Monday, November 16, 2009

The Dire Pleas of Missed Connections

Did something I rarely do – read the “Missed Connections” section in one of those tabloid free daily papers the other day.

Had a good chuckle, wondered what kind of person would actually write these things, and how much the paper was making by charging these characters for providing the service – assuming they do.

“Missed Connections” sections are springing up in the “Classified” sections of newspapers and online sites all over the world. Essentially, people write about others they encountered during their daily journeys, but for whatever reason didn’t get a way to reconnect with that person – no

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in P...Image via Wikipedia

phone number, not even an email address to write too. They write in, hoping the exact same person they made eye contact with, or happened to talk to about the weather, reads the very same section of the very same paper or online site, and reaches out to the author.

They read like desperate attempts by stalkers trying to lure victims into their web of psycho-babble. That’s harsh – but if you strike up a conversation with a total stranger on the bus, in the park, or anywhere else, wouldn’t it make more sense to ask that person for their name and number or business card at that point in time? It certainly makes more sense than putting any chance of further meeting into the complete randomness of a “Missed Connection” in a publication which may be read by thousands – but never by the very person you want to read it.

A “Missed Connection” reads something like this:

You were walking your pet poodle through the park. We started talking, sat on the benches by the big oak tree and talked about dogs, work and cooking. I was wearing a green sweater and blue jeans, you wore a neon pink top and hat and bright red shoes. Wanted to ask you out, but too shy, dinner? Call me at . . .

Rejection is one of the hardest things to overcome – I was shy once, I ought know. But if you feel that connection upon meeting someone new, the time is in the here and the now, not the later.

It is like that saying, never cry over spilled milk – it doesn’t make any sense dwelling on the past. Next time you’ll know to make your move. In the here and now, get on with your life.

Apparently though, these “Missed Connections” work. There have been stories about people who met in the park, chatted up a storm, and then went their separate ways. But then they reconnect after one person posts a “Missed Connection,” the responds, and now they are happily married. Speak of target marketing.

Though with all the nuts placing these ads, and all the more nuts responding, makes you wonder just how many of those people who respond are really the person who the ad was meant for? And if the person who wrote the ad even cares – if the shoe fits, wear it – maybe they’ll take

bad newsImage by Stitch via Flickr

someone who is close to their intended person?

You have to be pretty desperate to take out any form of personals ad, especially in this high-tech world, where all you need is a computer and an Internet connection to instantly chat with millions of other people, just as lonely and desperate for some company.

That raises the question of safety too – desperate times call for desperate measures. Just how well can you trust a complete stranger who posts one of these ads?

Not everyone who posts a “Missed Connection” is crazy, but how do you really know the person you are calling isn’t one of the few who is?

Though without some risk taking, none of us would ever really meet in life – we’d all be too afraid to leap out of our own universes.

But if a person is desperate enough to take out an ad in a newspaper or online, begging for you to contact them, is that someone a sweet and romantic-type of person, or a stalking crazy psychopath to be avoided?

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