It’s the Thursday before break and, like many of my classmates, I can safely say that I am mentally, physically and emotionally fried. My overall settings seem to have been switched from manual into autopilot until further notice. So what’s a student like me to do on a dark (seriously it’s only 6) and chilly night? Not homework. So naturally, I began perusing the wanted ads on various dating sites.
Do I sound like a creeper yet?
I probably should explain. If there is one thing that I have learned from high school sleepovers is that going onto other people’s dating profiles is the surest way to put a smile on your face. For example…
20 year old “baddooor”‘s favorite thing is…
“the best feeling ever is when me and my partner is cuddling so hard under the blanket so we can warm each other.”
Then there’s “PBnJ303” who seemed to be quite specific in what he was looking for…
” I am looking for a short, cute girl that wants to spend time with me. She will be my best friend as well as my girlfriend. We need to communicate very well. We need to keep each other company and talk about everything and anything. Trust is extremely important. A girl needs to understand that she can tell me anything, no matter what it is. I want her to come to me for help or advice, or just to have someone to talk to. I am looking for a girl that has a cute laugh. She needs to be fun and full of life but knows where her heads at and knows when to be serious. She needs to be passionate in a relationship.”
Wow. Now there’s a man who knows what he wants.
And then my personal favorite…. a Craig’s List ad titled,
“Looking For One Discrete, Horny, Woman Over 50 – 65”
“I’m a married guy in an asexual marriage. I’m healthy, not just asymptomatic but medically tested and fine. I want a woman over 50 who is eager for some genuine, relaxed, intimate conversation and sincere, grinning squishy-squish.”
Squishy-Squish? Really? Well obviously the internet is full of people who are much creepier than me.
But as I was scrolling through the pages and pages of single (and some not so single) men and women, I began to notice a few things. Whether you intend to or not, your perception of this individual relies entirely on those first few stats on their page. It seems to act like a sort of mental checklist. Is he cute? Yes. Ok, click his picture. Does he smoke? No. Good. Eh, he’s super religious. NEXT. I’m sure that we all can agree that there is no way to understand a person in 300 words or less but yet we make split second decisions about their character based on these short stats.
When thinking of this, I can’t help but think of our students. Before we get to know them, these students are nothing but statistics to us. Johnny is below average in reading. Sally is proficient in writing. We don’t know their personal histories yet. We don’t know their personalities. And unfortunately, if we’re not careful, these initial statistical impressions can become the foundation of how we view them. Johnny is below average in reading can just simply turn into “Johnny is stupid and doesn’t pay attention”. I’m not saying that we will, but when approaching statistical information about an individual we do have to be careful. Statistics cannot define a person.
Unlike dating sites, we can’t just close the window. We can’t exactly opt out of the situation.
So just be careful to not judge a book by its statistics.
Comments much appreciated,