People You Shouldn't Trust in MySpace...or Real LifeByAnthony Burch August 03, 2007 - 9:00 am |
Generally speaking, sites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube are a veritable wasteland of worthless human beings and pseudo-celebrities. We have provided a quick and easy guide to people you should never trust or befriend in MySpace, or real life.
Being the antisocial person that I am, I shudder at the thought of any degree of human interaction, even if only over the Internet. I've only technically had and/or used a MySpace account, I don't have a Facebook, and the thought of putting candid photographs of myself online is only slightly below "public masturbation" on my list of nauseatingly self-serving actions that others might potentially have to bear witness to.
That said, however, I have many friends who use MySpace and Facebook, and I (and many others, I'm sure) have noticed that one can draw many, many parallels between the construction of a person's MySpace and their actual personality. These sorts of people don't outwardly proclaim their true natures – they're far too desperate for that – but the unintentional ways they set up their public profiles speak volumes as to their true character.
These people may be all-too-familiar to MySpace and/or Facebook veterans, but for those who are just starting out, just quit, or might one day fling themselves headfirst into a world of high-angled userpics and embedded Red House Painters mp3s, let this list serve as a warning.
Anyone who has more than 500 friends
A quick and effective way of judging someone's non-worth through MySpace is checking to see if they treat human beings like Pokemon – that is to say, they harbor some deep-seated desire to collect them all. Unless they're legitimate celebrities, people with more than five hundred friends place no value on human interaction beyond its relative worth as a means of societal status. The more friends one technically has, they believe, the better person you are.
In reality, these people are either infuriatingly attractive, shallow people who probably referred to themselves as "popular" in high school – that, or they're decently attractive people who almost made it into the popular group, and are now attempting to make up for it by numerically having the most social links on the Internet. In the "real" world, these people are fickle, flaky, and simultaneously seem to be a friend to everyone, and absolutely no one.
"I don't care what you think of me"
Anyone who uses the above phrase, in person or online, is absolutely not worth talking to for more than forty-five minutes. Under any circumstances.
This defect in personality is much easier to spot in person: if someone actually ventures to speak the words "I don't care what you think of me" within only a few days, weeks, or minutes of knowing someone, their quiet desperation is usually very noticeable in their body language and other actions. Online, it's even easier to spot. Especially given the case of AngryLittleGirl – I have nothing in particular against this girl or her views (we tend to agree on a lot, incidentally), but one must be able to see the inherent hypocrisy in filming a series of short video diaries, meticulously editing them down to an appropriate pace and length, uploading them for others to see, and then proclaiming in your YouTube profile that you don't care what others think.
Yet even ignoring AngryLittleGirl, there are many MySpace/Facebook/YouTube users who include this line in their personal profiles – you know, that thing that everyone who visits your page sees. If these people really didn't care what others thought of them, they wouldn't repeatedly affirm it in the one place everyone looks for information about the user. If you know people are going to read it, and you include a phrase like "I don't care what you think of me," then you obviously do – you want people to think you don't care what you think of them. George Carlin put it perfectly:
"People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think."
Update: Evidently, AngryLittleGirl changed the part of her profile that included the phrase “I don’t care what you think of me.” It was there, though. Scout’s honor.
People who shoot their user pictures from odd angles, or try to "touch them up" using Photoshop
Encyclopedia Dramatica has done a fantastic job of cataloguing all the different methods of photomanipulation that fatties, uggos, and nerds can and will use in order to make themselves appear more physically attractive. Some notable examples include:
The high-contrast blur (used to hide acne, fat, and/or general unattractiveness)
The fat girl angle shot
The thumbnail (because "anyone can look cute at 100x100")
Wait for it...
People who take pictures of themselves in the mirror
The inherent problem with taking a picture of yourself in the mirror is one of false humility – while holding a camera, there are any number of things the photographer-subject can do to make it seem like he or she is not, in essence, posing for a photo. The "picture of the mirror" trick allows the photographer to look intently at the camera as if trying to divine how to work this mysterious magic picture-box device, or to transfix their facial expression into one of extreme concentration, as if thinking about how to best frame the shot.
These assorted opportunities for fake distraction essentially allow the subject to act distracted or otherwise engaged by something important involving the camera: anything to distract from the fact that they are willfully and intentionally posing for a picture that they will later show to others in the hope of achieving compliments.
Now, there isn't anything wrong with taking pictures of oneself in the first place – the problem is in lying and pretending you aren't desperate for other people to think that you don't really care that you're taking a picture of yourself. If these people were only concerned about taking a picture of themselves, they'd just use the fucking timer on the camera like everyone else does.
Generally, these are the same sorts of people who say "I don't care what you think of me" – the same sorts of people who exhibit a desperate desire to be thought of as cool and counterculture, and who are willing to do damn near anything to make people think they exhibit said personality traits effortlessly.
People with really flashy profile layouts
These people are INSANE. Again, the keyword is desperation, but thankfully these people are totally honest in their desire to show others how interesting and fun they are. Unfortunately, they choose to express this by playing absurdly loud, distracting music, filling their page with eye-straining pictures and animations, and otherwise packing every square inch of their pages with random bits of information about themselves, ranging to incomprehensible quotes from popular films ("I LOVE LAMP") to inside jokes between friends, specifically designed to alienate other visitors to the page.
It's hard to peg down what sorts of human beings these people might be in real life: they may be charmingly moronic youngsters who think that only more equals more, or they may be equally oblivious adults, yearning to rekindle their childhood by joining an Internet community made up almost predominately of ten to twenty-year-olds. Either way, these are people who don't generally understand the world around them, and cannot generally define the word "quality."
That, or they're totally decent people who just don't have a very good eye for visual design.
People who take emo pictures of themselves and then assert that they AREN'T emo
While most all emo people deny the label that has since gained a negative connotation on par with "Scientologist" or "Nazi," there are those few who deny it so repeatedly and so fervently, that not only do they essentially showcase themselves as living, breathing lumps of self-denial, but their constant protestations regarding their possible emosity actually become correct.
People who protest so loudly and so frequently that they aren't emo probably weren't, at some previous point in their lives. Maybe a few years earlier they were a Jesus Freak, or a preppie, or an all-American student who did nothing but study. No matter what they were before their decision to paint their nails black, dye their hair, and take roughly eighteen hundred black and white photos of themselves, one thing is certain about their previous life: they were boring. Nothing stood out about them, nothing made them noteworthy, nothing made them – in their eyes, or the eyes of those whose opinion mattered to them – unique. And as a result, they chose to adopt a look, style, and personality (in this case emo), as a last-ditch effort to gain some much-needed character. They literally borrow the personality of a widespread social movement, and take its philosophies as their own. Better to have a stolen life than none at all, ostensibly.
And so, without any prompting, and without any attack from any outside source, they make sure that the first thing anyone knows about them is that they are not emo. Not straight-edge. Not a punk, goth, or whatever little "label" you want to affix to me, man. They protest and shield themselves against such attacks because if one of them got through, if one of the insults actually affected them on a personal level and forced them to take things to heart, the illusory life they built for themselves would inexorably fall, and fast. Calling one of these personality-devoid MySpace camwhores out on any one of the social personalities they ham-handedly adopted as their own would, in a sense, be like pulling open the curtain next to the Wizard of Oz.
And in their insanely fervent denial, they do become right: they aren't emo, or straight edge. In fact, they aren't anything. These poor souls have no personality of their own save for what they can borrow and steal. They are non-entities.