The renowned social networking website, Myspace, died late last night in Beverly Hills, California, after a two-year battle with Irrelevancy and Abandonment. Myspace’s master, Tom Anderson, could not be reached for comment but is reportedly in the fetal position, continually clicking “Refresh” on the Myspace browser. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and co-founder of Myspace’s main competitor, Facebook, is not a suspect but when notified of Myspace’s passing, he let out a hearty sinister laugh and hung up the phone. The website is survived by Anderson, its 1,000 employees, and the memories of every scene kid across America.
To commemorate all the good (and bad) this website brought into the lives of its millions of users, let’s take the time to remember all of the things that made Myspace the ultimate “place for friends”—and enemies.
Not content with just putting their actual name on their profile, many Myspace users would elaborate by putting song lyrics or writing the initials of whatever crew they belonged to. For example:
C H E L S E A (Best friends means pulling the trigger <3 )
Brandon (xDHWx Crew).
No one ever really knew what the initials stood for, but no one really cared. The fact that you belonged to some crew in high school spoke volumes about your social position (or lack thereof).
The About Me’s
Since the typical Myspace user was 16 years-old, angry and liked the band Thursday, all of the About Me’s were eerily similar to one another. They usually went something like this:
Hi. My name’s Kenzie but you can call me MISS Kenzie. I like fireworks, eyeliner and making out and I don’t really give a f u c k what you think about me. My friends are my family and I would take a bullet for them. If you mess with them, you mess with ME and you really don’t want that. XOXO.
Scary, right? If they were in a relationship, their “Who I’d like to meet” section would include a picture of him/her and say something like this:
I’ve already met him/her. This boy/girl has my heart. If you don’t like it, you can seriously die! We’re tired of the drama. We love each other and you are jealous!
Myspace photo albums tended to be a bottomless source of hilarity. It taught us that, among other truths, when you give a teenager a digital camera, weird things can happen.
An album would typically begin with a picture taken in front of someone’s bathroom mirror. Next, there would be a picture of someone lifting their shirt to reveal their 15 year-old abs and giving their best jailbait pout. The caption would read something like: “You want what you can’t have” or something equally as conceited. To show your range, there would also be a picture of yourself looking depressed with a Rilo Kiley lyric underneath, “It’s all the good that won’t come out of me.” These pictures were usually the best because if teenagers are good at one thing, it’s looking sad and angsty. Other photos would include pictures of you kissing your BF/GF, you and your best friend reminding the world of your close friendship and maybe a picture of your pet.
Using Myspace to Hook Up
When I was seventeen, I once got a Myspace message from a 23 year-old gay dude who just got out of jail that said:
“Hey there! :) (Our mutual friend) Sarah told me all about u! Ur so cute! How R U? I’m doing ok. Just a lil bummed right now but one day at a time, right? LOL. anyways, if u ever wanna talk, you can call me at 805-blahblahblah-blahblahblahblahblah and we can chat! have a wunderful day!!”
Ew. Hooking up on Myspace was so etch-a-sketch. People would have these year-long flirtations with someone in a neighboring town and eventually meet up with them and be like, “Hi. I know you from Myspace. Can I leave now?” It was also common for people to get into actual relationships with Myspacers without ever actually meeting them. Yikes. In the words of Le Tigre, “Get off the Internet!”
Myspace bulletins were like Facebook statuses or tweets but way worse because there was no word limit imposed. People could post surveys, bitch about their family or make thinly-veiled references to suicide to their hearts’ content.
I’m totally guilty of posting surveys that asked me questions like, “What’s your favorite soda?” and complaining about my tragic teenage life. The saving grace about the bulletins was that you could only comment on them by replying directly to the person who wrote it. No one else could see your responses, which probably saved everyone from a lot of drama.
The Top 8
The Top 8- a feature in which a Myspace user could rate their eight most important friendships based on who they liked better that day-literally destroyed relationships. At first, it was fun to have your 8 best friends hanging out next to each other on a website because, oh my god, you loved them and you wanted everyone to know it! But then it just turned into an evil passive-agressive tool. You could be bumped down to a less desirable position (like #7 , #8, or even worse, off the list entirely) for committing a variety of friendship crimes such as not calling someone back, a rude comment, or not being invited to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. I remember taking one of my friends off my Top 8 and receiving a very angry text message five minutes later that just read, “Close friends have each other on their Top 8. Period.” The feature was a constant source of anxiety for me simply because I’ve always had a lot of close friendships. Even worse, I’ve always attracted people who think we’re closer than we actually are. When I deleted my Myspace in 2009, I was relieved to know that my eight best friends existed solely in my heart and not on a website.
Teenagers using a social networking tool to intimidate, bully and destroy someone’s self-esteem is nothing new, but Myspace was a real trailblazer in that regard. People were shameless in airing their drama and had no reservations with leaving seriously harsh comments on a nemesis’ page. A giant shitsorm of teen angst continually hovered above Myspace and never seemed to ever blow over. Photos would be spammed with comments like, “You look like a dog! Ur sick! Get a life!” While silently sobbing at your computer, you’d be forced to retaliate by writing mean bulletins and comments on your own page. Teenagers are seriously scary. They are the meanest of the mean.
Intimidating profiles! Gross pedophiles! Top 8’s! This trip down Myspace memory lane has been a little traumatizing, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s a good thing that no one uses the website anymore. Maybe it’s a good thing that Myspace just serves as a marker for our personal growth as human beings. Or maybe we all just need one of those Men In Black memory erasers to forget all that unpleasantness ever happened. In the future, people will ask us about Myspace and we’ll give them blank stares, returning to our Facebook profiles and daydreaming about the future. Bits of memory will try to float back into our minds but we won’t let it. We can’t. We’re too evolved now.