Now, I am happy to confession I am a facebook Junkie and I think that a lot of people would nod in agreement. The other day I nearly sent my friend Sam into a fit when I emailed her some startling news that our mutual friend Jesse had just deleted Facebook as she “wasted to much time on it and need to finish her uni degree”. Sam was shocked. And couldn’t believe the social suicide Jesse had just committed. Sam replied “Some people surf, some read, some even whale watch, but I, I Facebook.” Has Facebook really become a listable hobby? Why are we all so obsessed? And where did it all begin? For me the beginning was MySpace.
Now let time warp back to 2005…
As a self confessed technological amateur, MySpace, when it become popular in 2005 seemed so far out of my psyche, that I never dreamt of using it, let alone getting caught up in the mania.
My friends would talk about the people they spoke to online, the pictures they had recently uploaded and the ‘cool’ new songs that were now blurring in the background of their profiles. They’d tell me stories of how they had rekindled friendships with primary school crushes and ho they’d stalked ex-boyfriends new love interests.
I rolled my eye at what seemed like a bit of a sad obsession and truthfully had no desire to join this online world. Like so many trends that have come and gone I was quite content to let this one slide by.
Curiosity, however, did get the better of me. I secretly started spying on my friend pages. I checked out where they were going on weekends. I scanned their photos and investigated who they had been chatting to and what about. I loved the open book nature of the site and the concept of exploring the lives of those I now and those I have just met. Some might purely call this stalking – what? I’m a journalist I like to be in the know.
As I delved further I began to see that social media was a fun and personal way to show ff your friends, your personality, your interests, your hobbies and your life. It was a space created by you and controlled by you within an online community. To me, each persons space is a represstation of who they are as and person and gives a glimpse into who they are. Provided a person is honest about their identity, an online relationship that is just as close as some face to face contact can be developed.
I typed in my email address and clicked on the orange button imprinted with the words “Sign up”. Three seconds later I had a MySpace, three seconds later my stubborn stance against all these technology and online had slipped away.
Like all good MySpace profiles, mined needed some serious ‘pimping’. This caused me to call in some help, and help came in the form of my 10-year-old brother and a website pimp-my-profile.com. I used this site to find an appropriate background – red with yellow squares – as well as some animations to help liven up my space.
Next I searched MySpace Music browsing profiles of different artists and bands to find the perfect song. With other 32 million bands to choose from, this was quite a tedious process. My final selection being ‘The Bomb’ by New Young Pony Club.
In the next couple of months MySpace become my mobile phone, my diary, my daily planner, my photo album, My CD collection and the local cafe all rolled in one. And then like all good social media consumers I graduated from MySpace and packed up my things and moved to Facebook….now there is Twitter and I’m eagerly awaiting the next social media milestone.