As much as I sometimes feel it has squashed my life into a pancake, I cannot lie that it feels safer here at the office than at home. I worked from home for 20 years, almost completely in solitude. It gains on you. It envelopes you. It drowns you. It sounds like a dream to so many but I believe most who sing praises of working from home are lying like an influencer.

As per previous posting, I had a rough couple of days. I walked it off, mostly (literally), and slept long hours to remedy the conditions. Ate healthy, too. I heal well, at least with physical injuries.

I’ve made these mistakes before. One of my favorite Payphone Radio calls is the one where I talk about how one day I’m going to wake up dead. DOesn’t everyone one day wake up dead?

In my relentlessly wasteful attempts to find friendship or more through dating apps I made a curious discovery today. In fact, it’s not new to me. I just don’t usually take it so far.

Honestly, though, any observer of the ways I waste my time on dating apps would conclude that this is a person determined to waste his life, to waste his every waking day in the hopeless, futile pursuit of happiness via online dating.

But here is what I did while sitting naked in the tub today, waiting for the water to hear up. I looked at the profile of a woman I messaged two days ago. She had not responded, and it looks like she never will. Boo-hoo, big surprise. I am not 6, 6, and 6… er, let’s say I’m not 6, 6, and that looks and money count more than almost anything in the online realm. I’m not a horrible looking guy but I’m no beefcake muscle jock and I don’t make 6 figures. The latter quality really does eliminate me from a lot peoples’ consideration.

Anyway, that’s not what I was going to discuss. What happened was, as I went to check to see if she had replied I also tapped on the “sent messages” tab to see that the message I sent was there, and that her name had changed from her screenname alias to what appeared to be her real first name. I don’t know if that’s a deliberate trick to make you feel you gained some level of access to this person or if it is a bug. Whatever the case her name alone was distinctive enough that within seconds I punched it into a searchie and now know exactly where she lives, where she works, what she does at her job, how many kids she has… I am not a kind of creep who would do anything with this, but I do have to ask if people on dating apps, which are supposed to be discrete and “anonymous”, at least in the historical characterization of the realm, realize just how easy it is to determine exactly who you are.

In this case I learned that she was bascially what I guessed based on photos and nothing else. She only had one word on her profile and the pictures, I know now but already suspected, appear to be from 10-12 years ago.

I think about my own dating app profiles and how I don’t care if anyone identifies me. It’s been like that with me since the Aline days (whoosh, who remembers Aline, the U.S. connection to the French Minitel which was a bit of a sensation in New York for a little while)? I went onto Aline with my full name and this made other people on that line think I was insane.

I do know when to exercise discretion, like when I dabbled in being a pornographer, or when inquiring about things I’m not sure I want to be associated with. But that’s rare for me. For the most part I dox myself.

Dating apps are a black hole of wasted time, and I’m happy to see Match getting sued for gameifying and algorithmicizing and mythologizing human companionship.