Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meebo, AIM, Yahoo! I've Got No Friends

For the past decade - or is it two at this point? - instant messengers have discreetly made themselves known in roughly every high-traffic server and have not-so-discreetly broadened the social lives of everybody on this side of the world and the other one, too. They're easier to understand than the static muffles of a phone conversation, and the anonymity leaves most individuals rather shameless, which are probably also both reasons why the texting trend has exploded despite the fact that phones were originally intended for, y'know, sound. If you want a third reason, look into the concept of having fifteen different conversations at once.

Also, you can finally talk to this chick without getting thrown in a dumpster!
I, like thirty-million other people, have used AIM pretty near religiously for most of my not-so-long life. And by that I mean, more than half of my-not-so-long life. The first time I can remember signing up for a screen name was actually my own AOL account way back when that asshole of an ISP was on its sixth version. What was my wonderfully crafted and obviously ingenious username, I hear you all asking? Rideryoshi. I'm the origin of badass.

Thing is, I made that account when I was eight, and back then it made me feel like a total badass. While I had to ask all of my "friends" usernames if it was them or their parent before engaging in some hardcore Luigi-is-in-Mario-64 conspiracy theories, everybody knew that when Rideryoshi was on, it was Nate and just Nate and there were no ifs, ands, or buts. Well, not until I discovered internet porn.

It made me feel like I was on top of the world, so much so that I would make something like twenty-seven different screen names before I was twelve. Most of these were variants of my Kriven Raven persona, or some weird worship of a couple on Teen Titans.

XOxoJyborgxoXO: Jinx & Cyborg 4eva kawaii!!!!11!
Eventually I began to calm my screen name making hormones and settled on one that I would universally use on AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! alike. No, I won't let you know what it is. Alright, I will, since I don't use it anymore: CrowAzerath. Yeah. I was still rocking the Titans. But still, like everybody else, I felt that I had a social life, because, shit, I was talking to people all day everyday and nothing was going to stop me. Not my mom, not my dad, not my cat. He just restarted the computer every fifteen seconds.

This illusion has been with me for most of my life. Why the hell do I need to go outside when I can just sit here and talk with all of my friends at once? And some of these friends don't even need to know I'm friends with other friends. What's that, cliques? Am I kicking your ass? Alright!

But then I realized something. I didn't have a goddamn social life. I was (IE: am) sitting in front of a computer, all day, getting fat, and having no friends, connections, good memories, or childhood to show for it. Half of the people I was talking to didn't know my name, let alone give a rats ass about learning it, and of the other half almost none wanted to associate with me in the halls... or the cafeteria... or the detention room...

To put it bluntly, I was a loser with a raging case of never-met-a-girlitis. Then again, everyone else must have been too, because we all just sat there whittling our Saturdays away writing novels about how much Megaman could kick Sonic's ass. Man, I wish I could still write novels.

Guys, put Obama down! I found the Antichrist!
This is all really the point I'm getting at. Everyone seems to think that they have this massive number of friends and a social life more raging than herpes all because of the number of contacts on their AIM list or the number of "friends" they have on FaceBook when the reality of the situation is that having a larger number on either of these means you probably have very little of a life at all.

I'm not sure who continues to perpetuate these facts, but I'm seeing more and more people shy away from the outside world in favor of gossiping all day on the ol' AIM, or sometimes Meebo, and this is a problem. Now, I'm not going to tell you all not to chat, because I would probably kill myself if I tried to do that, but if you're going to chat, do it responsibly. And admit to yourself that you're a friendless loser.

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