Hello.

My name is Zoe Brock and I am a MySpace addict.

Wow. That’s embarrassing.

If you’d like to run me over with a train right now I’d be more than happy to lay down and oblige.

Sarday_193

Like most addictions my MySpace dependency took time for me to notice, acknowledge or declare.

It was not an addiction I anticipated.

Most addictions are so anticipated that they’re downright boring by the time they kick in.

Weed?
Yawn.

Various psychedelics, uppers, downers and sidewinders?
*whistles innocently and looks towards the heavens*

Cigarettes?
Fuckity fuck fuck.

Booze?
Hello? I’m Australian.

Sex, drugs and rock n roll?
Hello? I’m human.

Strip clubs with performing dwarfs?
Hello? I’m twisted.

Expensive shoes, raunchy lingerie and designer jeans?
Hello? I’m a big titted female with a shoe fetish and an ass made for Marc Jacobs.

Social networking on the Internet????
Ummmmmm……

NO.

It all began last year when a complete stranger, some author by the name of Listi, preyed upon me when I was bored, incapacitated, and unable to walk for three months, and encouraged me to
join MySpace in order to read his blog. Listi lured me with promises that I might potentially write for him on his new writers website “thenervousbreakdowndotcom”. At this stage I was ignorant, I didn’t know what a blog was and nor did I care. But, like an absolute twat, I reluctantly followed instructions… and now look at me. This Listi character must pay for his evil ways! He is nothing short of an enabler! HE MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!!!

The symptoms of my dependency kicked in shortly after my first attempt at a blog. The immediate responses and instant gratification fueled me to write more, to spend more time on the site, soaking up the praise and, while the knee injury I suffered from kept me inert, my fingers tapping on the keys were my only form of physical activity. Hours spent blogging and commenting quickly grew and began to usurp aspects of my life. At first I was able to brush off this inordinate amount of time as “research for my impending documentary on Internet social-networking”, an idea I conceived of shortly after joining, or “a sociological experiment”. I tried to file my addiction under “work”. But the sad truth is that I was hooked on attention and positive feedback after a life lived with little confidence and a desperate need for creative validation.

Img_4269

The more I wrote the more people loved it, and the more they told me they loved it, and the more I wrote.

Easy.

Not so much.

The more people read me the more they wrote to me, and the more involved we became in each others lives. There was no symbiotic distance between reader and writer, but an uneasy truce between pseudo-friends and not-quite-strangers. I became enmeshed in relationships that weren’t tangible, were elusive and undefinable, and no matter how hard I tried to justify them as friendships they weren’t REAL to me a lot of the time.

A dangerous path.

It’s hard for me to understand how I could grow to care about so many people I’d never met, because I did care. I still do.

It’s hard for me to understand how my life became public knowledge, at my own behest. Does honesty have it’s limits? At what point will I learn to draw the line?

It’s hard for me to pick up this computer and not check my MySpace account to see how everyone is doing.

It’s hard for me to cancel my account.

It’s especially hard for me to cancel my account because I don’t know the password anymore. In a fit of enlightened pique, I forced my dear friend Sara to change it for me so that I couldn’t log on when I felt compelled to. And I am COMPELLED, kids, I’m jonesing like a common crack whore.

I’m sitting here in the midday sun with a snarl on my face and a twitch in my eye. Furious. Annoyed. Wanting on. Refusing to succumb. Conscious of the seductive power of feeling connected. Missing the people I’ve grown used to communicating with every day. Wondering how they are, if they miss me, what they’re doing, writing, saying, feeling.

But the truth is… life goes on.

Without wanting to diminish my time on there, or negate the several remarkable relationships I have forged, the ones I HOPE will be lasting, the question remains… if I left MySpace tomorrow would I even be missed? I’m unconvinced. Perhaps I’d be noticeably absent for a few weeks, but then I’d slither into the back of people’s consciousness, a gradual subside, before fading to black. Poof. See ya.

Very few people would care. Very few people would be even remotely affected. Why should they be?

Knowing how intermediate most of these connections are could make saying goodbye very easy.

I would never be so bold as to presume that I’ve made an impact on anyone’s life. There will always be fresh slants on humor and culture and news and random idiocy to rise up and entertain, better writers, prettier faces, funnier girls. There is definitely a market for it, a need. People are hungry, bored, unsatisfied, lonely. They are crying out for stimulus and love. They should be, it’s a cruel and crazy world out there, I’ve seen it. Human beings, further disconnected from each other by long roads and longer hours or work and stress, are crying out for companionship.

