in progress you’d like to show them because you think they would like it, while being plagued by the creeping awareness that you have not actually made any progress beyond the ‘idea stage’. Figure you’ll figure it all out when you’re sober and in a more constructive state of mind. As you progress in these eager interactions feel increasingly bleak as you realize you’re not helping anyone and you’re probably more fucked than you were before.

Optional: Cringe in terror and/or shame when a few days later you receive a resume from the friend you promised to recommend or a follow-up message from the person who had been carried along on the tide of your drunken enthusiasm and who would now like to see your ‘outline’ that you have not written yet. Pretend that you got really busy or that you ‘reached a dead end’ or something else avoidant and vague. When you arrive at a social event with these people months later, be convinced that they totally think you are ‘full of it’ despite the fact that they smile a lot and are very welcoming to you. They will not mention the promised career avenue because they probably do think you are ‘full of it’.

Decide You Are Still In Love With Your ‘One Big Ex’ And Write A Long, Intense Email To Them To That Effect. When alcohol and the alienating solitude of the internet converge on you with immense gravitational force, cry a lot while feeling slightly aware it’s possible that your blood sugar is just crashing due to alcohol consumption or the fact you inhaled with unhealthy quickness a midnight burrito from the taco truck on the way home from a party where everyone seemed to be making out with someone else and no one wanted to go home with you.

Suddenly realize that your most significant ex with whom you cohabitated for the longest period of time, or with whom you cohabitated at all [assuming you have not since cohabitated significantly with any other member of your desired sex] is the one. Realize in an amazing clap of soul-rending emotional thunder that you and you alone caused the implosion of the great relationship due to a long list of your personal flaws and issues, most of them relating to things that happened when you were in high school, to your relationship with your father and/or mother, to feeling inferior or powerless during a disruptive event, or to a ‘complex’ or addiction from which you once suffered but now believe to be behind you.

Enumerate all of these flaws and factors in a long and rambling email message to your ex’s last known address. Use self-deprecating language and feel very sorry; address your message as if you’re speaking to a fiction of the past relationship and not the actuality thereof. Absolve the ex of everything you ever perceived them to have done and of every grievance you ever raised while with them. Write a lot about how you thought you just needed time and explain a lot about how you’ve changed since then.

Don’t explicitly request the resumption of the relationship, although that might be what you believe you want at the time. Express a lot of intense sentimental hopes about the ex’s present-day well-being and, after several inebriated paragraphs whereby you dredge up a lot of intense and painful things reassert, in several more paragraphs, how you don’t want to intrude on their life or make them upset. Don’t send the email.

Optional: Feel that you are ‘biting the bullet’; hit send. Feel too mortified to re-read the email in the ‘Sent’ folder in the morning. TC mark

image – iStockPhoto