Sugar and Spice? Every generation has their “stories”. For my mom and my grandmothers, even to my great grandmother, it was the soaps. Before that, weekly radio shows, sewing circle gossip, legends, myths, rumors. Everyone loves an engrossing story about the horrible and mundane things that happen in the lives of others. And this generation is no exception.
Through the ages, all the “cool” things were mostly boys clubs. We had dolls, but the Anything you could want to see is available on the ‘net and it’s almost all centered on the female population boys had presto-change-o robots that turned into things. We had mini strollers and baby carriages, they had cars. We had Little Women, they had comic books. We had malls, they had muscle cars. But now, we have the Internet. What was once a land of the fabled geeky comic book guys is now 250 million channels of “My So-called Life.”
Anything you could want to see is available on the ‘net and it’s almost all centered on the female population. Just call me Mistress of the Obvious. Supply and demand states that if you limit the amount of something available, the demand for it will grow exponentially. Conversely, overflow the market and demand decreases. Somehow, though this works for almost everything else out there, it refuses to work for the Internet. Everyday another porn site pops up, another Facebook page, another Tumblr site and the Internet en mass flocks to it.
The problem I see is that just like all the soap operas out there, everyone has to do bigger and better to draw traffic to their pages. Where girls could get hits off a simple personal page, they are now fighting to keep their heads above water in a sea of soft-core porn. Where it was once cool enough to have a Facebook page, The Jones’ are running with their Tumblr porn sites. Where personality used to be enough, now you have to show some skin, or in certain cases, fake your own suicide or death.
Everyone is a bisexual model, dominatrix, dancer, geek, freak, artist and exhibitionist. Everyone is popular online if a little more than a little skin is showing. No one is content; everyone is struggling with the same thing and that idea, popularized in the movies of the day, making the net one big “Breakfast Club.” So who would you be? Are you Sporty Spice? Linux Diva? Tragic Artsy Chick? Troubled Badass Bitch? The Misplaced Prom Queen? What do you use to get your foot in the door and get the hits up?
It’s far and few between that don’t feel the push to get some of the love. I remember the days where I was thrilled to see more than one person a week hitting my Tumblr site. It still makes my day to get a new comment on my posts. Hell, I’m guilty of tits for hits on occasion. I would never say that every girl out there is a vapid web whore. Some Where personality used to be enough, now you have to show some skin, or in certain cases, fake your own suicide or death. people, myself included, find no problem with sending off a few shots for a girl who wants them for their site [sorry fellas]. I like putting myself out there in a lot of different ways – through my looks or my writing or my art. I am that kind of person. But what I don’t like is the way it makes younger girls or girls who aren’t like that feel pressured to whore themselves for attention.
We aren’t a sisterhood. We can’t fool ourselves into saying we are a good example for the 13 and 14-year-old girls jumping into their first Snapchat. Those who talk about their latest fling or binge may be totally honest, hey, I’m the first to say “That’s life,” but is it really something we want to be known for? Is anything on the Internet something we want to be known for?
I try to be as honest as possible online, I have always been that way because I am an honest person, but if I were to put my online persona Eschient up against my true self, they probably wouldn’t speak to each other. It’s not that they are two different personalities; it’s simply that I am self-conscious and shy while Eschient gets beyond that by being sarcastic and mouthy. And while I am starting to come out of my shell a little more, I could never be summed up by my online personas. With that personal understanding, I know that everything out there must be taken with a grain of salt.
On the other side of the coin, there are the girls who seem to build a perfect model of themselves online and try to force their real life to fit into that ideal. Or people whose entire life is online. Face it, it’s easy to become a star on Facebook or YouTube — all it takes is a knack for making that next viral video. Becoming a star is a temptation that everyone flirts with at times, even if there is no real substance to it.
The psychology behind it all is the best part of it. I love to see truly honest and nice people become popular as much as I like to see vapid people get called out. It’s possible for anyone to become popular online and to find your own niche out there. That’s sometimes next to impossible in the real world. It’s interesting to see how far people will go to find whatever it is they are looking for. Almost as interesting as it is to figure out why they are looking for it. Whether it be leaked celeb porn, or pirated movies, people go through great depth to fulfill their needs.
Unfortunately, we don’t all find a common thread and wrap everything up in a nice friendly package. Girls will be girls, after all and there will always be little catfights. There’s innovators and copycats and as always, competition. If you don’t like someone online, it seems the standard protocol is to go on a crusade to destroy their “net cred” with bullying comments, or threats — using any tactic available to them. It just leaves me asking, “Where have all the sweethearts gone?”
Since it all seems to be high school all over again, let me leave this in your yearbook, girls. ‘Experience is more trustworthy than storybooks, strength is more than actions, honesty always outlives a lie, grace is timeless and life is the miles between the off ramps.’ There are lessons to be learned outside of an online persona.