Ask Dufle: Threeways and Internet Addiction

In the first of PP’s new audacious advice column, Dr. Duflé takes on one pervert’s need for the ideal three-way relationship and a modern lady’s crippling social media dependence.

Duflé,

I have been carrying in a steamy love affair with a sexy lesbian couple I met while scuba diving with hammerhead sharks. They are both completely in love with me and utterly devoted to pleasing me in every way. The problem is that I only love one of them. How can I replace the other one with the cute Starbucks barista I’ve been seeing on the side?

-Anonymous

Anonymous,

I should think my time is better served responding to the “actual” concerns of PP’s readership rather than addressing a scenario that has so obviously been fabricated, and so clearly derives from the mind of a textbook deviant and mild sociopath. Not to mention someone of a most yellow disposition, who seems to lack the gumption to use a real name, as well as the creativity to invent a false moniker. Nonetheless, as I am a professional, I shall answer your query, solve your predicament, put your twisted little mind at ease, “Anonymous”.

It is quite simple, really. Like any successful act of immorality, self serving criminality, or general duplicitousness; the culprit must commit the offence without leaving a shred of evidence behind – no trace of action or even intent. The perfect crime is one where the offended party is so flummoxed, that they almost gift you the prize instead of having it stolen away from them. To translate this concept into terms you’ll better understand, I will paint you a more elaborate portrait.

First of all, you must have full consent and shared enthusiasm from this Barista you wish to involve. She must be desirable to both sexes, and if she isn’t bisexual or at least curious in her own right, then you are shooting with blanks! With her (the Barista), you must manufacture a situation in which the lady of your desire (let’s call her Gal #1) somehow encounters your mistress de café, unbeknownst to your affair, and develops a lust for her of her own volition. Once this has occurred, the two of you must further sow the seeds of infatuation to the point where she commits the offence of adultery out of her own unbridled, uncontrollable desire; thusly creating a relationship between the desired two, and a potential relationship ending offence to the gal in third place.

To complete the caper in crown jewel fashion, you and the Barista must stage an instance where you, most conveniently, burst in on the two of them in the throes of passion. In your state of “shock and confusion” Gal #1 will be forced to talk you down by desperately explaining how “this wasn’t planned,” “has nothing to do with you,” and “shouldn’t affect things between the two of you” as she’s only cheating on her girlfriend with another lady, but “not on you with another guy.” This should open the door to conciliation and thusly extend the invitation for you to join the party already in progress (which involves your co-conspirator who has been waiting for this moment as much as you and has already been sworn to silence)! Now its up to the two of you whether or not you eventually let Gal #1 in on the secret, or keep it under wraps.

Do all this without flapping your gums before it materializes, and you should have your desired result; same gang of three, with slightly altered membership.

I wish you no luck, and may god have mercy on your soul!

Dr. Col. Aloysius Crain Duflé III. Esq.

p.s. Someone like you must address me as either Doctor, or Colonel, or Doctor Colonel until you can learn basic decency.

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Dear Duflé,

I know it’s super cliche to say I’m ‘addicted to the internet,’ but I think I have a serious problem. I’m literally obsessed with social media. When I see something pretty, I imagine how many people will like it if I post it. I ‘check in’ to places in the middle of nowhere. I can’t stand still without wanting to upload pictures of my feet. I can’t think a thought without wanting to tweet it, and will frequently reply to my friends’ witty cantor with ‘Why don’t you get a Twitter account!? You’d get so many followers!” My boyfriend is sick of me comparing him to my tumblr followers and my family is tired of me skipping out on events because they live too far away to get a 4G LTE connection (why would I go to a party if I can’t create a hilarious hashtag!?).

I see so many articles out there about going on ‘digital diets’ and toning down internet usage, but I think this is something deeper and darker. I live my life through my avatars. Please #help.

Sincerely,

 

Constant Insta-Girl

Insta-Girl,

Ah yes, the vanguard of post modern neurosis; internet addiction. The technological equivalent of “The Black Plague” for the Millennial generation. Only this disease spreads faster than sending a text, and infects almost everyone it comes in contact with!

Do you remember your first computer? That silly, simple little (not that little) box acting as a source for information and pornography? That grey/beigeish device that provided the safe and anonymous forum to be an asshole, to interact with strangers via chat-lines or e-connections, and the next evolution of mail exchange? It has now become so much more, hasn’t it?

