U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-20-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Cape Coma Florida
1,369 posts, read 1,862,370 times
Reputation: 2929

Advertisements

Over the last decade I've increasingly experienced a social trend that does not bode well at all for society at large, and speaks quite badly of our culture in general.

It used to be that one could go out in public and perhaps meet new friends at the various social venues, such as coffee houses, restaurants, and even bars, though I've not had much luck in bars, and largely avoid them anymore, but I do try to show up at places where people can meet and mix. It doesn't serve me to do so anymore.

I first started seeing the trend when I lived in San Francisco around 1995, at the coffee shops I frequented. More and more the social predators were showing up there to work the regulars for whatever they could get out of them, and they became so oppressive that many of us just stopped going to those places.

After I moved to Michigan it was pretty much the same, and anyone who approached you in public had an agenda running and had targeted you for some short term gain or long con. Then I moved to Alabama, and found the same thing in operation. Anyone who would talk to you in a public social venue did so only to push their agenda with you, and would not let you get so much as a word in. They were all after something, and it wasn't friendship either. Finally I moved out of there and came to Naples Florida, which has proven to be an absolute social desert.

Here in Naples making friends seems quite impossible, and I hear that echoed by many others, both online and offline. Some of those who have talked to me about it attribute it to there being two kinds of people here, the isolators, and the users, those being the social predators who are out to make use of anyone they can in the usual ways for the usual things.

I've seen this in operation at every public social venue I've been at. The isolators come with someone they can talk to in order to exclude everyone else there, or they bury themselves in their iPhone, iPad, laptop, book, etc. or have their earbuds in dark shades on, and their icy wall up around them.

The users prowl all such public social venues hunting prey in the form of those not good at isolating in pubic and who are therefore vulnerable, and can be chatted up and manipulated toward the goal of whatever short term gain, or long con the user has in mind. Starbucks is the favorite hunting ground of the users here, and anyone who approaches you at a Starbucks here will turn out to be a user, seeking to manipulate you into letting them use you for something. I've yet to see an exception to this.

Some of them are very subtle, some are quite overt and aggressive, but it soon becomes apparent they want something from you, and are working toward that. I was approached by such a person a few weeks ago at a Starbucks, a woman who wanted to share my table, and she was very glib and personable at first. She quickly began pushing the notion that we were to be the very best of friends, telling me what a good and loyal friend she was, while dropping subtle hints about what she wanted to use me for, and there were several things she had in mind for me.

Over the course of a week and the texts and emails we exchanged she showed herself to be a manipulating drama queen of the worst sort. I tapered off contact with her quickly after she started calling me up drunk at night. I'm quite sure she's back out there hunting other prey.

I was not in Naples two hours before I was approached by a man in public who very aggressively did his best to pry into my personal business and push his scam on me. I froze him out completely, but he didn't give up right away.

Next I ran into the couple next door who are very aggressive freeloaders and will do all then can to chat me up pursuant to getting into my house to look around for what they want to steal, or use me in any other way they can. They have already victimized some of my neighbors and the word is out about them, but they never ever give up.

Next was the horny creep next door who came knocking on my door offering me money for sex, and telling me where to knock on his bedroom wall. I have to be careful going about the neighborhood on foot because of these people. If they see me outside they come right after me. Over the two years I've lived here I've not been able to make one friend. If they don't already know you they don't want to, at least if they are not the users they don't. In the same time period I've run into 28 major social predators who approached me first and immediately began working their angle on me. I've had to learn to isolate in public and make myself the smallest possible target. I have no social life at all here.

I've talked with old friends online who live in other parts of the country, and they all tell me the same trend is in operation where they are, and that it's really going on everywhere in the US.

I find this quite depressing, and I have to wonder how we got here.

Last edited by amylewis; 05-20-2012 at 09:21 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-20-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
2,663 posts, read 4,545,343 times
Reputation: 3043
Absolutely right. It's not only the US either; it's common throughout the western world. I have struggled to make friends anywhere over the past 10 years especially. The friends I've made were from forums like this one. People seem far more reluctant to venture outside of their circles of friends than they used to be and there are a lot of predatory people out there who seek to take advantage of those of us who are perceived as kind or caring.

I attribute it to the following:

1) Increased reliance on technology to communicate, particularly social networking. This has allowed people to remain in touch with their "circles" more easily and therefore, less inclined to feel the need to make new friends.

2) People are far less trusting than they used to be and in some cases, paranoid about strangers. For example, if a man does a kind deed for a female stranger, it would now be perceived as "creepy".

