MySpace: The Internet Part 2

So I’ve signed up with the current flavor of the month, MySpace. I’ve got my own little MySpace page with my favorite movies and music and a running tally of how many friends I have (yesterday it told me I had 0 friends, but today I’m up to 12–score!).

I’m trying to see what all the fuss is about, and so far I don’t really get it. I think I’m just old.

My initial take is that it’s the Internet about eight years ago, only not just for computer geeks. You can customize your MySpace page (I haven’t figured out how you do that, but everybody else has) with whatever you want, so there’s lots of blinding designs that flash and blink or black text on top of dark pictures. Just like every other homepage design circa 1998.

Plus e-mail forwards? They’re not dead (they’ll never die). They’ve been reincarnated as a MySpace thing. Everyone and their brother is posting their top five things you don’t know about them, or answering a personality quiz, or doing some kind of sappy story about daughters of ketchup allergy victims. Kind of scary.

What I really don’t get is the protocol. You can comment on people’s MySpace pages, which is sort of like a generic comment or shout out or something (as opposed to commenting on a specific blog entry). That’s cool, but then it’s not clear how you’re supposed to respond. I went to respond to a comment posted on my page, but it told me I couldn’t post a comment on my own page unless I was added as a friend. So I have to be my own friend? I didn’t realize I was having self-esteem issues. So I commented on the person who made the comment’s page. But then the comment is totally out of context (in addition to being incredibly long and full of complete sentences, which I think is grounds to have me excommunicated from MySpace).

That’s the other thing that gets me: the whole social, you have to be on my buddy-list before I’ll talk to you cliquishness of the whole thing. I’ve been added to a few peoples’ friends list, but then I tried to read someone’s blog and it said I had to be a part of their “preferred list”. How many levels do we need here?

While the rest of the world is all excited about MySpace, the computer geeks who did this sort of thing in 1998 are all excited about Web 2.0, which quite honestly sounds like exactly what is happening on MySpace, just with better design. Honestly, there’s nothing new under the sun, just a different login.

Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be cool if someone came up with a way for you to have the same login everywhere: like,,,,,, etc.

Oh, technology.

What’s really interesting is reading the blog entries of some of my recently added friends. Several of them are teens from youth group, and it’s kind of like turning tables on me. Usually it’s other people who read my blog and know strange things about me, but now I’m in the position to read strange things about other people. It makes me wonder a bit about protocol and awkwardness and if it would totally freak some of them out to realize I’m reading their blogs (which begs the question why would they add me as their friend if they didn’t want me reading their blog?). On the plus side, it is finally good to see some youth group kids using technology. When I first started being a volunteer leader I tried to keep in touch with the kids using e-mail. Yeah, big flop there. I was beginning to think I volunteered with the only teens in the nation who weren’t online. Or they’ve just now decided I’m cool enough to let me into their little cyber-circle.

At any rate, now I’m on MySpace. At least I’m not like all those other old guys.

3 thoughts on “MySpace: The Internet Part 2”

  1. This is about the best summary of MySpace I’ve seen. I guess I don’t really get it either.

    Mike Wielinski did a little research and looked at how many Bethel alum are on MySpace and related it to their graduation year. It’s not surprising to see that the class of 2008 and onward is much, much better represented then our class.

    Anyway, one benefit of MySpace is that I was able to reconnect with some middle school friends that I haven’t talked with in over 10 years.

  2. You brilliantly summarize my thoughts on MySpace as well. I don’t get it. Granted, at 30-years-old I’ve got one foot in the grave compared to a lot of the people using it, but I can’t see what the fuss is about.

  3. I don’t really get it either. I’m on it because 2 of my friends said I should be (beacuse they wanted to be my friend). This I think is the recipe for sucess for MySpace – everyone on MySpace begs all their friends to sign up (so they can add them to their friends list) and thus the virus spreads.

    It’s friendster on crack (and at times LSD).

    Now, it has some uses – indie bands are finding it a great way to promote themselves to their fans (and their fan’s friends). It’s reconnected me (slightly) to some friends from a few years ago.

    But all in all, I find it to be a den of silly people ‘collecting friends’ and showing themselves off. Some pages are so full of T&A I have to navigate away.

    So the big deal is that it’s a big deal… kind of a feedback loop really.

    Oh and BTW- MySpace is tired, Tagworld is wired. Except TagWorld is down 90% of the time I try to go there. A victim of their won success.

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