Fear of A Black Planet: Life In Social Networking’s “Black Hole” (Guest Post)

By Luvvie

Social networking makes the world go round nowadays. In high school, I used to eHang on AOL Instant Messenger, highschoolclub.com (remember that?), and of course BlackPlanet. There were many lunchtimes when we’d all go into the computer lab to update our BP pages on some “Girl, did you see my new picture???” Just gleeful in our teenage state.

The other day while eLoitering on Twitter, someone mentioned how they knew someone who still had a BlackPlanet page. Wait, what? Did I fall through a space-time continuum and land squarely in Y2K? Are people still stunting with 2-way pagers and grayscale screen cellphones? Christina Aguilera, is that you coming out that genie bottle? Stop playing! Is that an ombre FUBU jersey under a denim outfit? Is Pluto still a planet? Well, slap me in the morning and tell me it’s midnight!

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BlackPlanet is where all progressive technology goes to die. Ol’ simple pages with complicated elements used to grind my gears. I still remember those overbusy profiles with emblazoned wallpaper (see: Reasons why I also can’t stand MySpace). A fully loaded BlackPlanet page could induce someone into an overstimulation-induced seizure. Trying to load a Blackplanet page took at least 5 minutes with the music and glitter used to crash my computer (especially since Dial-Up ruled the world).

Not only that, but BP was a black hole of unholy intentions. Folks would post their Magic Photo portraits, with just the right amount of ultraglare and ish to drown out their awkward features and whatnot. You know, the pics where they’d be perched on a column with their fists under their chin. Shoot, they just KNEW they looked good. Tryna find a boo and whatnot. Who knows how many hookups jump off love connections were made on Blackplanet? Someone oughta do a census survey. I’m curious.

Dang, I could easily scratch out all the BlackPlanet mentions in this post and replace with MySpace and it would still be accurate. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

There is no excuse for anyone to have a BlackPlanet page in this year of the Lord. iRebuke the notion in the name of Web 1.0 and the new Millenium. And I douse it with holy water. Get thee behind me!!! BlackPlanet is the Land of the Irrelevant. No one should have any business being on it. Not a n’an person.

BlackPlanet is more irrelevant than:

  • A $5 gas card
  • A Wachovia bank account
  • Saucony gym shoes
  • OctoMom’s NuvaRing
  • A headband for Stevie
  • A ponytail holder for Amber Rose
  • THIS Guy:BlackPlanet is the old man at the party with Twenty-somethings raising the roof and getting jiggy with it. Yes, him in the middle. Facebook is to the left and Twitter is the one holding the drank. BlackPlanet was clearly not really welcome at the party but the cool kids were like “Oooo we should take a picture with an old head and roast him.” So that’s how this picture came about. (Thanks to FungkeBlakChik for the pic. It’s just so fitting)

They oughta just let BlackPlanet ride into the sunset of the intrawebs to the Land of Abandoned Websites, along with hi5.com (oh it’s still around? Dang. I may need to wrangle a lotta these sites and have a mass funegro for em). I’d rock some clogs and a respectable church fedora and we could pour out some amaretto sour to all them sites that are dead and gone (although the Dot Com bust clearly missed some).

BlackPlanet needs to go sat down.


Luvvie is a blogger from Chicago with a passion for rants. You can catch more of her randomosity at her eCribs Awesomely Luvvie (www.awesomelyluvvie.com) and House of IG (www.igville.com). She is also the co-creator of The Red Pump Project, an initiative to raise awareness on the effect of HIV/AIDS on women & girls (www.theredpumpproject.com).

22 thoughts on “Fear of A Black Planet: Life In Social Networking’s “Black Hole” (Guest Post)

  1. I loved this article and even more so because I met and married my husband off BLACKPLANET. Either we were really wrong or we had someone watching over us lol.

  2. Love is wasted on the young. Let the old guy in the photo have his loving. He’ll be more appreciative and show his gratitude.

  3. LMAO toooo funny! I was talking to a male friend about finding a boo and he was all, "I heard of this site where you should be able to find some local single Black men. I think it’s called BlackPlanet."Nukka what?! This is not 2001! We are not still in high school. For the record, I never did have a BP page . . . Hi5 though . . . yeah. I was there lol.