3) Society in general has become increasingly individualistic and self-absorbed over the years. This is where the "don't give a damn" attitude comes into play. What you bring to the table seems to be more important than how kind or intelligent you are, this even applies to friendships.

4) Speaking of the US specifically, many cities and towns were designed around the car and lack places for people to meet or just mingle. Also, people tend to live much further apart than the UK for example (my country of birth).

5) Work has become far too demanding, people work too many hours, leaving little time for anything else.

It's a shame. People have definitely become more cliquish. Great post.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Cape Coma Florida
1,369 posts, read 1,862,370 times
Reputation: 2929
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonborn View Post
I attribute it to the following:

1) Increased reliance on technology to communicate, particularly social networking. This has allowed people to remain in touch with their "circles" more easily and therefore, less inclined to feel the need to make new friends.

2) People are far less trusting than they used to be and in some cases, paranoid about strangers. For example, if a man does a kind deed for a female stranger, it would now be perceived as "creepy".

3) Society in general has become increasingly individualistic and self-absorbed over the years. This is where the "don't give a damn" attitude comes into play. What you bring to the table seems to be more important than how kind or intelligent you are, this even applies to friendships.

4) Speaking of the US specifically, many cities and towns were designed around the car and lack places for people to meet or just mingle. Also, people tend to live much further apart than the UK for example (my country of birth).

5) Work has become far too demanding, people work too many hours, leaving little time for anything else.

It's a shame. People have definitely become more cliquish. Great post.
Well thank you very much for your reply! Your reason number 4 especially applies to Naples Florida, where it's all quite spread out, and there are very few social venues outside of bars and coffee shops. You don't see anything like small town social meeting places here, the neighborhood coffee house, or anything like that.

You have to have a car here or you get nowhere, and anywhere you go you are either frozen out or target acquired on by some social parasite, horny creep, or scammer. Work is also a factor, and I work a very exhausting job in a production shop, though I do have the weekends to myself.

I spend my weekends alone at home listening to my hair grow and trying to find anything of entertainment value online, which has become harder and harder. Venturing out in public does not serve me at all. Yesterday I went to the beach, and people there were quite unapproachable with their icy walls up and eyeballing me suspiciously.

We used to have a neighborhood bar across the street, and you could sometimes enjoy yourself there, but it closed down last year, and there too the predators were on the prowl. You had to watch your back and be careful who you talked to, or who you allowed to talk to you.

You are right, what you bring to the table is the primary consideration, in other words what you can be used for, and not what kind of friend you might be. It's a very sad cultural development, and most depressing.

Another part of this cultural and social miasma is that when you do get to talk to someone you very often find yourself in a one-way conversation in which you can't get in a word, and the other person is constantly talking over you louder and louder until you give up, interrupting you to go on about their stuff, and hijacking any subject of conversation you bring up to steer it down the road of their choosing, which always ends up being about their opinions, views, and interests, and shutting out anything you might have wanted to share.

So here again you are right, people have in general become far more self-absorbed and selfish. Too many of them are all about themselves, and anyone they are talking to becomes just a receptacle for all they want to spew. Being that it has become so much harder to find anyone at all for conversation they go all out to spew everything they have bottled up as soon as they find anyone willing to listen, and quickly alienate them.

Last edited by amylewis; 05-20-2012 at 10:41 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: NJ
2,212 posts, read 6,344,509 times
Reputation: 2174
I don't agree.

I do agree that people are much more closed off in their own circles and less likely to engage i casual environments and I think that it is very much a result of technology - smartphones, tablets and social media. No question.

On the other hand I don't believe that the number of predators/users/conmen has suddenly gone up and the whole world is out to get unassuming people.
Nor do I think that the rise of the car is exactly new - the suburbs are a product of the '50's economic boom.

On the other hand, finding new friends requires different methodology - via meetup groups, religion, charities or special interests be they books, sports politics or something else.

Good luck. You do seem to be quite isolated. I hope you find a way to meet people and get your social life back on track.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Cape Coma Florida
1,369 posts, read 1,862,370 times
Reputation: 2929
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
I don't agree.

On the other hand I don't believe that the number of predators/users/conmen has suddenly gone up and the whole world is out to get unassuming people.
Nor do I think that the rise of the car is exactly new - the suburbs are a product of the '50's economic boom.
I'm glad you have not had this experience, but I never said this was a sudden development, or that the "whole world" was out to get the "unassuming." Nor did I say anything about the car being a recent development, or the suburbs. You put words into my mouth there. A common method of argument on the internet known as reductio ad absurdum.

