Having been part of the first generation to go through high school with social media, I can tell you that we did a bunch of dumb shit to pass the time.
We changed the ranking of our MySpace top 10 more than we changed our underwear based on whoever wasn’t pissing us off that day (literally, it was a daily thing).
We indulged in Chat Roulette, a website that links your computer’s camera up with randoms from across the world (mostly naked old men looking to perv on teens).
And for a certain period of time, around 2005ish, I remember a site called Meat Spin being circulated which was legit just footage of a dick spinning on a loop with the song ‘You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)’ playing in the background. I haven’t endeavoured to see if the site still exists ‘coz I’m on my work computer and I’d like to avoid getting fired if poss, but go nuts (pun intended).
But as batshit as all these trends were, nothing, and I do mean nothing, makes me more ashamed than having created a Formspring account.
For those of you who had an ounce of self-respect as a teen and didn’t bother typing in that wretched URL, Formspring was a website where you’d sign up and let other people anonymously leave comments to you.
Think, sliding into someone’s DMs, only everyone could see said DM and you have no way of tracing the message back to its sender.
It was basically a platform for the salty bitches in your grade to anonymously air their grievances with you, and by grievances, I mean tell you shit like your eyebrows offended them or that you’re cute but need to smile more. Yes, these were actual messages I received from anonymous users.
Aside from outright name calling, Formspring was also a platform for you to tell your crush that you’ve been thirsting on them from afar, minus the fear of rejection.
Only the person never knew that it was you so like, did telling them you thought they were hot really help your chances of getting with them? Not at all.
Oh I should also mention that you had to literally check a box to send your message anonymously. If you forgot, your abusive text would be sent with your name under it which opened the door for all kinds of school dramas.
But alas, you’ll be happy to know that Formspring stopped giving bullies a platform to spread their hatred as they shut the site down in 2013.
Not because their site was socially irresponsible or anything. No, they shut it down ‘coz according to founder and CEO Ade Olonoh, the costs required to maintain the site became too much for it to stay afloat.
During its time in the spotlight, 30 million active users signed up and more than four billion posts were written.
But with the closure of the website came the deletion of all the billions of comments that were left back when we were bitchy, self-loathing, hormonal teenagers and may I add: Amen.