A Deeper Conversation (Leania Mahimer)

As part of the research group, I started joining the community last June 22 and made account using the least ‘likeable’ picture I had of myself.

Immediately after editing a bit of my profile in the platform, different types of men – Filipinos, Asians of different decent, Europeans, Latinos, and Americans, with an age range of 16-24, have started sending me messages. Countless hi’s, hello’s, how are you’s, where are you from’s, and the like were sent to me, and I replied them with the same statements. Waking up, to my surprise, my popularity was already ‘Very High.’

meetme22

Apparently, men ‘liked’ the mysterious aura of my profile picture.

Days passed and I have talked to a lot of men already, and it was time to choose an informant in that sea. I was planning to choose between Ronald and Lorenz, who were both from UST Senior High, but I chose 17-year old Nate, one of the first men I have talked to since I started using the application. He is a Third Year Computer Science student from Mapua University, Makati Campus. He wasn’t really active in the platform, but I managed to talk him out regarding the research. We talked then in Facebook.

According to Nate, he started using MeetMe a few years ago and only started using it again around one to two months ago. It was due to school work and own personal life that made him somewhat inactive.  He discovered the application through Google Play suggestions and own research after using other similar applications, specifically Omegle, Chatous, and Skout. He had used the application on an hourly basis, but nowadays he’d use it for only an hour or so depending on his school load. The longest time of activity he had was a week of continuously checking profiles.

At first, he was a bit shy in telling me answers to my questions, but he managed to answer them honestly. His reasons for joining the MeetMe community was out of boredom and he was in search for new friends. He said that the information he had put in his profile were true without reservations, and he didn’t use another person’s name, picture and identity. He was very clear that he used his own.

He usually starts a conversation with the people in the community by using either a compliment or a comment to something they posted. Though he was true to himself and to others in the community, he has never met anyone from the application in person, and only had short-lived friendships.

He also told me that his best experience so far was whenever he gets someone to talk to, he feels satisfied for finding someone who was actually willing to survive talking to him, and his worst was realizing that even after talking to those people, they seem uninterested, and ending up not having a conversation with him anymore.

He sees that the global standard of beauty is dominating the community, affecting his personal self-esteem and how people treat each other because of their looks and the factors that make a person interesting.

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