Mansplaining Mobile Games to Me on the Subway Doesn’t Make Me Want to Date You

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I spend an embarrassing amount of money on idiotic games for my iPhone, which I then spend an embarrassing amount of time playing during my commute. Be it morning or night, I am inevitably tired (so, so tired). Half the time I’m not even aware of what’s happening on the screen, just mindlessly dragging my thumb around because my reptilian brain finds the colors and movement soothing.

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A few weeks ago, I was riding the subway and numbly murdering Flappy Bird over and over again when a man tapped me on the shoulder. 

“It’s all about the rhythm,” he said.

“What?” I asked, not unreasonably. He gestured to my phone.

“Trust me,” he said. “You’re tapping too fast.”

“Okay,” I said.

“What’s your high score?” he asked. “Mine is 10.”

“Okay,” I said.

“You’ll get there,” he said, then winked.

This morning, a guy on the A train leaned over my shoulder to offer his fully unsolicited thoughts on my game of Threes.

“Right, hon. Swipe right,” he said. “Want me to show you?”

Fuck no, you creepy creepo. I made a face and turned my phone off — a decision I quickly regretted, because I really, really wanted to keep playing Threes.

Gentlemen? Never, ever do this. Peeking at the screens of other people’s electronic devices — openly admitting to peeking, anyway — is unacceptable. Engaging your fellow subway passengers in conversation, in any context, is basically tantamount to a war crime. Please do not acknowledge my (or anyone else’s) presence, especially not early in the morning or late at night. Why make this any harder that it already is?

But most importantly: Flappy Bird is literally the dumbest shit in the entire world. Threes, vaguely math-y though it is, isn’t much better. Is your need to be controlling really that desperate, that overpowering, that deeply encoded into your DNA that you can’t resist critiquing the performance of a half-asleep stranger?

This isn’t flirting. This is just being a dick.

I only got an Backpage account this spring. I have disabled it temporarily because I am dating a guy I met on there.

Honestly, I was expecting the weird sex messages because you just hear so much about them. But thankfully they were few and far between and only one of them was really explicit.

But what really shocked me was the amount of messages that were just plain hostile and combative. Stuff like demanding why I was on the site with my looks, insinuating that I must be unattractive/a sadsack in real life to be on the site. Saying that I sound stuck-up or that I am so full of myself. Or the one that asked whether I was a ‘feminazi’. (Note, I don’t care if you hate feminism or whatever. Guys who are on some kind of ideological crusade are an instant turn-off, whether Marxist or right-wing.)

Keep in mind that I don’t have anything political or ideological whatsoever on my profile. Nor do I give off an opinionated vibe, I don’t think, and I don’t have any checklists or disclaimers. I mostly talk about my slightly eccentric hobbies…

Some of them were just very negative. (“I don’t suppose you will ever respond to this message, but…”) A negative attitude is a total turn-off for me. I want somebody who is easygoing and positive, not someone who always sees the worst in people. There’s only a certain kind of man who can pull of dark humour. Most men are not that man.

Oh, and of course the (borderline) racist messages. The ‘Me Love You Long Time’ type. Yeah.

I don’t generally respond to these hostile messages, I just delete them and block the senders. But I did tell off Feminazi Dude – because it was just the last straw. I had gone through a spate of these aggressive messages. To be honest I think this dude was just socially clueless. I told him that women were not responding to him because of his poor attitude. But tbh I kinda regret replying because it just wasn’t worth my energy. Anyway, he ended up being deleted and blocked.

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