Thursday, February 09, 2006


I started my whole blogging thing at MySpace. My students are on Facebook, which I've written about here, and while I know of some faculty and administrators who use Facebook either for their own pages or just to spy, I sort of couldn't bring myself to infiltrate their space in that way. (And also, the whole idea of it felt weird to me, like going to a high school dance when you're in college, KWIM?)

But I was kind of intrigued by the whole concept of it, and I was curious to see why it was such a big deal. I knew about MySpace because some friends had pages there, but I thought of it, like Facebook, as a very "young" space, and so I wasn't all that interested in it. But, one day I was poking around online, and I ran across Rivers Cuomo's MySpace page. Well - Rivers is actually my age (at least, he was - his listed age seems to be going backward and he's now two years younger than he was last month), and granted, I'm not even in a band much less a band as popular as Weezer, but if Rivers can do it, I figured, so could I.

So, I set up a MySpace page, and started a blog, and started looking around to see what was up.

As near as I can figure, the whole deal is that at MySpace, you are supposed to either make lots of "friends" or else feel really unpopular because, like me, you have only three "friends," one of whom is the guy who came with the account. Either way, online popularity is measured by how many "friends" you have, and frankly, the whole thing reminds me a lot of middle school, when everything seemed to be superficial and competitive.

And I'll go further - there is something about MySpace that makes me think of reality dating shows. I feel like as soon as I log on to MySpace, I'm entering a world in which Ashlee Simpson is cool and I'm supposed to talk dirty to whoever wants to be my "friend." I'm sure there are plenty of thoughtful blogs on MySpace - Rivers' being a case in point (when he bothers to update it, that is - I don't care if you're at Harvard now, big man, give something back to the fans!) - but the majority of them seem based on that same kind of fake "I'll put out way faster than her" sort of popularity.

Maybe I'm just visiting the wrong blogs?

Anyway. I still have my blog at MySpace, but I never post anything there. I don't get the whole point of having "friends" in the first place, and I know that must make me sound terribly out of it, but there it is. My mom will never be able to figure out the internet; I will never understand "friends." But seriously, what is it that "friends" do other than, by their presence, affirm that one is likeable and interesting (or a "hottie")? When I look around at different pages, the comments the "friends" make are often completely devoid of any content. They are what email used to be, before people started having real conversations online. "Hey - wasn't that a hard exam? See you tomorrow!"

And yet...just like in middle school, when I wanted Patrick Dobson to like me, I kind of want to log on to MySpace one day and find that I have a whole bunch of friends. Though I suppose it would probably help if I put my name on the page so my RL friends could find me, just like it probably would have helped if Pat had known that I liked him back in 7th grade.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Myspace is totally wierd. I created a basic page when I logged on to see your page a while back. I didn't get around to including much except the required: name, age, etc. No photos, nothing. Then I got your email about quitting Myspace and I never went back into it.

Anyhow, I guess I didn't fill out the "relationship" fields and it must default to "single" because last week I suddenly got email on my yahoo that I had messages on myspace. Two guys, like totally random guys, sent me their photos and all about themselves, phone numbers, etc.

I'm thinking, did they just MASS email EVERY woman under 40 on myspace, or what? Because ALL that was on my profile was name, age, female. No interests, nothin. It kind of creeped me out. So I canceled my "profile" on myspace. Bye-bye, "Dave"...