girls just want to have fun

The last post for social media week on thedaysman.
_____________________________

Rebecca Black.

You’ve probably never heard of Rebecca Black. And if you have, you probably wish you hadn’t.

She is the 13-year old YouTube sensation (over 55 million hits) who recorded the incredibly meaningless song “Friday.”

Don’t look at it. Seriously. We all waste too much time on the internet.

But I assure you the lyrics are not exactly profound. Did you know that Friday comes after Thursday and before Saturday? I thought so.

Did you know that teenagers look forward to partying on the weekend? That they want to have fun on Friday night? Right. You knew that too.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that they eat cereal. Out of a bowl! Never would have seen that coming.

55 million page views? Really?

Apparently, all you have to do to be famous is be noticed; a little social media goes a long way.

Here is an entirely forgettable music video that broke out on March 11 because Daniel Tosh of Comedy Central linked to her video on his blog and within minutes his 4.5 million Facebook fans were sharing it with their friends.

And he was mocking it. “Songwriting isn’t for everyone,” he said. And, as it turned out, she didn’t even write it.

Now she is making about $30,000 a week, and donating it to her school’s musical theater and Japanese relief efforts. She says she doesn’t want her stardom to take away from the suffering the people of Japan are facing.

That’s a safe bet. They wake up every morning wishing it was Friday night.

I’m touched. Really. It’s a thoughtful gesture by any standard. In fact, if you ignored my warning and clicked on it anyway, you contributed .001 cents to the relief effort, so you can feel good about yourself. Youtube pays $1 for every 1000 views. Wait! She only gets 10 percent of that. The number is too small for me to calculate.

But here is another, more important number. How many months, or hopefully years, will it take for her celebrity to destroy her?

I’m not even sure we need another tween-age celebrity to provide moral instruction. Don’t we already have Justin Bieber, whose interview with Rolling Stone will be studied by social critics for decades to come? Or at least made fun of by satirist like Joe Queenan?

Or maybe not. She may disappear as quickly as she came. Social media is fickle that way.

The real problem with Rebecca, however, is that she was robbed of her childhood. Before she went viral. The video itself puts this over-dressed 13-year old in a dance club or house party, celebrating the shallow years of her life before she even gets there.

Tosh’s executive producer says “‘Friday’ may be the greatest pop song since Will Smith’s ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.’”

That’s too bad. For everyone.

But especially for Rebecca.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

13 Responses to “girls just want to have fun”

  1. I have a very beautiful baby son (9 months). People say to bring him to be casted in commercials, but I say no. I don’t want to rune my son’s life at a very early age.

  2. In her defense, she didn’t write the song herself. Two music producers from ark music factory wrote the song. I’m still a little astounded that these lyrics were written by two adults.

    However, I find it ridiculous that she’s gathered this much fame. I also can’t believe that the song is STILL stuck in my head from the first time I heard it when Tosh posted it.

    I have a love/hate relationship with this song, but I’ve gotten over the “This is the stupidest thing ever – I want to throw my calendar against the wall now” mentality. Now I just laugh at its ridiculousness and watch the pain and shock on other people’s faces when they are introduced to the Black Plague.

    Then again, if her music video (or any one of the many parodies made off of it) shows up in my newsfeed on facebook again… I might just have to resort to throwing my calendar against the wall again.

    • in some ways, that others wrote it (and are making 9 times the money off of it that she is) makes it sadder still. The Ark Music Factory has made over $1 million off of her. the whole thing seems so cynical—adults making money off of making her look ridiculous.

      thanks for the correction. i’ve removed the language crediting her as the writer.

      Here is an article about the business side of this.

  3. poor girl. i always wondered what would have happened to the Olsen twins had it not been for the same thing…

  4. But isn’t this the problem this entire young generation is facing?
    They are unable or unwilling to keep anything private (with facebook and twitter helping them along) and the US teen generation all have their values mixed up. Parents encourage fame as a way of being successful, gaining status in society and making tons of money. Of course they’ll turn out completely screwed up!
    Look at what’s happened to Britney, Lindsay, Miley and so many others. They have NO childhood, they are not even allowed to make a mistake because God forbid the rest of America views them as a role model-it is so SAD!

  5. agreed! society has its priorities backwards!

  6. I dislike Rebecca Black despite her charity efforts, even if she has a singing voice behind all of the magic box ness, I dislike her. She’s too young.

  7. I couldn’t agree more, Wally. It’s pure crap, and unfortunately it’s indicative for what passes as “talent” in music these days. I was going to do a blog about this, but yours reflects my feelings 100%. I’ll just have to wait for the next Flavor-O’-The-Week.

    Conversely, please read my blog about a band that I just saw live, after finding them on the internet 12 years ago. There’s still hope for good music!

    http://excessiveexcursionist.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/lollipop-factory-the-sweet-taste-of-rock-and-roll/

    I subscribed to your blog. I’m new at this- so, feel free to do the same with mine!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cold weather. Hate. | Journelise - March 28, 2011

    […] It has more dislikes than likes. After that video, watch this interview with Rebecca, and read this blog post about the singer. If it hasn’t been done already, take the time to read some of the comments on the […]

  2. 10 Years of the Daysman | the daysman - August 22, 2012

    […] her. i’m not buying it (7,525) men will be boys (699) three birthday wishes for Christian (676) girls just want to have fun (665) so here’s to Katie […]

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