For a split second just then I really craved a cigarette

Xanga Username: Katiefinger … always has been, always will be.  Oh, except for the time when some pretentious tart was annoying me and I created another account to write (creatively) about the situation.  (And then just continued to use that particular username to write creatively about other stuff too.)

Xanga Birthdate: July 2003. Giving you an exact date would mean toddling off to look for it, and I really can’t be arsed.

Xanga “Statuses”: TRUE, but I had to ask for it.  That really irked me.  I wrote a post about it … yep, it irked me that much.  Also Premium, but I doubt I’ll bother rekindling that fire when it dies down.  Xanga isn’t what it used to be.  *sigh*

Xanga Profile Picture: I have one … you should be able to see it over there … *points haphazardly towards the right of your monitor* 

First Xanga Friend: Um, possibly Lyns, closely followed by ZoĆ« and Polly.  None of them post here anymore. 

Subsequent Xanga Friends: Many. There was the lovely Chris Sexie, the punky Jason, the quirky Susie, the bookish Karen, the elusive Chris who couldn’t get a job, the Internet-seller, the bi-sexual teenager, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick-maker.  Oddly enough none of them post here anymore.  More recently there’s you, if you’re reading this.

Xanga BFFs: If I like you, you’ll be my friend elsewhere.  I don’t need a Best Friend Forever on Xanga.  Thanks.

Xanga Family: Family?  I don’t spend Christmas with anyone on Xanga.  Nor do I sleep with anyone on Xanga.  I also never had a bath as a child with anyone on Xanga.  There might be somebody on Xanga I would have a bath with now, but that wouldn’t be because I wanted to be his sister.  If I argued with anyone on here they wouldn’t forgive me in the way that family can, the sort of forgiveness that comes from knowing someone inside out and outside in, from shared experiences (both good and bad) and from real love. 

Other Close Xanga Pals: Didn’t I cover this?  If not, just re-read the above.

Other Xangans Worth Mentioning: Probably most of the people I subscribe to.  I shan’t list them. 

Xanga Likes: The … nope.  The … um, no.  I’ll come back to this one (one day, possibly.) * 

Xanga Dislikes: Pleading, pulsing, arse-licking, religous nutters … Those who whine and those who have no sense of humour.  Also, those who love themselves.  It’s no surprise that Xanga is full of folk like that.

Official Xanga Achievements: None.  Go me!

Unofficial Xanga Achievements: I know I’ve made people laugh in the past.  I know that I’ve emotionally touched people in the past.  I was somebody’s unofficial Mom for a long while.  Awww … Damn, I should have kept that quote. I stayed when most other folk left for pastures new … I think that deserves some sort of recognition.  I shall make myself a badge. 

Recommending Habit: I don’t.  Or I did, once. 

Commenting Habit: I comment on most posts posted by folk I subscribe to.  I think it’s rude not to (which isn’t to say that I only comment because I feel I should; it actually means that I like the person and am interested in all the things that occur within their lives and their heads and therefore I like to show that I care, or otherwise.)

Timestamping: I’ve never done it.  It’s a silly feature and serves me no purpose.

Protected Posting: I used to do it a bit more.  Now I don’t care.  I’m anonymous enough for it not to matter.

Xanga Themes: Black on white (or white on black) always does it for me. Oh yes.
Xanga Pulse: I have Facebook for that.  Oh, and Twitter now, but I keep forgetting!  Silly me.

Xanga Plugz: I have no idea what Plugz is, pleaze.

Xanga Hopes: I want all the groovy people to come back. There are only a limited number of groovy people left.  We’re a dying breed …  

Last Words:  Oh Xanga.  You used to be so good.  You used to be so fine.  I used to run home from school to see what delights you’d thrown my way!  My days were a blur of Xanga thought processes and flirtatious commenting with folk I had never met in Real Life.  You’ve taught me that nothing Good lasts for ever, that people come and go (and sometimes disappear) with increasing ease, and that I’m … hmmm.  I’m just a teeny-tiny speck in the Great Big Blogosphere of Life; I’m just not as important as I thought I was.  Blogging used to be for the cool kids, but now it seems to be for every Tom, Dick or Harry and, perhaps unfortunately, every Tom, Dick and Harry these days seems to be the sort of Tom, Dick or Harry who is exactly the same as every other Tom, Dick or Harry who thinks they have something interesting to add to the Great Big Blogosphere of Life.

