“I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.”
– Andy Warhol
There’s been a recent trend that I’ve noticed where guys harp on night clubs, and America in general, as being a terrible place to meet women. The other night I was asked what I thought about the whole “clubs suck” argument. I agree, somewhat.
If my memory serves correct, I’ve been going to bars and clubs since I was fifteen. A lot of my friends were older than me and there were plenty of venues throughout Iowa that didn’t check IDs. Despite my bowl cut, braces, and dorky aesthetic; I was still allowed in. Throughout high school I thought this was awesome and was more than happy to except my dual status as both the nerdiest guy in school and the biggest partier. It was quite the achievement.
By the time I got to college I’d, somewhat, outgrown going out and partying. I was more content with Minecraft and browsing the Internet than going out on a Friday night. It wasn’t until the second semester of my freshman year that I really started going out again. During that time I started to notice two major changes. The first was that girls had all started getting smart phones. Up until 2011 or so, there weren’t too many Droids or iPhones in Iowa. Everyone had iTouches and Blackberries, but neither caused much social change. The second thing I noticed was how fat everyone was getting.
Smart phones, in my opinion, have really wrecked most social events. A few weekends ago I went to a concert, instead of actually watching the stage, at least half the audience was glued to their phones. I actually overheard a guy say that the opening act was boring and then pull out his phone to play some game. A professional entertainer, trained in gaining attention from huge amounts of people, couldn’t compete with a generic Samsung phone.
When it comes to bars and clubs, I’ve noticed a lot of them seem to be emptier now than they were even a year or two ago. While draconian drinking laws and outrageous prices are to blame, I think the real culprit is technology. A dude with 500 state of the art video game, a treasure trove of free porn, and Facebook account has no incentive to leave his house. All the luxury he could want is just a click away. Likewise, girls can stay in and still get copious attention off their social media accounts. Even when they do go out, a lot of the girls I run into are in the club specifically to take pictures for their Instagram accounts.
My second beef is with the current obesity epidemic. While I knock guys who’d rather sit at home with their porn and video games, there’s actually not much incentive for them to go out anyway. Last weekend I was at a place where 99% of the patrons were college kids from coastal regions. About 50% of them were overweight. I have pretty lenient standards on how people should look, but I think its ridiculous for any twenty-some year old to have a giant gut.
In a nutshell I do think clubs are a rip off. However, I don’t think they’re as horrible as people like to portray them to be. Even a lousy night out is better than the best night of sitting home to watch Netflix or play Xbox.
I’m not super good looking and I’d consider myself to be on the mildly awkward side, but I still have a lot of cool stories just from the sheer amount of times that I’ve gone out.
Unlike staying home to play games or watch television, you’re getting a real experience when you go out. It’s cheesy and coated in neon lights, but it’s still something that’s actually happened.