Do you remember the days when you just had a flip phone? When connecting to the internet actually took seconds if not minutes? When you used to have to worry about downloading the newest version of MSN? Remember Napster? Remember ICQ? Friendster? MySpace? Remember your hotmail account? Remember when YouTube came out in like, 2005? Do you remember the days when you had your own authentic, individual, unique personality that couldn’t be downloaded or purchased at an app store? Sadly, you probably don’t. Not really, not anymore.

In order to maintain those memories of simpler, slightly less mediated times, you would actually have to expend some time in your own thoughts and emotions and really reflect. Time spent reflecting means valuable seconds spent away from the smartphone or laptop that you may or may not be reading this column on right now.

To truly remember, you would have to have been cognizant of all the detailed changes in lifestyle that accompany each new technological innovation and pseudo-social online trend, instead of just a hazy recollection; a blur of endless clicks, “likes”, and digital images accompanied by the constant emotional ebbs and flows of validation versus alienation that make up today’s online experience. After all, people don’t need memories when they have thousands of pictures and 30 second videos to instantly conjure what passes as an accurate reflection of the past at their fingertips.

Your problem, Insta-Girl, would have been as simple to solve as a “digital diet” if it were still the 90s! Instead of spending too many hours on some band’s message board, today’s online excesses and dependencies are far more pervasive than anything a simple dose of self-discipline can solve. Nowadays, technology has wedged its way into not only professional, academic, and recreational spheres, it has also taken a stranglehold over what most young people value far more than any of the other aspects of their existence… their social lives!

Today, to go online means to check in with your entire sense of social identity; a perfectly curated version of yourself that you feel reflects your true nature… only in its best, most glorious form for everyone to see. When this persona you’ve created for yourself is validated by your peer group, it not only reinforces the motivation to covet your online persona as the truest reflection of your own identity, it also steals a piece of your actual identity away from you in the process. In other words; each time you find yourself caring more about your life online, you put less stock in your actual real life experiences, as they seldom offer such a safe and instant source of gratification.

I offer you this Insta-Girl, you need to “check in” to the great wide world around you, the one outside of the world wide web you’re currently stuck in. It is a fitting name isn’t it… web. It may sound overly simplified, somewhat dismissive, and yes corny, but it may be time for you to seriously take stock of your priorities in life.

One of my personal heroes Mz. Fran Lebowitz once said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, if your head is buried into the screen of a phone or a laptop, that’s where you are, actually!” In other words, how you choose to spend your comparatively short amount of time on this earth determines what kind of existence you will have. If you spend most of your time consumed by these technologies, cut off from the beautiful, fascinating world around you, that will be the experience that defines your existence; one that wasn’t actually lived but read or viewed or clicked through instead.

Certainly a great deal of what takes place in the online world and with social technologies are necessary aspects of life in the 21st century, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that there aren’t other ways to live, and other things to live for. In order to truly rid yourself of this dependency you must rediscover what those things are; things you’re passionate about, things that inspire you, places you wish to go, people you wish to meet, experiences you’ve dreamt of having etc. etc.

Go pursue these things, and when you do, leave your phone at home! I’m serious, don’t continue to turn your actual experiences into mini documentaries that take you out of experiencing the moment and turn you into a passive observer. If you want to be a photojournalist then go to J school, but if you want to live in the “real world” you have to stop treating your life like it’s the subject of a reality show on MTV. Even contestants on those programs aren’t allowed to use technology… because its too fucking boring to watch!

You would be amazed to rediscover how gratifying it is to find something you truly, genuinely like that doesn’t require the clicking of a mouse to experience, and doesn’t depend on waiting for someone else to click in order for you to enjoy it.

Good luck to you Insta-Girl, I’ll leave you with one more quotation I think everyone can relate to.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

– Ferris Bueller.

Your most humble servant,

 

Dr. Col. Aloysius Crain Duflé III. Esq.

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Got a question for Duflé? Send him an e-mail to DrDufle@ProvocativePenguin.com or post one in the comments below.

About Dr. Col. Aloysius Crain Duflé III. Esq.

Dr. Col. Aloysius Crain Duflé III. Esq. is a wealthy industrialist and land owner. He currently holds several prestigious degrees and runs a lucrative importing/exporting concern. He is known to many as a "rogue scholar", "Colonel linguist", and in some circles holds the title of "Toronto's favourite son". [More By Dr. Duflé]