"You mean nothing to no one, but that's nobody's fault." In the fanfiction community, preteens and teenagers using angst in their writing and profiles is in truth not a new thing. However, every time time it crops up, the mature reader finds themselves rolling their eyes at the unbelievability of said angst and how it is presented.
Through out many fandoms, Harry Potter, Bleach and many others, there are many inexperienced writers who give their OCs (original characters) a background where the character they created is supposed to "mean nothing to no one, but that's [not the OC's] fault." However, the context clues tend to say otherwise. We'll call OC's Jane to simplify the discussion.
One of the scenarios is that Jane will angst over the fact that she has no friends at all. She even choose to angst about the fact that it is not her fault that she doesn't have any friends. Yet we see her tongue wagging quite a few insults at other characters, whether they be canon or not. Her behavior isn't the kind that will make friends for her.
Another scenario is that Jane is supposed to be Plain Jane, not noticeable by anyone around her. Perhaps she even talks about how she doesn't want to be noticed and how she fears eventually being noticed. But then we come to find out that she does in fact stand out. Her looks may be elaborately described, the guys fall left and right for her. Maybe even she has a large level of intelligence.
The point is, Jane is not the nobody that the author tries to be cry her being. Where then does the idea that Jane is indeed a nobody and that her angst is warrant come from? It comes from the fact that the writers themselves think in these ways. They think they are nobodies in a vast world, simply because things don't go the way they wants.
Sometimes this idea of the world owing them something is drastic. Point out to Ms. Doe that a scenario for Jane doesn't work, they lash out about how a critique writer shouldn't have hurt their feelings. They bemoan the fact that their lives are horrible, how the internet is the only escape for them and how they have no friends, but it is in truth no fault of their own.
Yet if their behavior is like the way they act towards the critique writer, it is honestly no surprise that they don't have friends. They tend to come across as the type who likes to bully their peers, trying to force them to be their friends. In other words, they feel that people should be their friends simply because they are entitled to have said friends.
Also, if their writing is any reflection on their real lives, their lives are likely not as horrible as they think they are. They have this level of entitlement which feels that being grounded by their parents for doing something wrong, or receiving detention from their teacher is unjustified. That isn't to say that some of them don't actually have problems.
Then we come to the fact that they are using the internet to escape, much like how one might use a novel or a game. Problem with this is the fact that the internet is still part of real life. If one is using the internet for escaping purposes, they likely do not understand the trouble they can honestly get into on the net.
But most of all, the angst these young writers put out has another problem in the long run. It adds to the problem of deciphering who is simply crying wolf and who actually needs help. Not to mention, the ones who complain about their lives due to things like being grounded for a legitimate reason trivialize those who do in fact have a real problem.
Author's note – Written for the FanBBS contest April 2011.