But so are my friends here in close proximity. And they also need physical contact, hand-holding, attention and love.

They need the thing I was in danger of losing touch with – touch itself.

In the last six weeks I’ve traveled America, eight-thousand grueling, exhausting, uplifting miles of it, meeting a lot of the people from MySpace that I needed to meet in order to begin solidifying those relationships and understand them.

I’ve experienced a journey far above my expectations, and also far below. America is sprawling, spreading, filled with sameness. In the midst of that sameness are a few hundred million individual, all different, all trying to find each other and connect in new, exciting ways. Ways that aren’t physical, ways that are safe and sheltered, ways that are semi-anonymous and easily controlled. I know, I’ve been out there… I’ve talked to hundreds of people on beaches, streets and sidewalks, in cafes, hotels, motels, bars and homes.

I’ve made my intangible friendships real ones. I’ve pulled and dragged and danced my unreal people into my world. They’re real. And they’re wonderful.

And now I can take the friendships that mean something and nurture them without a computer – a truly glorious feeling.

The journey is over and it was a trip.

I’ve come back to my life to find it in substantial disarray. Friends seem distant, I feel disconnected, relationships have taken strange turns. And yet, outside the sun is bright. Hummingbirds do their hummy thing. The beach beckons, friends call, and the world awaits.

And so I’ve taken a small break from all things MySpace. I ponder the likelihood of canceling my account, but am reluctant to commit. I tell myself it’s a great marketing tool for my movie and my writing. I tell myself it’s a great place to practice being a writer, to build an audience, to grow as an artist.

I also tell myself that to stay on MySpace now would be a distraction to life, an excuse to not further my dreams, a time waster.

I’m very confused.

MySpace has given me a great gift, and for that I should thank that Listi sumbitch. I can write happily these days. My readers and their criticisms and praise have given me that ability. I have no excuses, no lack of confidence, no insecurities to hold me back, no dedication to procrastination. I know I can do it. Look. You’re reading this now.

And so I sit here at my laptop. I smile at the screen. I click the application FINAL DRAFT and begin a fresh file. And I type.

SCENE ONE – EXT. NEW YORK APARTMENT BUILDING. A TOO-BRIGHT SPRING AFTERNOON.

And I’m writing a movie, not a blog, and I can see it’s characters move and swell and trip and fall and get back up again. And I laugh as I write my ‘comedy canon’, hoping it will blow people out of their seats.

I’m home. I’m homeless. I’m broker than a smashed plate. I’m jobless and carless but certainly not aimless. I have twenty weeks of post-production ahead of me and a deadline called Sundance. I have no idea what is going to happen, no idea what the future holds.

Life is bittersweet but it’s all I’ve got.

My name is Zoe Brock, and I am a recovering MySpace addict.

Are you?

TAGS: , , , , , , ,

ZOE BROCK was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia. She has lived in more cities and on more continents than she can count (truly, she's a model and can't count) and is currently residing in the deep fog of San Francisco. Her true home lies on the dusty plains of Burning Man where she feels safe and challenged and truly alive. Zoë once had a very popular blog on MySpace and writes everything from awful poetry to truly delicious dark satire, and all sorts of sexy things in between. She has appeared on the cover of Elle magazine, inside the pages of Vogue, Cosmo and Marie Claire, to name a few, and is working on her memoir, an expose of 'growing up model'. Zoë is also a certified yoga teacher. Yes, that means she's bendy.

3 responses to “MySpace Addict Confesses All and Cures Self”

  1. ric says:

    Understanding comes simply to me in this case for it happened in newsgroups around 1998 or so, and yet, I am sad that all of your blog entries are not available now because your word and photo entries were so much fun, insightful, and brilliant to read (at least most of the time 🙂

    Still, I include the rest of this comment because it was written before I could access this entry (internet issues earlier) and now that I found a moment to finish what I started before running out to a game-party, I see the serious side should be respected too.