Nothing is sacred.

(with thanks to Lucy, whom I snabbed this from)

*the funniness of some (fundamentalist) ‘Christian’ folk who post on here. (I thought of something for Xanga Likes.  Yay!) 

please God bless Xanga and make it merry xxx Elsabeth

Is the Internet bad for you?

Matthew Wright inspired this post.  That’s Matthew Wright off the tellybox, not just any old Matthew Wright whom you may have the [mis-]fortune of knowing in Reality.  It was going to be just about blogging, but after typing in the title Is Blogging Bad For You? and subsequently staring at it for two whole days, my brain turned to mush and my fingers could find no reason to go all clickety-click.

Besides, there was something iffy about the whole premise: good ol’ Matthew had asked the question involving the words blogging and bad and had then gone on to discuss sites such as Facebook and MySpace.  But blogging is not social networking. 

Is it? 

That’s a genuine question.  Do we blog because we want to “network”, or do we blog because it’s something to do, or do we blog because we’re all narcissistic and crave attention? 

I have always been a wary Internet user.  In Reality I keep myself to myself, and on here it’s the same.  You know enough about me to keep you at a distance, whilst still knowing enough about me to know everything you need to know about me.  If that makes sense.  My Xanga is my personal space.  It’s like my bedroom … I can do what I want, and say what I want, in privacy.  I am still me, but without all the gumpf that I have to show the outside world when I step outside my front door.  Therefore, you don’t really need to know whereabouts in England I live, or what I look like, or the trivial and tedious details of my everyday life. I don’t need to put my make-up on.

Even on Facebook I don’t give anything away.  Oh, there’s the odd picture, and a rundown of my favourite films, but my year of birth, my hometown and my current job are something that you won’t find. I even go by my maiden name. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

I am still truly shocked and amazed at the folk who still put all their details on the Internet, even when contemporary tellybox shows and media news articles suggest they shouldn’t. 

Case # 1: My BiL – his profile is set to Friends Only, but he still has his address, his full date of birth and his current job, not to mention his email address and mobile phone number, on show.  Even I know that Facebook isn’t 100% secure, and when you collect friends like he does … well. 

Case # 2: Woman at Work – she is not my friend, and I don’t have her as a friend on Facebook.  However, I can see her profile.  I know more about her than she thinks I know, and I know she bigs herself up.  This makes me laugh, and feel ever-so slightly sorry for her.  Whenever I randomly pass her at work I always want to quote something from her profile, but I realise this would be creepy. 

Case # 3: Students’ at Work – they all have accounts.  They have no inkling of staying safe online.  They add friends who they don’t know from Adam, but it’s ok because they’re a friend of a friend of a friend’s cousin’s next-door neighbour’s parrot.   And then they chat to them on MSN and have the sort of conversations that would make granny blush.  They take pictures of themselves that they believe to be arty, but really they’re just tacky soft-porn that would make any pervert happy, and they leave each other comments about school and where they’re going at the weekend.  But it’s cool, innit?  Inabit.

[aside: i know this because occasionally we have (naughtily) let them waste five minutes on bebo and i like to be nosy and keep an eye on what they’re up to]

I love the Internet.  I can’t even remember life before the Internet.  But it can be a Bad Thing if you don’t know how to use it properly.  And the number of people, adults in particular, who reveal their naivety, their gullibility and their stupid-ness is abso-fookin-lutely shocking.

*gasps at the shocking-ness*

please God thank you for making me wise in Internet use xxx Elsabeth