I was an ugly duckling growing up. Not a movie ugly duckling that is hot if she just takes off her glasses and wears a prom dress, but a certified socially-unaware dork. For girls like me, the Internet was like turn-of-the-century America was to immigrants. We leapt for our computers with visions of a world where the streets are paved with male nerds that had never seen a woman and would crown us queen upon receiving proof of ovaries.
However, just like immigrants were disappointed to find nothing but workhouses and Godfather Part II flashbacks waiting for them, socially awkward females found our hopes dashed by a surprisingly jaded and unenthusiastic Internet. It still happens every day, as new girls hop on the Web, bright-eyed and naive, with a handful of coy webcam close-ups and fragile dreams.
Their journey of disillusionment begins with the most disappointing reality of all:
5You Are Not Unique
I mean, yes, every person is unique and valuable as a human being and all that, but not to the Internet, and certainly not just by virtue of being female. One of the first forums I joined was a gaming forum. OK, it was a Final Fantasy forum. I was just looking for some tips on beating Emerald Weapon, OK? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I ended up using the Lucky 7s trick. If you care, you probably know what it is already.
Anyway, I stuck around, and ended up participating in the forum at large. As I got used to it, I decided to let everyone know I was a girl, because I thought people would find this very surprising, as they were all nerdy gamer guys.
Because I was too subtle to come out and say, "HI EVERYONE I AM A GIRL," I went with something coy like, "I'm applying to schools, oh by the way, this one might give me a scholarship for being a girl," or "What do you think of my new haircut (insert picture)?" or maybe, "Pardon the typos, my boobs keep bouncing off the keyboard." I don't remember exactly, it was a while ago.
"Hello fellow car forum members, here's a picture of the Nissan 350Z I just bought. Isn't it a great car?"
Whatever clue I dropped was apparently plenty clear because about 20 girls replied saying, "Wow, you're a girl? It's so GREAT to have other girls on this forum!"
While it may not have been the response I was looking for, I've seen this happen enough since then to know I dodged a bullet here. If I'd posted my picture, they would have posted their much, much cuter and girlier pictures. Had I gone with the less subtle, "Any other girls here?" I would have been forced to pretend I was happy to see all these other more attractive girls, matching their false enthusiasm with an even more over the top. "Oh my GOD, it is so GREAT to see another GIRL HERE!! ^_^ ;0) We'll all be SUCH great FRIENDS! Kekeke!" Every time I see it happen, some manner of disappointment ensues.
The Internet is even less like The Bachelorette than the real world. Somehow.
So exactly how rare are we delicate flowers of the Internet? A government study shows women have been represented on the Internet in the same percentages as we're represented in the real world since at least 2001. Great.