Leah, The facebook Ex
Leah lay horizontal across her bed, eyes firmly fixed on her laptop screen, her Belly on the duvet and her feet up in the air. Every now and then she would bring her feet smashing down on the mattress and allow them to bounce right up again. It was her only way of remaining sane and calm whilst waiting for her facebook page to load. She had been glued to her laptop all evening and was about to logout when something caught her attention. She was facebooking again and she had become frustrated as she had attempted to visit her ex boyfriends Bryans page.  She had been going through her facebook news feed when she read the words “Bryan D is now listed as in a relationship” Her heart sank immediately and she felt a tear come to her eye. All she could think was “who is she,”?  “How could this be,”? It has only been a month. He wouldn’t dare! 
Last month Leah had been at a restaurant with Bryan when he said casually over desert. “Leah, I never meant to hurt you but I can’t be with you anymore” Bryan went away for a while after that, somewhere outside of the UK, probably to wait out the storm as it was an undeniable fact that Leah was a bit of a Drama Queen. But Leah didn’t want to fight, she was numb, empty and sober all at the same time.  She seemed to be in a permanent state of shock. She didn’t take the news well and had remained in her room for a week, watching one T.V series after another, only getting up for trips to the bathroom and the kitchen. It was only one afternoon when her friend Carla had popped in to see her that she spoke about it for the first time. Carla had been great, a real shoulder to cry on. She had said “boys will be boys” and that Leah should move on as there were plenty of fish in the sea. Carla had been there to give her the independent lady speech. It had been the kick up the bottom she had needed; it had given her the strength to dismiss Bryan as an inadequate being who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.  Since then Leah had managed to stop crying and had drifted into the world of facebook and legal text books to take her mind off him. She had been doing fine until she saw his name in her facebook news feed. 
“Oh! Stupid thing! Come on”! She yelled. Bryan’s profile page suddenly appeared on the screen. Silence! She swallowed. Her throat was dry. A bead of sweat rolled from her hair line towards her right eyebrow. She used the back of her left hand to wipe it away quickly. Her hands were all clammy now and as she struggled to use her right index finger to control the mouse on her laptop it refused to glide smoothly and kept getting stuck because it was so sweaty.  She wiped her hand on the duvet frantically, and then made a second attempt to use the mouse to move the cursor on to his new profile picture.

He would dare! He did dare! It wasn’t a mistake, she wasn’t seeing things. It was true he was in a new relationship already. Leah could see it for herself as clear as day. She clicked on the picture and clicked to enlarge it again. It was a picture of Carla and Brian Lip locked. 

