Tuesday, 4 March 2008

No love for Bebo!

I hereby declare Bebo 'home of the shallow'!

Let me explain. All social networking sites have their quirks and idiosyncrasies. For every person desperate to write on a Facebook wall there's another who simply wants to leave a comment on MySpace. These both share the same function: communication. But what of the more banal, or arguably exploitive elements? Facebook has its gifts - a dollar for a clutch of pixels in a gaudy arrangement - but Bebo has 'love'.

In the realms of cyber communication what is less lovely than reducing 'show love' to a tiny red heart icon? Ok, so I know there is genuine abuse that happens online but this discussion is about how the majority engage. I'm seeing a generation grow up thinking they can bitch about each other in conversation but then get online and type 'ly' on the same person's profile and 'show love'. (They'll probably compliment the semi-pornographic photos too!)

There's nothing to be praised about people who rejoice in being vain or shallow. Perhaps the only consolation to those desperate to look cool amongst Bebo's scene kids and emos is that you can download free photo-editing software! But do you really want to be just another air-brushed androgyne flaunting your shallow existence to a leering world? I hope not!

So am I down on social networking? No. It's changed my life - but that's another story! My point is let's be careful where we look for love. Because I've got to say that so much of what I've seen on Bebo smacks way more of showing off than of showing love.

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