I was wrong about MySpace

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

Call me bodacious.

In the beginning I started out so innocently. I just wanted to write a piece on MySpace steeped in personal experience. So I signed up, decorated my page and 32 friends later here I am, dependent and begging for more.

Before MySpace was introduced into my daily Internet routine, I checked my e-mail, read a few online comics and music reviews then called it a day. Now, I walk past the computers in the Union and I’m overcome with the urge to check and see if anyone left a comment on my page. Sometimes I have the strength to make it home, other times I’m logged in and commenting before I realize there is a computer in the room.

At this point I’ll have to admit-I’m a hypocrite. In an earlier piece (“What the hell does ‘poke’ mean, anyway?” April 19, 2006), I blasted MySpace and Facebook for being nothing more than arenas for superficial friends and people who had forgotten what “outside” was all about. These things are still true, but what I overlooked in my earlier piece was the power and potential of MySpace to create my very own online space.

My page presents me in a quick-and-easy-to-digest visual format. I’m 19 years old, single, a Taurus, interested in meeting zombies, in love with The Cardigans and I still think cartoons are cool.

As far as overviews go, I think I’ve just summed myself up quite nicely. While this is only a slice of the “real” me, I’ve come to realize my profile isn’t the definition of me, but the barebones so that an online community can know me. If you want much more than that, we’d have to be old-fashioned and kick it in person.

One of my favorite features of MySpace is the ability to post media that I dig. When viewing my page, I’ve provided Venus Euphoric’s smash hit “Motor Oil” for everyone’s listening pleasure. Also, visitors can watch The Cardigans’ “My Favorite Game” video or Phantom Planet’s “Big Brat,” and if you are in the mood, you can see Voltron get served in a dance competition.

The lamest, and albeit most pathetic, aspect of MySpace is the shameless advertising that is employed by scam businesses out to get your e-mail address or telephone number. Posts like “I thought they were just spam, but you really can get five free ring tones by clicking here.” Or the friend requests from scantily clad women saying that if you join true.com you can see the naked video they made to piss of their parents or boyfriend. It’s during these moments that MySpace’s dirty underbelly is exposed.

Of the 32 friends I have as part of my online space, I see at least my Top Eight weekly. MySpace is just a way to maintain the communication, say “hey,” share an inside joke, make plans and stalk your next romantic flame. In the past I cited these things as meaningless chatter to pretend like we all care, but after participating in it, I’ve come to realize that communication is communication. It doesn’t matter if it’s a text message, post or chatting over coffee, as long as you’re communicating, you’re connecting.

I was overzealous in my initial reactions to the wider MySpace community, and to those who criticized me for harshly judging a community I knew nothing about, you were right.

However people choose to use MySpace is up to them. So post your emo pictures and let the world know you real feelings, add friends until your friend list rivals the population of China or use MySpace as a way to engage with friends.

MySpace isn’t just for the pasty white dungeons and dragons nerds and hip high school students. It is my space and your space; it is a place for friends.

Bodacious can be found at www.MySpace/thisis_this.