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HEINZESIGHT

Online socializing with intent of meeting Dear Brent, I used to love online socializing, but I’m concerned now that it has become the new norm in the gay scene. I worry that we are all so disconnected and have lost the ability to connect on any organic level. I also worry for bars, clubs, and other gay establishments because people aren’t going out as much. Is human contact going to be reduced to one hour of chatting online, 15 minutes of sex, and then back to solitude?

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That is such a relevant topic. Many of us remember times where we went out to determine if someone had an athletic build, was a great conversationalist, or kissed like Casanova. I’m a proponent of getting away from technology and enjoying the company of real people face-to-face. You’re not the only one concerned about the amount of time people spend online hoping to make an interpersonal or sexual connection. Most of us are painfully aware that the time spent chatting online is generally not met with the same return on investment as we put in to it. Unfortunately, there are people who boldly lie and others who feel that acting like a jackass is a good option since they are miserable people that want to inflict their crappy attitude on others. We have to be careful about putting faith in email exchanges as a realistic expression of people’s attractions and intentions. In so many cases, it is easy to have some sexy talk over the internet. Entire relationships and sexual scripts can be planned out before meeting in person. Many times when people do meet after an extended time of online romance, it goes poorly since fantasy can sometimes be much better than

march 20, 2013 | outfrontonline.com

to come with its own set of acreality. More times than not, ceptable rules and common these online passions should behaviors that are ineffective remain online or on the phone. in person. On the flipside, there Not only can people put out an are social skills that are best deinauthentic persona, but there veloped and practiced within are just some attractions that physical proximity of others. can only be gauged in person. All of this being said, when There are so many positive you make an amazing linkage life lessons that can be gained due to a technology-facilitated by being social with others. We Brent Heinze method, some of the frustracan learn to confront our insecurities, challenge shyness, develop strong tion and wasted times seems like less of a support networks, and discover common- bummer. Don’t spend precious energy on alities between ourselves and others. Addi- those negative people and situations. There tionally we can also learn to deal with rejec- are many more you could potentially enjoy. As much as our culture may be moving tion, failure, and confidence-building while getting offline. Although there are aspects towards cyber connection, it is up to us to of security from behind our technology, we break out of those patterns. We don’t have can benefit by trying to improve on these to be slaves to technology. If you’re going to skills and challenge ourselves to be more utilize it for initial contact with people, then get off you technology-engrossed ass and go successful and confident. Although it seems like there are many do something with someone. It can be more social-skill-deficient people out there, I’m fulfilling than making sweet, sweet love to also concerned that there are so many po- our computer monitor. ] tential relationships with others that are missed because we are online. Many times, Brent Heinze, LPC, is a licensed professionmessages are misinterpreted, ignored, or al counselor. Email: PerspectiveShift@yahoo. get lost in the shuffle. Being online seems com. For more Brent, visit Ofcnow.co/xcp

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March 20, 2013  

COVER STORY: Young, Gay and Broke: gay men who live outside the margins of traditional society.

March 20, 2013  

COVER STORY: Young, Gay and Broke: gay men who live outside the margins of traditional society.