Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Myspace

In a report by 24/7 Wall St., ten brands were listed as on their way to extinction. The list had Sears, Sony Pictures, American Apparel, Nokia, Saab, A&W Restaurants, Soap Opera Digest, Sony Ericsson and even Kellog's Corn Pops. While the inclusion of these companies on the list is not an outright death sentence, things are dire enough to be noticed. One company that particularly caught my eye was Myspace. Myspace, the once gargantuan social networking playground, appears to be on its way out. While that may be no surprise to those that have abandoned Myspace for Facebook (such as myself), it's still interesting to observe the meteoric rise and fall of the once ubiquitous friend site.

I wonder if Tom has a Facebook?

I joined in 2006 (I think it was 2006 because it was when I first got my braces off). Before Myspace really hit it big, self-involved pre-teens relied on Xanga and Angelfire websites. Social networking didn't really go past having an AOL Instant Messaging profile, complete with Green Day lyrics or declarations of schoolyard love in different colored type and comic sans font. Myspace was a place where we could all play in the same narcissistic sandbox. It was an extension of the worst parts of interpersonal relationships. There is no understanding or law on Myspace. There is only battles for Top 8 membership and chain-mail bulletins.

A place for friends, enemies, acquaintances and photos taken in bathrooms.

Like most guys in my school, I made my Myspace at the insistence of a girl. She was a girl, she was a friend, but she was never anything more. I was too naive to realize my crush on her, however I did make a point to slow dance with her every school dance (I was a slow dancing machine). She even supplied me with my first photo. In rebellion of the Top 8 paradigm I chose my Top 8 favorite comedians instead of being forced to choose my friends. Then I realized how lame I was being and finally dove face first into Myspace.

Myspace was so long ago, my login consisted of my Compuserve email.

I mostly used Myspace to pimp out my interests. I didn't have an obnoxious amount of pictures or a Top 32. The four years I had my Myspace account activated I never once changed my background. For many, changing the background and style sheets was a part of their individual expression. Me: I just thought it slowed my computer down when I tried to visit their page. I mostly just posted music and Youtube videos. I would use a certain theme and then send a bulletin out for people to watch the videos I chose. To this day I have no idea if anybody actually went to my page to see the videos or if they were just annoyed. I'd like to think people enjoyed it.

Just how I hope people enjoy my blog.

Myspace did have its problems. Like all of the internet back then, Myspace was seen as a stalker paradise (which was true for the most part). Hyper-sexualized adolescences who never heard of Lolita put themselves out on their profile pages. But, overall, Myspace was innocent. It was mostly just an over-glorified way to publicize your garage band. It never made any adaptations or advancements in the social network field. Myspace instead sat back and assumed that its reign would be forever. Then Facebook came out and, it just seemed classier. Myspace was too loud. Visiting someone's Myspace was a race to the pause button so you didn't have to listen to their music. Facebook was more streamlined and more mature. All the trappings of Myspace were left out. And individuals such as myself flocked to the relatively new website.

You don't see Myspace with an Oscar-nominated flick.

All of the careers launched by Myspace are now as stagnant as the website itself. Tila Tequila was once billed as the most popular person on Myspace, back when a statement like that actually sounded like it meant something. Two CDs, a television show, a book and one lesbian sex tape later, Tequila is mostly forgotten by now. Dane Cook also rose to fame through the social networking site. When he started out, Cook was nothing but a hyper-active comedian on stage. After being one of the first comedians to make his own Myspace, he had a legit following. Whether you hate him or not, it's impossible to deny the draw Cook had for a four-year span between 2003's Harmful If Swallowed and 2007's show in Madison Square Garden. Myspace is, arguably, the main reason for these two star's infamy. Their whole careers were propelled by the Myspace phenomenon. And, just like Myspace, they are now merely footnotes in popular culture.

To be fair, I didn't have the hatred for Cook that others experienced.
I completely admit to the fact that I owned his first two albums and
memorized most of the jokes.

The Facebook migration was slow to come for many. I wasn't too sure of Facebook at first, so I tried to maintain both accounts. Eventually though, Myspace just lost out. Anybody nowadays that admit to still using the dying network are met with condescension and nostalgia. Its time is over and, like 24/7 Wall St. noted, the brand will probably fade away into obscurity soon. I erased my Myspace in 2010. I stopped using in 2008, but just never bothered to erase it until 2010. The day I erased my Myspace was an important day for me. It was closing a chapter on my previous life. In all honesty, it felt like growing up. It remains to be seen whether Facebook falls for the same trappings as Myspace, but for now Facebook is stronger than ever. The social network is dead, long live the social network.

Consider this a time capsule for the younger, more innocent Myspace days.


  1. Good, can we kill Myspace jokes now too?

  2. I just wanted one last crack at Myspace before all Myspace jokes are outlawed