Monday, January 30, 2012

"Y so sad bbz? XxXxXx"...How Bebo Ruined Your Life

I, for one, am not one bit saddened by the demise of Bebo.

This is because I remember a simple time. A time when life was so wonderful and full of mystery. When you had to try and remember what a girl you fancied looked like and often built up a much better image in your head of her than the grim, ugly truth you later learned by creeping through enough of her photos.

Bebo destroyed lives...fact.

For example, upon its arrival, long gone were the days when getting home from school was the only time for peace and quiet in the life of a bullying victim. Oh no! Because every time they went to school they were tormented with taunts about them having no friends.

So now that social networking had become the 'in' thing, all of a sudden they were caught in a vicious cycle: if they didn't have a Bebo, it would confirm the notion that they were peerless and alone in the world. But if they did, they were sitting ducks in a pond of ignorant arseholes who said it was "gay" to "spel wurdz propor" as they filled their poor victim's walls with vicious verbal bile to top off a long, hard day's work of being a dickhead. If the beatings and open mockings of the school day was like an edition of The X Factor to bullies, then that night on Bebo would be like The Xtra Factor: an extra dose of bullying for those who just couldn't get enough.

In 1962, an artist called Neil Sedaka released the track 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do'. He wasn't wrong. And Neil didn't even have a Bebo account to make the whole process a whole lot fucking harder.

Yes, I present to you the next vicious circle that the popularisation of social networking introduced to our lives: the break-up. You see, logic would dictate that one needs time to 'get some space' after such a sad, traumatic moment in one's life. So how do you do this via social networking? Again, logic would dictate that you simply dump your 'Other Half' and delete them off your page so you're forced to resist the urge to look at their page and break down in tears at the realisation that the person you thought for months, even years, was THE ONE was really just 'the one too many'.

Yet an unwritten rule of the break-up is that both parties must present a facade of maturity and begrudging goodwill to their partner: like a staring match where you lost if you appeared to give a shit. So delete them off your page and you are either blinking or resigning yourself to an eventual text reading "U TUK ME OF BEBO U FUKIN PRICK?!!" resulting in ANOTHER argument and headache.

Back in the old days, they would've had to have asked their parents for permission to use the house phone for these outbursts and their father would've promptly hung up after a couple of minutes to save on the Telecom Eireann the added drama wouldn't have really been worth the hassle. And a letter, with it's two day delivery time, didn't exactly have the same impact. So you'd just invite your mates over, bitch about how she was a minger anyway and you'd try to score her best mate on Friday night to get revenge. Everyone's happy. Well except for her, if you do actually score her best mate, but fuck her she's a minger anyway.

The next conundrum I give to you is the concept of openly declaring your 'Luv' or 'Like' for popularised by Bebo and still in full use today via Facebook.

This was when your life became one massive competition as, presumably, responsible adults had the ingenious idea to introduce a concept where each member could literally score how loved they were by the rest of the world and openly compare it to their friends. All on a website aimed at hormone-ravaged teenagers who live or die by this kind of information.

Friends were encouraged to send 'Bebo Luv' to each other, with a maximum of three 'luvs' per day to carefully bestow upon only their worthiest of mates. Of course, us humans being a predictable bunch that essentially only think of one thing...if you were an attractive female, you would have enough luv to do you for life. However if you were a 15-year old hunchback with glasses that, through no fault of your own, looks rather like this guy...

...then not only would you know, every soul-crushing day, how unloved you were in the world and how pointless it all was as even your best friends forgot to give you a poxy, meaningless heart in favour of that fit girl in your year they were NEVER going to ride...but your entire network of friends would know too! (I didn't get much luv. And yes, in case you haven't noticed, I'm still bitter about it)

This still rings true today. I have no problem telling you that I devote HOURS each evening, tirelessly thinking of one AMAZING status update to put on my Facebook wall...then sit there, waiting with baited breath, for a notification to pop up in my top left hand corner informing me that someone else in the world 'likes' my hard work and effort. And if nobody does, I cry myself to sleep. THAT'S what Bebo has done to me.

Believe me, I could go on about numerous things such as those fucking surveys that asked the exact same questions (in short: who do you fancy on your Bebo friends list?), but in a slightly different way that each time convinced you that you HAD to answer them because THIS was the best way to declare your love and get the ride. But I'll leave you with one final point:

Remember we used to do stuff?

Simple stuff, like hanging out on street corners kicking a can against a wall. Then creating a contest to see who could kick the can against the wall better than one another. Then coming up with a funny nickname for the person that kicked the can against the wall the worst, like 'Nokickcanser'. Then telling other friends who came out to us about how bad Nokickcanser was at kicking a can against the wall. But ultimately enjoying the thrill that simply bonding with another human being gives us.

Well what did YOU do tonight?

Me? I've sat at home, watching dumb little videos about cats doing things cats really shouldn't do on YouTube, after each video checking my Facebook wall to see if my friends have done something more interesting than that. But it's a Monday night, so they haven't, and instead they've posted links to more cat videos for me to waste my entire life away watching.

And I'm guessing, since you're reading this blog, you've done the exact same thing.

And that all started because our mates told us Bebo was 'fuckn gr8 m8' and we were dumb enough to believe them because it had shiny hearts, and pictures of girls we fancied, and surveys that convinced us maybe one day we'd leave our rooms and have sex with these women. But we didn't. Because they'd just posted a cat video and told us to 'clik dis now xxxxxxxx'. And we did. Because they had a series of x's at the end of it and we convinced ourselves it meant more than it did.

Another vicious cycle.

Fuck Bebo. And, if you don't at least like this or share it with your friends after reading it, fuck you too.

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  1. Bit silly giving out about a Social Networking site ruining lives, then at the end you ask us to add you on Facebook...because that hasn't ruined lives at all...