Friday, March 5, 2010

"Missed Connections": A New Social Trend in Toronto

Graphics (Toronto: November, 2009) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

It was always there, but, previously, there were no appropriate means or media to communicate it to the intended person. People meet people -- in streets, buses, trains, planes, shopping malls, and the like. Some people, in the course of this chance meeting, like or have fascination for certain people but do not have the instant chance or courage to let them know of their feelings about them. They are also too shy to let them know immediately that they would like to meet again. This happens in every country, in every culture.

With the growth of the digital media (the Internet, cellphones, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites), people are participating in them in droves from the security of their homes and offices. Previously, what was their inner secret is now being hawked publicly. People, especially in the West, are no longer that much reticent or shy to express their inner thoughts and feelings.

The and are two websites that publish such thoughts and feelings under Missed Connections. This is a new social trend that's gaining wider currency. 24-Hours, a free daily newspaper from Toronto, for about a year republished some of these website postings on its pages. As a part the new social trend and a record of social history, I am quoting below some of these postings.

  • Sunglasses in winter? So there you were, just came and sat down in front of me on the subway [underground train] at Kennedy [Station] and our eyes locked for, like, 2 seconds and many times after that. Good thing those sunglasses (in winter?) were on top of your head rather than on your eyes because your eyes just attracted me a lot. Me: Male with a full-hawk hairstyle doing my sudoku puzzle.
  • Dundas Street car...1,2,3: You got off at Ossington station and we shared, not one, but three backward glances. I sat beside you, but couldn't get up the guts to talk to you. You're cute blonde with very blue eyes. I have brown hair and was wearing a black jacket and a blue striped scarf. I stayed on the street car, but maybe I shouldn't have.
  • You in Captain Crunk Shirt: At around 12:15 a.m. you walked into the subway going eastbound that I was in with four of my loud friends. You were the guy with the nice eyes and wearing this Captain Crunk shirt my friends and I thought was so funny. I was the girl with curly brown hair in the black shirt and skirt, having a Tim Hortons tea. I had to get off at Main Station. You gave me the nicest smile and really made my night.
  • In the beige coat: To the girl in the beige coat: I saw you just West of Jarvis [Street] on King [Street], near the Rainbow cinema. You were standing (smoking) under the overhand, out of the rain. It was about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. I was gingerly stepping through the muck and you smiled at me like no one ever walked on, as did I, but I'm wishing I didn't...Tell me what I looked like and dinner's on me.
  • Too shy to say hi: I've had a crush on you for ages, and I totally geek out whenever I see you at lunchtime. If you are attached then that is fine, but geez, I am way too shy to say hi. It's just silly now, but I think you are awesome and I have often wondered your name. You wear plaid shirts and engineer boots. Location: Queen West [Street], John [Street] and Richmond [Street].
  • Music lover: Dear cool headphone girl, I see you like to sit in the back corner as well. Hope to see you again. Location: 25 [Number] bus north, Wednesday.
  • At the Wal-Mart in Aurora: First you passed me in one of the DVD aisles. You smiled and kinda grabbed yourself. You are super hot and bearish. We continued to flirt around the store, making eye contact several times. We finally chatted and explained that I was shopping with my sister. I gave you my number. I hope you use it.
  • Looking for Nurse at Brampton: I was standing in line at hospital Timmie's [Tim Horton's Coffee Shop]. You were in front of me with co-worker and you were discussing time off at holidays. You turned around and gave me beautiful smile -- a few more times. You caught me checking you out and you smiled at me. That uniform does you no justice as you are a beautiful woman. You were wearing dark uniform with a white sweater. I detected an accent too. You are about 5'5" with blue eyes, strawberry shoulder length hair. Can we meet for coffee?
  • Nice Eyelashes: I sat next to you on the train to Kennedy Stn [Station]. You had lovely black eyelashes. I asked you if they were real. Your name begins with N. I wanted to ask you out for coffee but we reached Kennedy station just then.
  • Cute guy doing his homework: You were sitting on a log doing homework(?) My do came over to say hi. You asked what kind of dog she was and we chatted about where you've been in Canada. I thought you were cute as hell! If you're interested in a coffee/drink sometime get back to me. Tell me what kind of do she is and where you're from. Would like to hang out sometime.
  • Woman at Tony Stacey Centre: Saw you at Tony Stacey Centre. You are tall and good looking. I was wearing tan pants and a blue coat. You were outside having lunch with I assume your grandfather. would like to talk with you, let me know what you were wearing and hopefully we can meet for coffee.
  • Cutest bus driver: I think you are the cutest bus driver ever...I looked forward to seeing you in the morning on my way home. I finally got the guts to start up a conversation...I asked if you were Spanish, to which you replied no. You mentioned your Portuguese background...I would love to find out more about you...I hope you read this and reply...Location: northbound on Caledonia.
  • Beverly Street -- You smiled as I sat on the steps: I was enjoying the sudden downpour of snow when you walked by and flashed a gorgeous little smile my way. You were putting on some makeup (or adjusting?). It was completely unexpected and I was mesmerized by the snow, your cuteness...Fancy a coffee? We could admire the snow together!
  • The tall, dark and handsome gentleman: You were the tall, dark and handsome gentleman ordering lunch yesterday at Sprout [restaurant]. I was the short woman with curly reddish hair, a white top and checked pants. I noticed you as soon as you walked in and I gave a glance on my way out. I think you may have noticed me noticing you. Location: Yonge [Street] & St. Clair [Avenue].

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