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http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/12/10/and-this-is-the-part-where-i-stumble-in-kinda-late/
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51 Responses

  1. Ayezur
    Ayezur June 29, 2007 at 4:28 pm |

    ….

    I’m still on LJ. I only have facebook because my college friends bitched about not being able to keep in touch with me, and rarely visit.

  2. mk
    mk June 29, 2007 at 4:46 pm |

    Hm… Well, it seems to me that the class divisions between Facebook and MySpace users (and it should be noted that there’s significant overlap; many social networking users have profiles on multiple sites, and even multiple profiles on single sites) have a lot to do with the fact that Facebook began as a college networking site (Ivy League at that). As such, when it expanded into high school networks, teenagers who had siblings or friends in college were the first to join.

    I recently deleted all of my networking profiles (well, such as I could; MySpace makes it ridiculously difficult, particularly if you’ve ever had to change your contact email, and Facebook never deletes accounts, only temporarily disconnects them) because I was sick of the artificial social contact and yearning for Real Friends again. When I was actively using various sites, though, I think I liked Friendster the best–more hipster cred, not as customizably ugly as MySpace, and not as creepily overwhelming as the latest incarnation of Facebook.

    Have you noticed that Facebook is usually the target of “Employers are looking at your profile!” news stories, while MySpace profile pictures have suddenly become fodder for print media?

  3. Sarah S
    Sarah S June 29, 2007 at 5:15 pm |

    University of Wisconsin was one of the first schools to get facebook outside of the Ivy Leauge, so I joined up in early 2004. It qucikly became the thing on campus, and while I did join Friendster at one point, it was so unstable that I and all my friends stopped using it. Even when I graduated last year, MySpace was considered for high school and middle school kids and bands, and Facebook was for college kids. Now that Facebook is open to anyone, I don’t know if that changed.

    I’m a grad student now at Indiana University, and Facebook is still the standard Web 2.0 program of choice. There are only a few people on MySpace (a friend made me make one, I check it like once a month tops) but many of us, especially those of us who came straight from undergrad, are all on Facebook.

    Personally, I associate MySpace with consumerism, as that it seems to be so densely populated with products, films, bands, famous persons, etc. Facebook is for people who want to communicate, MySpace seems to be for people who want to buy shit. Although Facebook has rolled out some useless consumerist new modules lately, it is just less flashy, less advertising based, and more about actual friends then bright colors trying to sell you Pepsi or the latest PotC movie. Just my impression.

  4. Andrea
    Andrea June 29, 2007 at 5:17 pm |

    This is somewhat random, but… I love how when talking about the Facebook preppies, the author of the paper automaticlaly assumes that someone in honor’s classes has, y’know, school spirit… that people in honor’s classes and people who just luuuv prom and paint their nails/faces/other body parts with school colors during sports events are one and the same.

    Maybe I’m just an abberration…

    I’ve never used facebook. I do have a Myspace profile, but the entire site scares the crap out of me… the uber-sparkley site that plays the first ten seconds of its owner’s current favorite song while they tYpE lIkE tHiS just, the myriad private messages from spammers inviting you to their toahtally awesome keggarrrr…. I’m too old, I guess. I can’t decide if I want to have a self-induced seizure or throw feces at the screen.

    Livejournal just doesn’t seem to be that way… I don’t know why. I like my little niche over there… I can be public on one hand (with my blog entries, etc.), but it just seems like there’s more opportunity to control how much access the rest of the site has to you, if that makes sense. For an antisocial exhibitionist like myself, that’s really nice.

  5. Andrew
    Andrew June 29, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    I noticed that when Facebook came to my university, the first and most into it were the “hacks”: those building up a network of contacts who would vote for them in student elections, and who would go on to become an Old Boys’ Network.

