Due to the women in my family being revoltingly fertile, I am the eldest of 12 cousins, and 11 of us are girls. I’ve recently had Facebook friend requests from some of the younger ones, and it has brought me out in the kind of cold sweat usually reserved for finding an old pack of Cerazette, all empty but for one forgotten Monday. Not only was I worried they would read this blog (my musings on porn are not for 10 year olds) but also because it’s such a tender age to be online. I’m not worried about anything nasty happening to them- their mum is a powerhouse and I’m sure has total control of their internet habits. But my generation was the first to have every step of their teens recorded and shared with the virtual world, and most of it is not at all pretty. There’s nothing more sobering than thinking you’re absolutely class, then looking at your old Myspace and realising that you were, and still are, an utter cunt. Here’s what I looked like at 15ish:
To give you some idea of the timescale, the second one is of me eating a piece of melon in the willow, back when it was still just a Chinese restaurant with a disco every Wednesday evening. You were only allowed to go to the disco if you’d had a meal there beforehand, but that was fine because they served us Malibu with our special fried rice. It was disgusting, we were disgusting, but we thought we were some sort of inspiring punk-pop beat generation; that sweat bands, ridiculous trousers and Capdown would represent as important an era as rock and roll. Back in the 90’s, there would be the odd blurry bit of photographic evidence to remind people that they were twats as teenagers. For us, (CLASS OF 2004!) it’s all over the internet.
Our little clique got into a website called teen open diary when we were about 14. You had your own page that you could customize, and it was basically one big opportunity to show off and get attention. Unfortunately they’ve now shut it down, but I went on it last year and most of my entries were thinly veiled insults, bitching, asking for sympathy, or touting a new relationship about like it was a show pig. Most of them went something like ‘Out with you know who last night, he bought me beer, so cool seeing an 18 year old, plus his band is amazing and they are defo going to get a record deal! SOMEONE seemed off with me today, obviously jealous, god get a life, just cos you’re frigid and can’t get a bf, eugh. Got a really bad cold today 😦 send me hugssss! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx’. None of the bands that I had hysterics over ever did get a record deal, because they were rubbish and did New Found Glory covers. New Found Glory were shit enough when they were singing their own songs, let alone when inspiring 15 year olds with their first ever starter Strat their mum got them for Christmas. And ‘someone’ was probably pissed off with me because I was a horrible little tart. My user name was -Vanilla Sex-, which is a NOFX song that I seemingly thought represented me- ‘So stay in your missionary position/I hope that you get bored to death/There’s no way in hell I’m going through life/Having vanilla sex’. If my memory serves me correctly I WAS having sex, but it was awkward and boring and wholly unsatisfactory at my end, because I was 15. My parents would have bollocked me into next year if they’d have found my open diary. I think one girl’s mum found hers and she ended up being locked in the house until she was by all intents and purposes a virgin again. In the end my mum found a load of half smoked fags in my bedroom (couldn’t manage a whole one, was forcing my way though a pack of 10 L&B until I could have one and stay upright) and I didn’t see the light of day again for months anyway. I’m sure I spent my incarceration on MSN messenger posting a million sad faces and Dashboard Confessional lyrics to my online boyfriends. Literally the first 4 months of any relationship was spent legging it to the family PC after tea and Byker Grove, then feverishly posting each other songs until bed time at 10.30.
Then came MySpace, which allowed you to have profile pictures, therefore tripling the already sky-rocketing levels of vanity being hoyed up all over the internet. Scene girls were in, people started learning to drive, I got a fringe, we went to college and left the childish ways of open diary behind us. Unfortunately for me, this new found obsession for profile pictures (and digital cameras) coincided with me deciding to try and be a barbie, and so I dyed my hair blonde, slapped on a load of fake tan and ditched my converse for heels. There’s a fair few messages from one of my friends calling me a ‘sellout’. However there’s also a (JOKE!) message from him saying ‘if any of my kids ever do smack I’ll use it as an opportunity to sexually abuse them whilst they’re high’ and his girlfriend is giving birth in a month so I’m not going to trust his judgement. The bands now all thought they’d get spotted on MySpace and be immediately asked to join the warped tour and do beer bongs out of Tom DeLonge’s bum hole. This meant you got absolutely spammed the fuck out of by people messaging you gig flyers they’d made on word, asking you to vote for them in polls that no one cared about. I was spending most of my time smoking outside the big Tesco and listening to Taking Back Sunday, working on being ‘ironic’. My about me section reads thus- ‘Heroes: Anthony Worrall Thompson, Gloria Hunniford, Jeremy Kyle. Music: The same as everyone else except not as cool. Tend to like bands because the people in them are fit.’. I was happy with this state of affairs, knocking people out of my top 8 when they’d snubbed me at fibbers, and then suddenly everyone fucked off to Facebook. I steadfastly stayed away for ages because I didn’t want to be ‘a fucking sheep’, but as with twitter and cocaine, gave in.
Facebook takes up a stupid amount of my time. Look at it, all evil, with it’s adverts secretly burrowing their way into your hapless brain. When it comes to Facebook we are all like big flaccid, vapid, pasty worms, lying there with out of focus eyes and our mouths open waiting for Mark Zuckerburg to come and take a big shit. I don’t mean to sound paranoid but he is an evil genius who is watching and recording our every move. If I ever try and get a proper job, someone is going to whack out a photo of me in my pants from ‘party times 2009’ and ruin my life. Now I can see every photo, every status, every message from the past 5 years. I’d like to think I’ve matured a little and that the stuff I post isn’t too bad or embarrassing. But the fact is I’ve often spouted vitriolic statuses when drunk, and dip dye and jeggings are going to look hilarious in 10 years. When I’m 30 I’m going to find this blog and think ‘Christ, the 25 year old me was a massive prick’.