Irwin, The facebook Stalker
Irwin had rushed back to his room that day. He ran up the first flight of stairs to his corridor.  No one else seemed to be in the eight room Victorian style property, it was a quiet day. He didn’t care where the other seven housemates were, just as long as they were not in his face!  Yes, Irwin was very sure that the fellow Londoners that shared the property with him seldom crossed his path.  He had become accustomed to slipping in and out of the house unnoticed, he preferred it that way. He was a keep himself to himself kind of guy, just as most people were in the area of inner city London that he was unfortunate enough to reside in. Irwin entered his bedsit and closed the door behind him.   He turned the first lock at the top, then the second, then the third, and then he also put on the chain. He was in his world now, and no one would have access to it without he’s say so.
The Bedsit was cold and damp; it smelt like a cross between mouldy bread and stale milk and every other foul thing that a shabby bedsit had to offer. There were cracks in the ceiling and from one there was a constant drip from the unmaintained roof of the dilapidated building. It had been raining heavily outside for most of the day as well as the night before.  Irwin wore a black rain coat the cheap plastic type, his hood was still up and the rain water continued to trickle down his cheeks.  The bottoms of his blue jeans were muddy and soaked from the numerous puddles he had run through to get back home. He was totally drenched.   He made no attempt to get out of his wet and cold clothes, they clung to his body but it simply didn’t faze him. Instead he sat on his cat pee scented, torn, 1970’s grime smeared sofa and reached for his somewhat battered second hand laptop that was on the floor beside him. He placed it on his lap turned it on and quickly navigated to his facebook homepage. Irwin wasted no time once he had logged in; he moved the cursor straight to the facebook search engine and typed in her name.
He spent a while looking through her new holiday snaps, she had been in Greece recently. Irwin touched the screen he was captivated by her new tan. Irwin planned that one day he would take her on another holiday somewhere even hotter than Greece. They would lay on a beach and talk until the sun came up. Drink cocktails and swim with the fishes like a “real” couple. They would even get married and they could make a honeymoon of it. He touched the screen of his laptop at the spot where her lips were on the photo. He kept his hand and gaze there for a good hour. He was in deep thought now. He suddenly jumped when a loud pop up came on the screen. It jolted him back into reality. He sat up right on the sofa and placed the laptop on the dusty tea stained coffee table in front of him. He clicked his neck and then his knuckles. He felt a sudden rush of adrenalin. He had to do something; he had to do something right then and quick. He needed to meet her. He needed to let her know that he existed and fast. He had been viewing her photos and keeping tabs of her life for months now. Yes it had been a while since he first sent her a friend request after coming across her picture in a random search of the London network. He needed to let her know he existed. Let her know that he had been watching her.
“Maybe she would be at the snooker club at Wood Street tonight?” he thought. He would check her wall.  He scrolled down to her facebook wall to read through any recent correspondence between her and her friends. He did this very often. That’s how he knew where she liked to shop, and on what days, what she had for dinner the night before, what day she left for Greece and when she returned. Irwin knew a lot about her. But she knew very little about him. Yes she knew as little as his username on his facebook account yet she accepted His friend request. Irwin had been so pleased that she agreed to add him to the list of her friends on facebook. She had set her privacy settings to give him full access to her profile. Photos, contact details, comments and brief notes from friends, the lot!  She had meant to tighten her security settings but kept putting it off even though it would have taken her just a few seconds. Yes, Irwin felt very close to her, he felt like he knew her better than she knew herself.  To Irwin she was a part of his life, and he was in no doubt that she was the best part. 
Jackpot! “I will see you at the snooker club at about 7pm”, wrote a friend of hers on her page. Irwin was in luck. He would meet her at the Snooker Club and finally introduce himself.   He had dreamed of the day for too long. What will she smell like he thought?  He would invite her to go swimming with the fishes and he would not take no for an answer! It wouldn’t take him long to get to the Snooker club, he knew it well.   Three months before she had written on a wall of a mate that she would be going to watch a snooker competition at the snooker club on Wood street. It had been easy for Irwin to locate it after he had pieced together little bits of information that he had found on her location from previous conversations. Irwin had never let girls like her tell him no.  It was gone 6.pm; he would have to start leaving if he was to catch her.

He used the back garden exit of the house on that occasion; this was because he needed to quickly get a few things from the shed. Even though it was raining and the sky was greyer than ever, Irwin’s mood had brightened up. He enthusiastically unlocked the padlock on the garden shed door and opened it in a rush.  However he was very cautious of the other neighbours seeing him from their windows and he frequently looked over his shoulders and up at the dirty windows of the rotten bedsit. He didn’t feel that anyone was watching but he knew all too well that he could never be absolutely sure. The black rucksack he was looking for was in the corner of the shed underneath a plastic water resistant sheet.  He grabbed it and opened the zip to take a quick peek inside. A sigh of relief and a smirk came from Irwin; they were still inside, a spanner, Fishing Rope, four industrial Black Bags, a Swiss Army Knife and a Camera. Everything he would need was there. He was ready; he put his rucksack on his back over his wet rain coat, locked the garden shed and ran through the gateway that led to the muddy alley way at the back of the property. This would eventually lead him to the high road, and eventually to her.