  4. The Black Snob,The Condi Article DISAPPEARS when you click on the link. Disappears for me. When I posted the link over at JJP, someone posted that it disappeared for her too. Can’t read it.

  5. @ rikyrahThat’s odd. I checked the link at JJP and here and in both cases they opened to the right page and stayed open. I don’t know what could be going on there. I always feel like a broken record but … could this be a browser issue? Do you need to upgrade?Here’s the link. Others have been able to see the story from here: http://blacksnob.com/scan/2009/4/20/condoleeza-rice-and-the-dinner-party-of-doom.htmlWorst comes to worst, I’ll repost on old SCAN site.

  6. LOL!I love Amaretto Sours. I also totally missed the Black Planet phenomena, apparently. (I was spending all my time on Live Journal in 2000, I think.)

  7. I get these friend alerts for my totally obsolete BP page and I wonder if there are really people trying to friend me or is BP just jealous because I haven’t checked my page since 2004. Same thing with MySpace. Gawd, I hate MySpace. I YELL at people on MS to get on Facebook. And in 2009, if I hear someone say "what’s a Twitter?" slapping shall ensue.

  8. Danielle, the SCAN link you gave doesn’t seem to work either. BTW, to "David W," since your initials are strikingly similar to my name on Facebook, would you mind changing your screen name? I noticed your screen name after I had mine established for awhile now. Since we use the same posts, it would avoid confusion and show how considerate you are. Thank you very much.

  9. Perhaps Blackplanet is social networking of 65 year old old playas and divorced church ladies getting the freak on. On the other end are 15 year olds in bamma towns. I think that became the norm really, really fast. They used to have contests called "Ten Ten Mixed Girls," or "Ebony Dymes." I think Omar Wasow was starting off with good intentions but just turned into Bob Johnson, and frankly I think he’s almost as in big denial as bob w/BET when it comes to the meaningfulness of this venture. Or maybe I’m wrong…

  10. Actually, sometimes, links to Danielle’s Journal posts do the same for me, not just the ones from SCAN. The answer is to use the black menu with white type at the top of the page and then click on "Danielle’s Journal" or on "Secret Council of American Negroes" and that’ll take you where you need to go when the links are broken.

  11. Oh – and this post is both hilarious and true. I’m already done with MySpace… I’ve been thinking about taking that page down. I am still resisting creating a Facebook page. And Hi5 – OMG. I think I might have had one of those… years ago… Guess I have to hunt it down and kill it, too.

  12. BTW, Glory, I’ve tried every conceivable way to bring up the SCAN link, but the jump page doesn’t work for me, and I know my computer is working fine. No biggie.

  13. My daughter asked me the other day. Mom, you’re still on BP? I told her yes and could not think of the last time that I had visited the site. BP is now owned by Radio One. I joined BP , along with Black Voices before it was bought by AOL/Time Warner, when I lived in Germany in the late 80’s and at the time it was very popular and one of the sites welcoming to African Americans who were now slowly becoming a part of the growing World Wide Web and living in Europe I wanted to stay connected to the home front in some sort of way. Once it was sold it has evolved into the attitudes and customs of it’s users and core audience, much like the entire web has and our communities. You attract what interest the reader, so if it’s either negativity, positivity, drama, ignorance, the intellectual, sex and gossip it’s all here on the World Wide Web. BP is no different from any other web site where women garner clicks by their content or the amount of clothing or lack thereof, that their wearing. Every man has the gangster thug look, even the old ones. Maybe some of you need to return to the pages of BP because even President Obama had the sense and was smart enough to use the web site to his advantage and so are other businesses. He did not abandon it and still uses it to this day. They could use the intellectual insight and commentary.

  14. "Who knows how many hookups jump off love connections were made on Blackplanet? Someone oughta do a census survey. I’m curious."Wellll….I never had a BP page but my girl had a page and met her (now ex)bf that way. Then, he introduced me to the guy I have been dating for a few years. So in a way, BP helped me get a man…lol.

  15. @ All in regards to the Condi linkI’ve checked it numerous times on my end and it comes up fine in all cases and I’ve had seven comments so far. I don’t know what’s going on (Broken record = upgrade your browser?)I’ll repost it on the old site tomorrow.

  16. oh u r hilarious! & I’m mad about my uncle in that pic.I heard if you take black planet site offline, two more black booty sites will emerge on the web simultaneously.

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