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A Worthy Promotion

In the "Cult of Escapism": A Worthy Promotion

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Worthy Promotion

Every day, my phone company, Movistar, sends me at least three text messages advertising promotions. Most of the texts advertise the same three promotions every day and I just ignore them, because they all encourage me to do something like buy 500 text messages that I have to use in three days. I'm not sure that's even possible. However, today they sent me a new one and I think whoever invented it should be instantly promoted to Head of Marketing.

The promotion states that, for $1.00 per month, you can text Movistar the numbers of people that you don't want texting you and Movistar will block texts from that person.

Panamanian dating culture is one of pursuit. The men are expected to constantly text the women, call them twelve times a day, bathe them in praise, express their undying love every three hours, swear that they didn't text her last night because they were receiving triple bypass heart surgery, not because they were cheating, etc. Mostly, if a woman ignores the pursuit, she's not annoyed, just forcing further chase. If it sounds smothering, ridiculous and immature to you western-minded readers, that's because it is.

We have our own silly dating rituals (like waiting three days to call, going to the movies, etc.), but anyway, that's how it works here and that's why this promotion is so brilliant. Uber-pursuit is a generally accepted dating approach, but that doesn't mean that 100% of Panamanians want it. It also sets women up for a lot of creepy situations that involve a lot of creepy text messages. So three hours after Movistar offers you unlimited text messages for two days for only $1.00, they also offer to block texts from people you don't like for $1.00. They're both supporting the dating culture and sabotaging it and making money off of both efforts. Brilliant.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's been 27 seconds since I texted my Panamanian girlfriend – she's probably worried that I don't love her anymore.


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