To be continued…

Ralph Cuba, The Facebook, Clubber.
Man! I like have this crazy story to tell about last night!! That girl was like totally off her head it was some real crazy stuff going on in that club. We had to call it quits when we were doing the runner- man on the bar and smashed like the 20th glass. The owner was totally not having it but I played the, I can buy the bar card, again! The guy was seeing pound signs Man! He even asked if he could pour me another glass of champagne personally. He was so like putty in my hands. They all were!!  You should have seen them sucking up to me and hoping they would get an invite to the opening of my new bar on Thursday. Their so pathetic. But you know what? I so love there flaming attention.  Let me tell you something dude, I’m smashed right now, but I will sleep when I’m dead.  I going to keep living to regret the things I did and not the things I didn’t. You dig!
I will upload the pictures in a minute, there is one of me balancing a bottle of champagne on my head whilst dancing to smooth operator I was totally feeling it, they were totally feeling it. Oh yeah baby! They were and are totally feeling me!!!!  I tell you I was born to entertain. People assume that those who are always the centre of attention are attention seekers. The truth is that it is forced upon them. You see, it is forced upon me; it is not my fault you know? They need me, they want to breathe me. The world needs me and London’s night clubs need me even more. A party doesn’t start till I’m there. Truth is. There can’t be a party without me because I am the party. You dig bro! I’m the life and soul of the party. That is me Ralph Cuba the ultimate clubber. Going to upload the pictures to my albums. I am going to call the album Forget partying like a rock star party like Ralph!” cool right?

Give me a bit.
Ok I’m back now, its done can you see them? Let me know what you think when you see this message, private message me or give me shout on my wall. Its 9am got to get some sleep, got another party to night. I try right? No rest for the wicked right. Yes it was 9am and Ralph had indeed been doing all of those things the night before stroke early hours of that morning. However he had not enjoyed one second of it. He had not enjoyed his long nights out for a while now. For Ralph clubbing no longer had meaning, to him it had became part of a routine that he needed to perform to ensure that he was seen to be doing what was expected of him. He had spent most of his short life pleasing other people, conforming, giving in to peer pressure.
He closed the laptop lid and walked over to the window of his huge flat in Mayfair. His parents had bought it for him the previous year. Ralph saw it as another attempt to bribe him, win his love after the years of neglect. They both worked in the oil industry and Ralph was lucky if he saw them once a year. He had gotten use to the odd message from there PA’s or a stray voicemail every now and then.  He was an only child and didn’t have any close relatives, he had friends, hundreds but not one was a real friend. They were simply clubbing buddies. He refused to let anyone ever get close to him. Being alone was what he knew best, he liked to see himself as self sufficient.  He sighed he was extremely tired but he knew he would not be able to sleep until he finished it. He walked over to the cupboard. He searched and searched. He was sure he had some stashed he always did. He only bought the finest stuff and likes to have a good supply should he feel the urge to start. Where did I put the darn stuff he thought? He was still very hung over. That’s where I put it!  He realise his stash was in the cupboard down the hall. He opened the cupboard door and there it was his stash. It was the most beautiful collection of oil and water paints. 
Off facebook, and away from the club scene and limelight that the city of London had to offer him, Ralph Cuba was really just a guy that longed for the affection of his parents and simply loved to paint. He was also very good at it. He sold his art anonymously for thousands. Everyone was oblivious to it. He liked it that way. He was scared people wouldn’t understand.

Remi, The facebook Debater

Not another one! Remi reached for the remote control and increased the volume. Before she even honed in on the words of the straight faced reporter she already knew what he had to say. No, she wasn’t psychic the bombed out building in the background was her clue and everything that she needed to know. Remi didn’t have to be a leader at the UN or a Doctor of politics to know. It was obvious that the images of the bombed out buildings appearing on her T.V screen were evidence of yet another conflict. It did not take a psychic to know that the reporter was about to utter words confirming more bloodshed, death, destruction and turmoil. She moved her bottom to the edge of the sofa and listened intensively. Her stomach churned as she felt a number of things but for whatever reason the feelings of anger and hurt surpassed all other emotions. “What am I going to do?” She thought. She couldn’t get her head around it. Where? Who? When? How? Why? She thought about all of those things in that very order. She felt so helpless and voiceless as she struggled to assimilate the mass of information that the well polished Reporter continued to emit.

