Saturday afternoons would usually find me hunched over a computer in the dead of winter. Unwilling to go outside and face the Idaho cold and also unwilling to pay $19.99 for three months’ worth membership at some other socializing sites, my options were somewhat limited for conversations with strangers. Two years ago, my e-time was directed to www.myspace.com. My online life has not been the same since.
A social networking site, Myspace consists of individual profiles that are as customizable as the Scions everyone seems to be so crazy about lately. With a little help from one of the several DIY Editors, each member is able to make their own space that is completely original. The artistic license is completely in the hands of the member, as long as it remains in accordance with the rules. The obvious concepts that most civilized folk abide by: No nudity, no offensiveness, etc. Essentially, don’t be a troll and there shouldn’t be a problem.
Some online sites claim to be an online community. In the case of Myspace, a more apt description would be an online civilization. Every facet of life –even the Amish have a space dedicated to them- is represented in some degree. The aforementioned trolls also take advantage of this fact however, and try to trick the less savvy of users into to thinking that a gorgeous (& always scantily clad) woman named Candy is new in the area and looking for fun. This is a hoax, so don’t waste time with these sirens.
For the closet conversationalist, a visit to the Groups or Forum of Myspace allows for ongoing discussions of any topic one can think into existence on a number of varied topics. Seekers of Higher Truth is one of my personal favorites. A cup of coffee in the morning hours, and about 20 minutes of perusing the material in the posts of any topic, and a day is off with at least somewhat of a fresh perspective.
Fledgling bands share equal glory with musical legends, and advertise with each other for upcoming shows and updates. Usually before the premier of any major Hollywood release, ads will surface for said movie with links to profiles of the characters. James Dean is one of my friends at the present, but unfortunately he has not released anything lately.
Each person’s home page has a function called the Bulletin, as well as a portion dedicated to a user-specified Top Friends section. This way, one can see when certain contacts are online as well as being updated to any of the most intimate details of another user’s life. These instances may be frequent, and appear as they arrive from within the network. Quizzes with questions like Have you ever flipped off your boss and Describe in a single word your first kiss , surface from unknown origins. An ongoing game of 20 Questions is reinvented and mass-produced perpetually. Some develop a psychological dependency on the site, and spend hours in an entranced rotation of posting comments on other people’s space and refreshing their mailboxes.
As with any free site, there are those that take advantage of the opportunity that the site allows its users to create. Any person with common sense can see through the most common of scams that lurk out there. Indeed, even common sense can not survive without a bit of caution. If every individual were to practice this manner, nobody would have a problem.
For the uninitiated, the experience may be a bit frightening at first. Look for some long lost friends with one of the search engines. High school buddies, childhood companions, and forgotten relatives all have the potential of being located and perhaps even contacted. Keep an ear out at work for people talking about Tom’s last bulletin , or posting a comment around the water cooler. They may be able to provide some essential insight on the art of Myspace, and point a newcomer in the right direction to becoming a member of the world’s first online civilization.
©2006 A For Aesthetic