I was on Facebook the other day, and a feeling of frustration hit me. I was bored. Bored of the site, bored from the sameness of every one of my friend’s walls, bored of the algorithms in place pushing posts I didn’t care about to the top of my feed. Bored of the “trending news” topics that when compared to Twitter, seemed to be trending on Facebook and Facebook alone. I sighed remembering the pure excitement another site used to generate. That website of course, being MySpace. If you were a teenager in the 2000’s a massive chunk of your life was spent switching back and forth from AIM to MySpace.
I remember using third party search engines on the school computers, trying to beat firewalls so that I could check my MySpace inbox. We didn’t have smartphones then, making the hours at school feel truly feel endless. At home, online, there was an entire world waiting. A world our parents lived in fear of. “Don’t meet people off the Internet” seemed to be the sentiment heard out of the mouths of anyone of our parent’s generation. My dad would have probably died, had he known how strongly I ignored his warning. I had, met, and continued many relationships with tons of kids I’d met on MySpace.
Facebook feels like checking my Gmail. It feels like something necessary. It doesn’t feel like something special. MySpace was special. There were so many portals on MySpace, endless amounts of groups, endless amounts of profiles, numerous bands, and the freedom to do whatever you wanted to your profile. You could simply never outgrow MySpace, because it grew with you; you were the driving force of your experience.
As a young lesbian, MySpace provided an LGBTQ universe that was unfathomable in my suburban world. I had gay friends all over the world, I could flirt with girls openly, and talk to older queer folks about their experiences. The 2000’s was of course the time of The L Word, and there was no greater place to talk about the show then in the numerous groups devoted to the show on MySpace. I to this day still have friends that I met in The L Word forum.
All the creativity it seems, has gone to Tumblr. Ello tried, and failed to recreate the magic that MySpace had. Facebook feels like Craigslist. It exists. It works. But it lacks any form of creativity. No matter how much you put into either, they will still exist as the very 2D structures that they are.
I used to spend hours perfecting my profile on AIM, my away messages, and my MySpace. These I felt, were all extensions of myself. Similar to the clothes I wore, my online presence was a clear indicator of self. And at a time when my style could not reflect who I truly was, MySpace saved me. Hours were spent gossiping on AIM, subtle shade was thrown on your top 8, shout outs were made to those “worthy” on away messages. You got to choose where you sat in this online cafeteria. The person I was at school, was nothing like the proud, sometimes cocky, flirtatious lesbian I was on MySpace.
I came out on MySpace years before I did in person.
Lenovo just released their teaser commercial for their upcoming June launch of their newest phones. In it, a relic of every 20 somethings past is on full display; the Internet went crazy. And of course we did, The Razr was the phone of a generation. If Lenovo is indeed releasing a 2016 worthy version of The Razr, well I must say well played. We are a generation that lives for nostalgia. We were born at the odd time where the technology of yesterday was still holding on strong, yet rapid advancements were occurring it seemed every moment. We grew up using floppy discs, CD’s, and flash drives. I had a cassette player, a Walkman, an MP3 player, and finally an iPod. We were a generation of constant and fast adaption. And maybe because of that, we were it seemed almost nostalgic from the beginning. Our online profiles, playing homage to the things we loved, the celebrities we admired, the soundtracks of the moment, the people in our lives; they were one of the only things we were in control of.