The scene on the T.V screen changed to a makeshift hospital where the sick injured and recently pronounced dead were being placed. Remi felt a tear come to her eye as she watched the plight of an innocent child. It was a live broadcast from amidst the pandemonium; the little boy could be no more than 3 years of age. The echoes of his cry filled her front room in surround sound. The child was clearly in agony while a nurse attempted to change his bandages as a woman that appeared to be his mother tried to calm him with little victory. The Camera zoomed in on her face  and her state of despair and helplessness was made apparent. The child’s upper torso was burnt. Remi looked away from the T.V and turned the volume down she had seen enough, she had heard enough. She didn’t want to hear another word about who was on the attack and who was on the defence, or who’s land it was or wasn’t, or who was to legitimately rule. Whatever the reporter was attempting to relay did not matter to her. For whatever reason there was conflict, there was violence, there was bloodshed and there was loss of life. The death of the innocent would inevitably corrupt the innocent. She had heard it all before, time and time again. Whatever the reporter had to say would not suddenly give her the means to time travel and prevent the little boy from being so incomprehensively burnt.  She took another fork full of her jollof rice and then a sip of wine. It didn’t taste as good as it did a few minutes before, she had lost her appetite. She put her glass down and pushed her plate to the other side of the table, her laptop was beside her on the sofa, and she opened the lid with the intention of logging into her facebook page to vent and share her feelings about what she had seen with her facebook friends.

Remi always had an opinion on everything and nearly always had something she wanted to share with the world. If Remi was passionate enough about something it was very hard to shut her up prior to her getting her point across. She had been in numerous debating societies throughout her academic life, she had written thought provoking and controversial essays that had left her lectures astonished and inspired during her years on campus. Remi was pretty much up to speed in current affairs and the world of politics and had earned the nick name Miss News Stand from her peers because of her ability to turn any issue with a hint of controversy into a large scale debate. From identity cards, subprime mortgages, bankers bonuses, birth control without parental consent, the availability of music downloads on the black market,  the war on Iraq, Obama versus McCain, to the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone, if there were two conflicting schools of thought Remi was right there in the middle giving her opinion,  weighting up the pros and cons, analysing the facts and evidence and getting people talking.  Facebook and Remi fit together like a hand and glove, she could join groups that supported the causes and views that  she also supported and debate from the comfort of her own home. She could even opt to make bold sweeping statements on her facebook status and sit back and wait for the fallout and further opportunity to debate. On this occasion this was indeed the chosen form of expression for Remi after watching the disturbing news broadcast.

She was still on her facebook homepage, so she went to update her facebook status. She began to write the words, “no more w…” but she was distracted when she noticed her notifications icon was  indicating that she had an alert. The Tagaroos are at it again, she thought. She assumed she had been tagged in a picture that was probably taken by a friend on a night out. (Remi had come to call her friends who insisted on frequently  tagging her in pictures “Tagaroos”.) She moved the laptop mouse across her homepage and saw that she had not been tagged, she had a group request.  She clicked on the link and was taken straight to the group homepage. Her eyes went straight to the part of the page that read;

“Sponsored mountain climb to raise money for child victims of war all interested parties click on the link below for more details...”

