I took GCSE Biology. I know that plants grow and if we stop breathing we die and the earth is a planet. Einstein mate, step aside, there’s a new scientist in town and this one actually brushes her hair. Bearing in mind, then, my natural aptitude for science, it should come as no surprise to you all that this summer, instead of wasting away my life getting drunk, (which I only did 6 out of 7 days), I actually discovered a new and deadly virus. Initially I decided to call the disease ‘Fizz’, you know, so I’d be famous, but I have since changed it to ‘cantmissout’ syndrome. Have you ever felt like staying in and watching Miss Marple on a Saturday night but gone out anyway? Well, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but there’s a high probability you’re suffering from it.
We’ve all been there. It’s dinner time. You’ve spent the whole day on the sofa watching the Olympics, you’re knackered. Surely the only thing more exhausting than running 1500 metres is watching fifteen people do it. Mum’s bought a massive bag of Maltesers. X Factor has started again. You want to stay in. Your peace and tranquillity is interrupted, though, by a beep, and then in come the texts and the calls and the Facebook statuses luring you out like the Pied Piper. ‘Omg tonite is gna be sickk mann.’ ‘Can’t wait to hit the town laterz’. And you just can’t do it. The fact these people can’t spell properly does nothing to quell your desire to go out. You swap the Maltesers for a bottle of vodka and you head to town.
Staying in on a Saturday night is just so hard to do nowadays. With phones that let you update your status from the moon, and probably from beyond the grave too, there’s just no way of staying in without being continually told how much better everybody else’s night out is. Facebook has taken over. I’m pretty sure heaven was a quite nice place one; full of lambs and butterflies and piles of zero calorie Babybels. Now, though, it’s probably just like being on the tube: hundreds of people just tapping away on their iphones. ‘Heaven is the shiz man, well glad I died’ is going to start taking over our Facebook feeds. Facebook is making it impossible to die and it’s killed the Saturday night in as well.
I stayed in on a Saturday night once. It was a long, long time ago and I blocked it out for years afterwards. It started off so well. I was in my pyjamas running round my room pretending to be Eliza from the Wild Thornberries when I made the mistake of turning on my laptop. I only did it because I couldn’t remember what Eliza’s sister was called, (Debbie, if any of you were wondering), but then I thought I’d just check Facebook. Never just check Facebook. Just checking Facebook is like just dipping your toe into shark infested waters, it’s not just going to be your toe, it’s going to be your whole body, in that water, and then, before long, being eaten by the shark.
‘Tonight is wicked.’ ‘Getting the shots in at Spoons.’ That’s what everybody else my age was doing and I had drawn braces on my teeth with a marker pen. That was my Saturday night. It didn’t matter that I actually enjoyed being Eliza Thornberry, or that my pyjamas were far more comfortable than heels, or that Maltesers were a perfectly adequate substitute to vodka. Everybody else in the entire world ever, including the weird girl from my high school who always wore a cape, was out getting drunk, and I was pretending to be a cartoon character- and not even a cool one.
This is the problem with Facebook…Twitter…phones… just basically having friends. You dare stay in and try and remain ignorant of what the rest of the world is doing and your phone will spend the whole night beeping updates at you. Those beeps, if they were recorded and played back at a higher speed, would turn out to be the high pitched cry of a tiny, partying ant, swaying as it clutched an empty bottle of whisky and screaming ‘you’re the most boring human being in the world’ at you as you lie in your bed, your make up soberly removed, no drunken pen moustache on your face. But, let me squash this party ant (metaphorically, of course, I’m a vegetarian after all) and say this: There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in, and who cares what everybody else is doing. Unless, you know, they’re, like, throwing stuff at you.
It was touch and go that night; at times I didn’t think I was going to make it. When somebody wrote a status saying they’d been given free cheesy chips at the Kebab shop, well, I honestly thought that was curtains. There’s always going to be that fear that the one night you stay in turns out to be the best night out your friends ever have. I mean, what if the one night I stay in Johnny Depp decides to come party it up at Royal Holloway? That would have been my chance, my one and only chance to make him fall in love with me and I’d have missed it, because I was too busy watching Downton bloody Abbey.
But it all comes down to a choice. Go out. Every night. For the rest of time. Or join me in finding a cure for this deadly disease. Embrace nights in and fight back with a new kind of status update. ‘Midsummer Murders is bangin’ tonight.’ ‘Hitting the Friends episodes harddd, gna be hanging tomorrow.’ Or just move to the South Pole. You’d never have to deal with this sort of thing up there; Penguins are far too cool to use Facebook.