Saturday, February 18, 2006

The New Addiction

It’s a “brave new world” this MySpace world, I tell you. And BRAVE it is! You can see things, and do things, and ask things, and show things that would otherwise be forever hidden and lost in the deep and dark barrel of the human subconscious. It is a peek through the dark curtain of our daily lives; it is an escape from our boring, no-time-for-anything-fun, overworked, under-vacationed lives and a chance to be risqué and dangerous at the same time, with virtually no consequences.
Sure, there are “decent” things/people on MySpace, like music exchanges and interesting conversations, talks about sports and books, and honest people who want to JUST be your friend or talk about their kids, their parents or pets… Sure there are… Just like any other society, there is always a dignified and honorable minority. There surely is. :-)
But in all its vastness, MySpace is much, so much more colorful than just that!
Where else can you break the ice between two complete strangers with “ hey, hon’, you think I’m bangable?”? (well, at least you try to break it; but if you “hit” the wrong person, then the ice is forever!). Try that as your new pick up line at the bar, see what happens! Where can you just look at pictures of naked bottoms (and I am not talking Victoria’s Secret naked!), see hard-on’s “the size of Florida” (a movie quote) just about around the clock? Where else can you get away with saying to someone “wanna f&^k?” for a conversation starter, after dinner or first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach for that matter?! Try that on your first date at the movies, and see how fast your head will spin! It even teaches us new phrases (or maybe this is just me living a sheltered life for a long time), like “hit me up”, or “got digits?”.
It satisfies the voyeur in all of us, and feeds the pervert. It puts smiles on our faces that we can so see that we are so much better off than others! It gives us the long awaited pat on the back, that we never get from our parents, bosses, spouse, or even LIFE, in general…
When we get depressed about our OK life of making less money than what we are worth, of being loaned out on a car, house, and computer payment, and of having the “being 30 and old” blues or being single, we turn to MySpace to feel better. And we do feel better when we read that some of “our friends” (or potential ones, that BEG us to be their friends daily) live in a low income part of town, with 15 smelly cats and a drunk boyfriend whose idea of productivity is walking up to the corner and buying yet another bag of weed when the bank charges them for $350 for bounced checks and the rent is 2 months past due, and they look like a stripper after a hard day, but they still have the strength (it must be strength!!) to call themselves “Ms. Independent”, or “Ms. Perfect” for the “screen name”! We feel proud reading Coelho and Frank McCourt, and Salinger, when others cannot spell the word “heard” or even “are” and cannot construct the simplest of sentences … Our lives are so much better now! Oh, yes indeed. We, unlike others, are headed somewhere. We might be old, and single, and lonely, but not that far off as most of our peers! We feel special.
And there is no bloody discrimination here, either… No such thing as “the house is full, you’re out”, no “A-list” bull crap, no “this party ain’t for you!” mumbo-jumbo, no American Idol and Survivor gruesome auditions… Not at all!. We ALL get to experience these stories, and pictures and lives of people as diverse as the leaves in a forest! Even if physically we are no richer in friends, nor close acquaintances, have no prospects of friends because we’re too paranoid to meet them, or simply too busy to make the time (and I am seriously starting to doubt if at least ONE person here can make a really good friend indeed out of this mess), we have at least the consolation that we can ALL be part of this Babel Tower, and can see into ALL these lives, we ALL have these enlightening happy moments right from our computer screen. And thus our lives have been changed one more time with a new fad… We sign up and that’s all we need … to have a friend, or 1000, or to be a star for that matter. We get compliments, and pass compliments, we wish happy birthday and happy valentines day and whatever else is going on that day to people we’ve never met, and probably never will…
All of a sudden, our lives get new routines and are changed forever: we’re all addicts for the daily MySpace fix: we get to work, we check “our space”; we leave work, we need some good juicy story to mull over on the ride home, and CNN and the local news site is SO overrated; we’re all hungry for the “real stuff”; we check “our space” before we leave; and we get home 20 minutes later, and we gotta see who else popped up on “our space”, what kind of freak is e-mailing us now, what kind of wacko wants to be our friend again, or what other survey is there to fill out. The blood needs it, and the brain needs it, and we make sure, loyal, pitiful addicts as we are to ourselves always, that we feed that need!
I guess we’re all slaves of our times: if it’s not books, or papers and magazines, it’s the radio or the tv, or the sitcoms, or the reality shows. Now, we’re a step up (wait a minute: maybe a step DOWN??!!) from Reality TV because we ALL can be stars! We all can get hitched here, in some sort of debasing way, we all can talk dirty and have at least cyber sex till the cows come home! We can all be on Oprah and Jerry Springer and the newscast all in one spot here. We are the actors, and the directors, and the spectators all in one. And there is no silly law to protect our oh so young and innocent eyes from a nipple, either! We get the full fledged instant gratification for free. We just can’t win a million dollars … yet! But other than that, Reality TV, move over! MySpace is here!!! And trust me: people dig it!

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