Well, not like it’s actually dead. And I’m not exactly the first person to assert it, but I realize now that I have almost no communication on there anymore. Aside from my cool list of favorites, several pictures I don’t want to re-add on Facebook, the beautifully designed layout that I did myself, all my old blog entries, and the ability to add background music to your profile… I don’t even know why I keep it up at all.
Let’s remember, MySpace was the shit for many years. It’s still pretty good but for that it’s almost entirely deserted. Whenever I log in, I just see dozens of updates from the same two friends who are at all active on there anymore. The rest of my friends’ profiles are all but abandoned. A graveyard of snapshots of what everyone was up to in early 2009. I don’t get how these things happen. I remember Jessica showing me Orange County’s “Make Out Club” site, which was the earliest social networking site I can think of, and that was back in 2001. Then a few years later, it was Friendster, and everyone was bugging me to join that, which I did. Then MySpace came along, and I went whole-hog into it. Made friends, found friends, started blogging, and posted tons of stuff about myself that no one but me could possibly care about. It was a cool community though and a stellar way to promote a band. All my “cool” friends were junkies just like me. This was 2005 – 2007, mainly.
How it came to be that MySpace was strictly for hipsters and teens, while Facebook came along and suddenly it was acceptable for grama to join, I’ll never know. But what is clear is that however it happened, Friendster and MySpace fell behind, and Facebook became the chosen platform for everyone from all walks of life to jump into the social networking pool. Seems so arbitrary to me. Facebook is king of the hill now, but what new site will come along and eat its lunch just like it did to MySpace, or MySpace to Friendster before that? Clearly Facebook is the biggest yet, and it’s more important to people than its predecessors were — it’s replaced email in many ways. I’m not sure it’s way better than the others necessarily. It’s just here till the next thing comes along.
According to Wiki, MySpace launched in August 2003, just over seven years ago. I myself joined on 7/4/04 for my AOL(!) friend French. I don’t know how much longer I’ll bother logging in at all, or if I’ll ever take the time to fully retire it (although damn, I gotta find a way to save off those old blogs). But its days are numbered. As pathetic as it is to admit, MySpace is owed credit for being an important part of my social life for a few years there. It was the first really groundbreaking social networking site I can think of, and it deserves its place in history. For bringing us a whole new genre of photograph (bathroom mirror self shots), for making it depressingly easy to see when your ex-girlfriends have new boyfriends, and for providing an easy way to keep in touch with hundreds of people I’ve never met in person… here’s to you, MySpace! Starting and ruining relationships since 2003.