Monday, September 11, 2006

Reliable e-mail?

Remember Hguy? The guy who started out by commenting that I was pretty. I wrote him back to start the conversation but never got a response.

Last night, I was surprised to see a new e-mail from him. He wrote that it appeared his response to me never went through and he was resending it. So is this the truth? Or, is this a clever way of saying "I was interested in someone else but since that didn't pan out I want to write you again."

It could very well be that there was a malfunction of the website or his computer. Who knows how many times this happens in cyberspace and people just assume the other person lost interest. Nowadays with spam filters, I've caught friends' e-mail ending up in the wrong place. It makes me wonder how many e-mails I've missed. Hopefully, none that were important!

Now, I can't help wonder if that's why I never heard back from Biker. He's the guy I met at speed dating in mid-August. The last he wrote he asked to reschedule a time to meet up for coffee. I replied with a couple suggestions and then he disappeared. Do you suppose my e-mail ended up lost in space or in his spam box? Oh well... seems late now to explore that one.

I know it's happened before. Entire phrases have disappeared while chatting with someone on IM. I think people take for granted the reliability of the Internet. I become more skeptical of certain technologies over time as I see how they change human behavior and expectations for the worse. It's a great convenience, but it also lends to be people avoiding others and missing out on human interaction.

It makes me think of an ex, my "love at first sight" experience, who I'll call Unagi. Things weren't going too well six months into dating. I was petrified to say anything that I thought would not be interesting to him. We weren't progressing in getting to know each other because of my speechlessness. He was this handsome and smart guy. (I'll have to tell the whole story some other time.) I was totally head over heels for him.

The previous weekend, Unagi took me out to a nice dinner for my birthday. We spent the later evening making out on my bed. Nothing happened, I wasn't in my comfort zone yet with him. The week went by with no word from him. I was devastated.

On Saturday night, sitting at home alone, I checked my work e-mail. There, dated Friday afternoon at 3pm, was an e-mail from him asking if I wanted to do something Saturday. AAARRRRRRRRGH! I was at work until 6pm that day. Somewhere between his company server and mine, the e-mail had taken more than 12 hours to arrive. (It had happened once before where an e-mail I sent him took three weeks to appear.) I didn't call him. I didn't write him back. I was frozen with sadness and disappointment. I was hurt and frustrated that he hadn't tried to follow up by calling me. (I was also sick of the last-minute dates every week.)

Months later, I talked to him, a sort of "closure" get together. I learned that he thought that when I didn't reply to that e-mail, Unagi thought I was mad at him. He just gave up on me. When I told him that I didn't received that e-mail until the end of the weekend (yes, I fudged the time a little because who checks work e-mail on the weekend? ;) ), he was pretty surprised. We failed each other. It was a sad ending to a very promising relationship.

The long and short of it is that Internet communications can be flakey. Nothing really to be done about it, just something to keep in mind.


Clinton said...

Funny you should be writing on this. I just received an e-mail from a girl on a dating site who I'd been chatting with. It took her almost exactly 1 month for her to reply to my last message.

when someone takes that long to respond I just take it on assumption they have been waffling a bit (from lack of interest or motivation) or I was just "cued up" on their dating agenda.

*shrug* Well...she contacted me intitially and I find her quite attractive, so why not resume? :P

jayfish said...

it took me 3 and a half weeks to get the guts to reply to my gf's first email. luckily, she hadn't found any better prospects in that time and now we're incredibly happy.

Pandax said...

Three and a half weeks? Whoa - why so? Is that a story I can read about somewhere? :)