  6. Miranda
    Miranda June 29, 2007 at 5:55 pm |

    Personally, I associate MySpace with consumerism, as that it seems to be so densely populated with products, films, bands, famous persons, etc. Facebook is for people who want to communicate, MySpace seems to be for people who want to buy shit. Although Facebook has rolled out some useless consumerist new modules lately, it is just less flashy, less advertising based, and more about actual friends then bright colors trying to sell you Pepsi or the latest PotC movie. Just my impression.

    Just a thought: Myspace didn’t used to be as bad. It became the way it is now pretty soon after Murdoch bought it out. That said, I prefer livejournal, since it’s more content-based.

  7. Daisy
    Daisy June 29, 2007 at 5:57 pm |

    This is a fascinating post! This is certainly true for the kids in my (punk rock, My Space) family. Thanks for breaking it down.

  8. David Thompson
    David Thompson June 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm |

    MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.

    Uh huh. Yeah.

    These are kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. These are the teens who plan to go into the military immediately after schools.

    Fut the whuck? Who wrote this crap?

  9. jessilikewhoa
    jessilikewhoa June 29, 2007 at 6:05 pm |

    what about makeoutclub???!!!!! it was pre-friendster even.

    i had makeoutclub til it crashed, found im still on there now that they redid the site. i have a friendster i never check, i use my myspace to meet female musicians worldwide and to keep up on activist stuff, no facebook cos the only people ive ever known on facebook were of the frat party girls gone wild variety and thats totally not my scene, i used to blog on blogger, then switched to xanga as everyone i knew was on there, and now im still on xanga even tho the demographic of xanga makes me feel old as dirt.

    and i agree with miranda, pre murdoch buyout myspace was actually populated mostly by decent people i didnt mind talking to, then post buyout it got younger and sparklier and kinda scary.

  10. Sarah S
    Sarah S June 29, 2007 at 6:06 pm |

    Andrea,

    If you’re an aberation, I am too. I was in a lot of honors, college prep, college level, and AP classes in high school, and I hated school sports, had almost no school pride, hated formal dances (but went to a suprising number of them) and I was a chior/theatre geek. If anyone doubts my geek-level, the only thing I have to say is “Live Action Star Wars RolePlaying Game”.

    I also have a xanga because it used to be that LJ was for the literary journaling types, and xanga was for the geeky comic book loving theatre and emo types.

  11. Roxie
    Roxie June 29, 2007 at 6:32 pm |

    Hrm..well Facebook was, at first, Ivy League only and later opened up to other Universities and for a long while was Uni only. Now it’s open to everyone…

    I don’t think I agree with this assesment. Most of my college friends have BOTH a myspace and facebook..However, it is true that most of my highschool friends (who did not continue on to college) are on myspace only.

  12. Lesbia's Sparrow
    Lesbia's Sparrow June 29, 2007 at 7:09 pm |

    I definitely agree about the class issues in the Facebook/MySpace thing — Facebook is for college students, first and foremost, and MySpace really isn’t, so of course the question of who goes to college is big there.

    However, “kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm” are probably responsible for the fantastic Facebook groups like:

    Campus Crusade for Zeus
    If you use the ‘slippery slope’ argument, what next? Straw Man fallacy?
    When I was your age, Alderaan was a planet.
    Sorry, what did you say? I didn’t hear, too busy controlling Congress.
    If Toasters Wiped Out My Civilization I’d Do the Hot Blonde One

  13. Miranda
    Miranda June 29, 2007 at 7:19 pm |

    Something else that hasn’t been brought up is that Facebook is school-centered, so it’s only natural that “outcasts” would not jump to use it. That’s actually the reason I’m not on there: I don’t want more people who didn’t bother to get to know me in high school adding me. It’s bad enough that some of them have found me on myspace.

  14. Vinegar
    Vinegar June 29, 2007 at 7:25 pm |

    I’ve been on LJ since high school. Now that I’m in college I also have a Facebook account for keeping in touch with my peers. I’ve also briefly had a MySpace account in high school for the same reason. I don’t really like either Facebook or MySpace, since compared to LJ they’re more like glorified IM services. I would, however, rate Facebook more highly since it is less cluttered. On a low-speed connection, loading image- and media-intensive MySpace pages takes far, far too long.