The rest is history but very much still part of Remi’s present. Since the day she clicked that link she never stopped. She continued to climb more mountains, some bigger than others but they were very different from The mountain Kilimanjaro that she had conquered after seeing the sponsored climb on facebook, these new mountains  were of the emotional, mental and spiritual form. Years had indeed passed since she stood in the snow on the Kibo summit in north-eastern Tanzania 5,895 metres above sea level. Remi still held on to the warm feeling and rush of adrenaline she received that day. From time to time she recalled and recounted the unique moments in her mind. For example the moment she dug in her victory flag whilst smiling for a camera as she marvelled at the breath taking view, the moment she realised she had done something to help, and the amazing new found feeling of self worth that came with it. There was something deeply rewarding about enduring something as gruelling as mountain climbing to help another.  She remembers standing on the top of Kilimanjaro on the Kimo Summit, overlooking Kenya and feeling content.
That was her first dose, after that day she was hooked, she was hungry, hungry to help. Remi wanted to help others on a large scale in anyway and anyplace that she could. She could no longer retreat to her old lifestyle, how could she?  It was because of this that Remi joined Unicef, but due to her lack of experience she was only offered small roles in admin and that was after a lot of volunteering. The admin was not enough for her, she had more to give, and she felt it in her heart like a heavy weight. This is why she didn’t hesitate to take up the work offered to her in Nigeria and this is why she had found herself in…
To be continued…


©Copyright Cyber Divas Inscriptions 2010

About facebook Tales
So, I hear you asking me something. “What are facebook tales, and why have I decided to write them?” I will try and answer that question as best as I can.  Answer, Facebook Tales are exactly that, tales about facebook. Actually on second thought that isn’t quite right, please allow me to rephrase. Facebook tales are tales written about the people who use facebook.  Every facebook tale is different because every potential facebook user that I write about is different too. The only similarity is the common element that binds them, that common element is indeed facebook.
So I hear you asking me something again, “What is facebook?”  Answer, what time did your ship from Mars land here on Planet Earth? (Bow your head in shame) Just kidding here goes….
 From what I gather facebook has taken planet earth by a storm. It has more than 500 million active users and is becoming the cyber social perquisite of modern day life. In some cases facebook is used more frequently by individuals in a normal day than their own mobile phone! Ridiculous? Yes, but also ludicrously true.  People even go out and opt to exchange facebook names instead of the traditional telephone numbers. Facebook is used by multiple users from multiple walks of life. For example there are the people that use facebook for the creation of groups, as a result facebook  has a group for almost everything. From groups about  raising money for charities, to groups on gossip, current affairs, food, film, football, TV shows and even protests.
Consequently it is no real surprise that facebook has become part of everyday life for many people out there. It is the common element in many people’s lives, a lot of people would probably have nothing in common at all if not for facebook. Look at me and you, I'm writing about something related to facebook and now you are reading it. Our common element is facebook too. If you don’t agree, join facebook, add me, and throw a snowball at me or something.
I hear you asking yet another question? What exactly does facebook do other than connect people, and what is all this talk about snowballs? Answer, that’s a biggie and far too strenuous for little me to attempt to delve into. It might be easier to answer another question, “what cant facebook do?” Actually perhaps I may find that question equally hard to answer because with the Superpoke application on facebook you can also use facebook to throw sheep, karate chop, buy a drink and throw snow balls amongst many other wacky things! Don’t worry even I’m still getting my head around it and I have been using facebook since 2006.   Ok, I’m not too sure that I have answered all of your questions so I will give you a few stats and a link so you can go and find out yourself. (Cheeky I know)

About Facebook
Facebook was founded in February 2004. It’s the world’s coolest social utility helping people like me to communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and colleagues.  The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.
Facebook is made up of core site functions and applications. Fundamental features to the experience on Facebook are a person’s Home page and Profile. The Home page includes News Feed, a personalized feed of his or her friend’s updates. The Profile displays information about the individual he or she has chosen to share, including interests, education and work background and contact information. Facebook also includes core applications – Photos, Events, Videos, Groups, and Pages – that let people connect and share in rich and engaging ways. Additionally, people can communicate with one another through Chat, personal messages, Wall posts, Pokes, or Status Updates.

People on Facebook
·         More than 500 million active users
·         50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
·         Average user has 130 friends
·         People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
Activity on Facebook
·         There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
·         Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
·         Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
·         More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
Global Reach
·         More than 70 translations available on the site
·         About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
·         Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
·         More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
·         Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
·         More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
·         More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
·         More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month
·         Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook

·         There are more than 150 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
·         People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
·         There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products


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