I've related my experiences and observations over more than a decade and a half, and many others have related the same back to me from around the country. So if you have not experienced this I'm happy for you. Feel free to disagree with me, but my experiences and those of many others remain.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 05:22 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,652,680 times
Reputation: 815
I think the media has made the world seem like a worse place than it really is because it magnifies all the bad things that happen, which actually happen less frequently than they used to, but back then, you'd never hear about it.

So thus, people become more isolated, and isolation breeds madness, so it actually probably has increased the number of creeps since the unfriendlier a society is, the more people will act strange and anti-social.

It is pretty sad. I find it extremely difficult to make friends or meet women, to be honest I don't even try to meet people in real life anymore. :/

It's also the pursuit of the individual goals and the ridiculous hours people work these days, like someone mentioned. Everybody is turning into a busy snob.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 06:22 PM
 
5,532 posts, read 5,983,847 times
Reputation: 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
I think the media has made the world seem like a worse place than it really is
Agreed. It became national obsession and mass paranoia.
1) Kids for example, don't play outside anymore. There is mass hysteria about pedophiles and serial killers. I am sure these deranged individuals were preying on kids in the past as well, yet people continued with their lives. There are daily news of gropers in the NY subway but once again, I am sure that such perverts were active in the 50s, yet people went on with their lives and fear didn't get best of them.
2) Like most young people of this generation, the OP is suspicious of everyone who tries to approach her. Sometime she gives them a chance only to later reveal their "dark" side. I have no idea what "short term plans" these people have, since she doesn't get into specifics. Anyway, being single doesn't sound like fun these days. Today the most popular word is "creep". If this word had once a specific meaning, today everyone whose advances are unwelcome is a creep. Men can be very irritating sometimes.
3) She can definitely meet people on the internet, but armed with a high dose of suspicion, its only a short time until she reveals their true nature and sinister sides.
4) The problem seems to be real and widespread. I guess it has something to do with expectations people have from potential mates. In the past, expectations were lower and people happier.

Last edited by oberon_1; 05-20-2012 at 06:41 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,936 posts, read 70,745,369 times
Reputation: 76907
I don't mean to be contrarian, but I haven't seen this predatory phenomenon in the coffee houses and teahouses where I live, in NM, nor have I heard of it in Seattle, but it may depend on which venue one chooses. What I have noticed is that everyone seems to converge on the "cool" hangouts, hoping to meet someone interesting, but oddly, no one actually talks to anyone else.

Can't one complain to management about these salespeople, or whatever they are? It sounds really strange.

Men do kind deeds for women all the time, I thank them if they do something for me. They're not creeps unless their vibe is creepy. If they're kindly in demeanor, there's no problem. I do random acts of kindness for people, myself.

Funny thing about gropers. There have always been gropers. Back in the 1st half of the 20th century (and before, I'm sure) I read that women wore hat pins, and would wield them as a weapon when necessary. Anyone touching women inappropriately back then would get jabbed with a large pin. Kinda makes you a little nostalgic for the olden days, doesn't it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-21-2012, 12:06 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 19 days ago)
 
48,282 posts, read 45,557,145 times
Reputation: 15366
I don't think EVERYONE has an agenda. I think what is happening is that those who have an agenda come on stronger than they ever did before, and are more sneaky about it too.

And as for being suspicious of one another, I am noticing this much more than ever. I think the sentiment of "look out for #1 and no one else" has been a sentiment that has become more prevalent. We have become a society of strangers. Well, actually, this has existed for a long time. I think it has always been more of an urban phenomenon. Now I see it more in suburban areas, especially with the way today's suburbs are made. Someone mentioned the way cities are built don't lend to making friends easily. What has happened is that many people drive to work, drive home, and often don't interact as much. It is the way are society is being built. Suspicion has often been bred by fear of the unknown. Now, it isn't just that anymore. Before, people were in more tight knit societies, so people were a bit more fearful of the unknown. Now, in the society of strangers, not to mention greater access to the media, suspicion is bred through the media as well as not knowing as many people.

Last edited by green_mariner; 05-21-2012 at 12:14 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-22-2012, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,047,806 times
Reputation: 18249
I think the OP just needs a change of venue which someone else also stated. Try groups with common interests that you have so you have something in common to begin with. I would tell the neighbor I am not interested in any sexual encounters and I wonder if he is serious in the first place. I think you can make yourself a target in these situations. What about going out with people from work or school? Going out alone may be sending the wrong message depending on your social venue. Places really differ one from the other. Learning about body language could be useful. Maybe this belongs in the Mental Health area?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:58 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top