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The Age Of Flakes

When a girl flaked (i.e., unexpectedly cancelled or failed to show for a date, or screened your calls) on you in the not too distant past, it usually meant there was a lack of attraction or she lost what little attraction there was in the interim between meeting her and calling her the next day. Occasionally, flakes were legitimate consequences of bad logistics or real plans that she had.

But, today, with the proliferation of smart phones and dumb disrespect, flaking has become de rigeur in certain segments of the female population. The NewYorkBetaTimes is on top of the trend (h/t reader M Serious):

Not long before that, Leandra Medine, the 23-year-old fashion blogger behind Man Repeller, sat down at the SoHo restaurant Jack’s Wife Freda and waited for her three friends. As she nursed a glass of wine, she glanced down at her phone to learn, via text, that all of her friends had bailed.

Random missed connections? Not quite.

Texting and instant messaging make it easier to navigate our social lives, but they are also turning us into ill-mannered flakes. Not long ago, the only way to break a social engagement, outside of blowing off someone completely, was to do it in person or on the phone. An effusive apology was expected, or at least the appearance of contrition.

But now, when our fingers tap our way out of social obligations, the barriers to canceling have been lowered. Not feeling up for going out? Have better plans? Just type a note on the fly (“Sorry can’t make it tonight”) and hit send.

And don’t worry about giving advance notice. The later, the better. After all, bailing on dinner via text message doesn’t feel as disrespectful as standing up someone, or as embarrassing.

Social media isn’t bringing us together as its creators and cheerleaders promised it would; it’s tearing apart our humanity. Our social minds have evolved in a face-to-face medium, not a faceless ASCII ether. When you can’t see the disappointment or anger on the face of the person you’re shafting, you don’t feel bad about it. Smartphones feed the shamelessness of our culture.

And it is practically endemic among those in their 20s and younger, who were raised in the age of instant chatter.

“Texting is lazy, and it encourages and promotes flakiness,” Mr. Cohen said. “You’re not treating anything with any weight, and it turns us all into 14-year-olds. We’re all 14-year-olds in suits and high heels.”

Social media is also making emotionally stunted children out of all of us. Or, more precisely, emotionally blank aspie idiots. I wonder if the ability to read emotions from a person’s face and body language is declining in lockstep with the rise of texting and IMing? If it is, as I suspect, then salesmen with cunning social skills will be able to clean up in an environment of over-trusting spergy kiddies. Some of you will be able to see the connection to antagonistic mass diversity here.

Rachel Libeskind, a 23-year-old artist who lives in TriBeCa, is constantly navigating her social circles from her iPhone. She finds that she’ll triple- or even quadruple-book plans on weekend nights, knowing there’s only a 60 percent chance she’ll engage in any of them.

“People will text me, ‘Let’s do something this week,’ and I’ll have three or four plans laid out for the week, and on average, more than half of them fall through,” she said. “The social plans I make are always changing, always shifting.”

Girls especially love this age of electronic “micro-coordinating”, because the plethora of shallow plans make them feel wanted, loved, desired, popular, BUSY BUSY BUSY. It’s an incipient attention whore’s paradise. Until 4 out of 5 plans fall through, and she has to micro-coordinate another ten plans to get her lookatme! fix.

Players like this situation as well, because it allows them to juggle multiple women seamlessly and to cut girls off without undue chick drama.

Moreover, it’s not considered boorish when her peers abandon one another. “Because there is very little at stake in terms of having these plans, it’s not that rude,” she said. “It’s implicit because that’s how everyone is operating.”

Social media and smartphones have ensured that nothing is important, because the second something *is* important, there are real consequences for flaking on it. And no woman-child wants to deal with icky real consequences. Yuk!

“My parents always say that when you make a plan, even if your finger is falling off, even if you’re bleeding, you can’t stand people up,” said Ms. Medine, the fashion blogger. [editor: “fashion blogger”. jesus. all i want for christmas is a day of the rope… a day of the rope…] “But to me, it’s not rude. If your plans fall through, that’s fine. We live in a city where there are a million other plans waiting for you.”

This is why the modern day player has to have, as part of his seduction arsenal, professional anti-flaking techniques. If you don’t know how to handle the flakes that will inevitably occur, you are handicapped in the mating market. And you know what kind of guy thrives in the Age of Flakes? — The guy who knows how to flip the script and get women to chase *him*, so that he is the one with the option to flake.

Ms. Medine added that she would often R.S.V.P. to five events a night, knowing there’s little chance she would attend them all. “I don’t think any plan is a plan until you’re inside the restaurant looking at someone else,” she said.

Player: “I don’t think any plan is a plan until you’re inside her vagina looking into her eyes.”

Hey, what’s good for the goose…

PS You will see a photo of MIZZ Medine alongside the article, and, well… manjaw’s gonna manjaw.

Seriously, what the fuck is up with American women acting and looking like men, and American men acting and looking like manboobs? Did a silent enemy slip something into our water supply? Are my balls just astronomically bigger than the average man’s because I don’t apologize for my manhood, and I prefer feminine women?

My techie-minded prediction is that the Age of Flaking will slowly come to an end when video-texting and video calling become widely used. Once you can’t text or IM without seeing a moving face before you, the boorishness will wither with the rising shame.

“If you text a friend that you can’t make dinner because you’re feeling sick, and then a picture of you dancing on a bar shows up on someone’s Instagram feed, you just got caught,” Mr. Blasberg said. “With the rise of social media and technology, it’s harder to use little white lies to get out of things.”

Orwell was only partly right. Big Brother is everywhere, but he is as much your friend or neighbor as he is your government.

A classic CH anti-flaking technique can be found here.


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