    Somehow, since 2000, I’ve been very lucky in that nobody cares whether I write on the web or not, so every week or two I spend a day stroking my own ego and blathering in dozens of entries here and there and I upload them as if I’ve been writing daily just out of habit cuz I really do want to keep in touch with someone daily, preferably in a real-time physical relationship in the same living space and the illusion of writing brief daily entries keeps me hopeful that I still can bond and maintain and serious intimate everyday relationship (or am I just rationalizing an enourmous exhibitionist ego that masturbates through words even if nobody’s watching?)…

    Yeah, so anyway, I hope life is wonderful and here’s the comment you would have received had been able to upload it earlier without being able to read this entry (makes sense to me, ask for further explanation at your own risk 🙂

    (imagine throat clearing noises)

    Dear Zoe,

    Suffering from slow-internetitis, I am waiting for a few of your stories to open and while I do, I drop these words into your box in the hope you might find them amusing, if not stimulating (for some of us, they need to be both to be both, after all). That was not initially intended to be a double-entendre, but feel free to accept it as you wish. In my on-again, off-again supposedly daily ramblings in this loosely public forum of cyberspace, I happened upon an Aussie artist (does html work in your box?… yes, the gray words below the box tell me now that I look) who reminded me of you not simply by nationality but also because I feel certain that you understand deep down, how scary it is to be fragile in this world even as you have an amazing strength and resiliency as well and might relate to the song) because when I think of my favorite people online from down under, you always pop up (fact is, when I think of how cleverly adorable language can be or who my favorites writers are, you come to mind in both cases, but enough needless ego stroking from the fawning fan in me, I was actually writing to complain)…

    Yes, I have a complaint outside of the parenthetic tangents… Look, I am even using capital I and other capital letters, which is a sure sign of the formality of this communication (even as I mock myself, cuz in the end, self-mockery is much more fun than seriousness and if we can’t have fun, it’s just not worth it, whatever it is)… of course my penchance for elipses remains… penchance?… whatever… right, like I might look it up… so much for formality… no wonder I don’t publish or have much of a following, aye?…

    the mind wanders a bit as I am still waiting for my sad internet connection to open the page that might explain why I have this complaint (I’m getting to it), so you can either blame the internet speed of the ATT Aircard or accept that my adoration for you simply spills out into mindless babble at the thought of actually attempting some sort of real serous meaningful potentially lasting communication with you (as if comments can be considered real serious meaningful potentially lasting communication… but then, there’s always hope, as I always hope) simply because you are that irresistible, in the literary sense, at least…

    Perhaps I should give up on waiting for the page to open and simply complain… yes, well, ok, this is my complaint… even with my tongue in my cheek, it is a real complaint… so treat it as such (which probably means mock it in public cuz you do that so well, which is just one of the things I love about your way with words, even as I digress once again thinking that it might be altogether too lame a complaint within an even more lame comment to actually be worthy of your sharp wit and scathing oratory or any sort of public association, but self-depreciation lowers expectations and reduces disappointments, you know, so consider this parenthetic aside the cost of doing business, or something like that)…

    if I don’t leave you, or at least someone, at the very least me staring wide-eyed at the words wondering what-in-the-hell-is-he-talking-about at least once in my babblings, I feel like a failure, so I think I just succeeded, but then, I am rather easy to baffle… be that as it may or may not be, my complaint (in case you thought I forgot, though I do notice I am forgetting the capitals, so the loving hug and forgiveness and mockery of complaints and understanding seems to be preceding the actual complaint, which may be diminishing the effect of the point of this missive, massive or not, but anyway)…

    in reflecting on my favorite Australians (and New Zealanders), I decided to link you in the entry in which I mention the sing linked above as I frequently slip random links with loose associations to my babbles into entries, as you are an example of why I love Aussies (for whatever that is worth to Australia and the world) and I discovered that all my links to your myspace pages no longer work… needless to say, I was devastated as I linked you more than a few times over the years (and not just in the porn entries)…

    yes, so in conclusion, I hope to read why you made your myspace presence disappear instead of leaving it for posterity and the next grand human (or whatever species comes next on the evolutionary ladder) civilization to ponder and until then, I wish you more than well, I wish you peace, joy, happiness, and more love than you can imagine… yes, all that and a complaint too… because you are that special.

    Look, a period!… I must be done 🙂

    honest love,
    ric
    407-325-1482

  2. ric says:

    PS… ever finish the movie?

  3. Carl D'Agostino says:

    Brock has become yoga teacher. You are not just bendy, but “trendy bendy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *