I forget exactly when, but I was explaining to somebody a while back about YouTube and all the people who make daily or weekly videos about what they’re up to or commentaries on current events etc, and the comment was made “”What kind of people would do that? Oh yes, people with no life.” I laughed politely and then died a little inside. Firstly, I really like the people on YouTube, they’re funny and interesting. Just search for sxephil ‘s YouTube channel and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. (I’ll put a video of his for the P.S.V with a link to his website). Secondly however, it got me thinking: “What denotes somebody who doesn’t have a life?”
That is, apart from being dead.
To find out, I thought I’d do a case study or two.
Exhibit A: Alan Distro
Now here’s a guy who many would say has no life. I’ve come across him on Twitter and YouTube quite a bit. He’s in his late 20s, lives with his mother, blogs incessantly, wears glasses and is slightly overweight – the typical internet junkie. Voila you cry – he has no life! But then you look at what he does – he’s set up his own record label – DFTBA records* – and recoding studio to help fledgling artists get out there in the mainstream. He’s now currently writing his second album with Raven Zoë (see my blog Music Monday) who is fantastically cool. I’d say that he has a pretty awesome life – doing what he likes and pumping out some good music while he does it. What’s not to like?
*DFTBA ostensibly stands for Don’t Forget To Be Awesome but many alternative meanings have been proposed, notably my favourite Dear, Fetch The Battle Axe.
Exhibit B: My Dad
Now some of you may think this cruel but stick with me for this one. My dad has no hobbies, he only reads non fiction books to help him either in his work or when he’s preparing a sermon. He never seems to stop working and enjoy himself, even in the summer holidays. Prime suspect for a man with no life wouldn’t you say? Yet my dad is one of the world’s leading researchers for nanotechnology and mass spectrometry. He’s developing the world’s smallest mass spectrometer which could revolutionise the world in thousands of different ways, from helping oil rigs get more oil to sniffing out explosives at an airport. How can that be a man with no life? A valuable scientist who works on impossibly cool nano machines? This one’s still breathing!
Exhibit C: Me
Now we’re talking. I sit around, doing a course at uni which has minimum contact hours, and minimum work to do. Yours truly loves playing PC games, and is an utter junkie when it comes to the internet. I can’t seem to get enough of what people write, post, tweet or just create on the internet so I seem to spend every available moment glued to my laptop. Then again, I’m always out of the house, going to the cinema or the pub or meeting at a coffee shop with my friends. I seldom pass up an opportunity to see people and to go out somewhere if I can. Do I still have a life? I like to think so.
That’s the problem really. The phrase is bandied around all the time and everyone has this image of some 30something couch potato living with his mum with a Star Wars duvet and fake Spok ears. But have you ever actually met, or even heard of somebody like that? I hold that such people are so rare, they are no more than myths. Even if there is an army of such people, who am I to say that they have no life? What constitutes having a life? Friends? Doing what you like? Well I imagine that those couch potatoes have great friends on Call of Duty 4 over Xbox live, they always do what they like (video games). So until I meet somebody who is walking around braindead, I will refrain from using that phrase. As far as I am concerned, everybody has a life and it’s a life of their own so they can do what the damn well please.
Have a nice life.
Here is sxephil or Philip DeFranco as he is better known. Apologies if you don’t like his strong language – he just feels a little strongly about things.