Unwanted. Alone. Ugly. Stupid. Fat. Loser. – Some of the words used by far too many to label themselves. We all know it is true. If it is not us right now, it probably was in the past. And we all know someone around us struggling with it right now. No self-esteem. No support. No hopes. No dreams. Nothing.
Regardless of why this never-ending epidemic occurs, and/or seems to only get worse, there is no doubt it happens. Whether it is media, capitalism, fascism, The Hills, racism, sin, religious discrimination, repressed anger, mean parents or general depravity, being a creep is an endless reality for people you encounter every day of your life.
Most of my teenage years fell during the 1990s, an interesting decade that started with Grunge music and ended with boy bands. In 1992, Radiohead, one of the most important bands of the decade, released a song called “Creep.” The song was absolutely huge and cut straight to the heart of every aforementioned person able to hear it.
Some consider it a downer, others are absolutely inspired and encouraged by it, because they are reminded they are not alone.
But I’m a creep / I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doin’ here? / I don’t belong here
If Thom Yorke can sing and feel this way, and I certainly believe he has, consider the validation bestowed upon thousands and thousands of awkward teenagers (and others) through this song.
Enter Facebook. In February 2004 this culture-changing, social networking platform was launched from a Harvard dorm room, its creation primarily contributed to Mark Zuckerberg, who was 19 years old at the time. Though far from the only social network today, its impact is vastly beyond any other with over 500 million users as of July 2010.
There is a movie releasing on October 1, 2010 called The Social Network. View the trailer here. It tells the Facebook/Harvard/Zuckerberg story. The primary trailer for the film is set to “Creep,” except it is being performed by Scala & Kolacny Brothers, an all-girl choir (Scala) led by two classically trained brothers (Kolacny). The rendition of the song is beyond poignant for the song’s meaning. In my opinion, the movie could be a bomb and I would still be happy that I was introduced to this version of the song – but I have to say, I am very intrigued by and can not wait to see the movie.
And this connection: Facebook. Creep.
At first I thought it was Hollywood magic getting to me, but I now see that it is sheer genius that “Creep” would be the music bed for a movie about Facebook and its origins. Don’t get me wrong, I log in to Facebook nearly every day, but I also feel it is important to keep it in perspective (where have we come from?, where are we going?). When used properly and for the right reasons, online social networking is an absolutely amazing tool, but aspects of it are simply bizarre.
I saw a recent message on Twitter that said: “Facebook is for your friends who are now strangers / Twitter is for people that should be your friends.”
I agree with this.
Now these “strangers” can find and watch you without your knowing, and certainly they are hoping you will watch and listen to them.
I want you to notice, when I’m not around
You’re so f*cking special, I wish I was special
How do friends become strangers? How many of these strangers feel like creeps? How many of us do?
Facebook is simultaneously complicating, and simplifying, such questions.
And we are only just getting started.