    With regard to the quoted article on class affecting choice of site though, honestly think it would’ve been better for the author to wait awhile and see what the situation is later. Right now, Facebook’s members are still mostly college and college-bound students. I don’t think that many people not in those categories are even aware that it’s changed to allow anyone to put up a profile.

    (Am also a little amused at the author’s language; someone’s still stuck in Cliché High School. Geeky queer kids go to college too, ya know. And the Columbine shooters were in honors classes.)

  15. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus June 29, 2007 at 7:30 pm |

    I briefly had a MySpace page recently, but took it down because I really didn’t get much out of it and I was being contacted by people I didn’t want contacting me. I’m pretty much off the grid when it comes to social networking sites.

  16. Vinegar
    Vinegar June 29, 2007 at 7:33 pm |

    I’ve been on LJ since high school. Now that I’m in college I also have a Facebook account for keeping in touch with my peers. I’ve also briefly had a MySpace account in high school for the same reason. I don’t really like either Facebook or MySpace, since compared to LJ they’re more like glorified IM services. I would, however, rate Facebook more highly since it is less cluttered. On a low-speed connection, loading image- and media-intensive MySpace pages takes far, far too long.

    With regard to the quoted article on class affecting choice of site though, honestly think it would’ve been better for the author to wait awhile and see what the situation is later. Right now, Facebook’s members are still mostly college and college-bound students. I don’t think that many people not in those categories are even aware that it’s changed to allow anyone to put up a profile.

    (Am also a little amused at the author’s language; someone’s still stuck in Cliché High School. Geeky queer kids go to college too, ya know. And the Columbine shooters were in honors classes.)

  17. Andrea
    Andrea June 29, 2007 at 7:33 pm |

    Sarah S,

    I never got into Live Action Star Wars RPGs (mostly for want of knowing people as geeky as myself at the time), but I *did* harrass the editors at DelRey books when the did things in the Star Wars Expanded Universe that pissed me off. In fact, Shelly Shapiro (editor in charge of the EU) made me want to get into the publishing industry… sadly, that’s kind of hard to do here in CA. I’m on the wrong bloody coast.

    Campus Crusade for Zeus

    Freaking awesome! Now I feel like I want a Facebook account, heh.

    /non-substantive post.

  18. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler June 29, 2007 at 7:39 pm |

    I recently had a mock argument with a guy about Facebook.

    He is a friend of a friend of mine, and he requested to friend me on Facebook. Having never met him, I was leery, because you somehow just don’t do that on Facebook. I accepted him, though, because my friend vouched for him.

    When we met in person, I explained that random friending was more of a MySpace or Friendster behavior. I argued that due to the “You Must Have A College Email” rule Facebook originally had, it fostered a different atmosphere.

    I’m still not the greatest fan of Facebook, but I do like it for seeing my friends’ photos.

  19. William
    William June 29, 2007 at 8:06 pm |

    Despite the fact that most of my college friends and virtually everyone I know in grad school use facebook, I’ve managed to resist the urge to join. Facebook always felt kind of elitist to me, especially when they were open only to people with a college e-mail address. More importantly, I just didn’t see the point, I saw it as an internet directory for the good ol’ boy network.

    Myspace, on the other hand, is great if you’re into music. For all it’s faults (and by that I mean the constant barrage of home equity loan or hot webcam action offers) it is one of the most effective means I’ve ever found for exposing oneself to new music. It doesn’t really matter what your taste is, you can find hundreds of little bands you would have never even heard of by just kicking around a bit. I mean, where else would I have been able to find out there even was such a thing as feminist Taiwanese black metal? Myspace allows artists to get their work in front of people and their name out without having to go through finding a major record label or trying to get their video on MTV.

  20. Jack
    Jack June 29, 2007 at 8:29 pm |

    Holly! Good to see you here. Perfect timing for you to start guestblogging, as I’ve recently resolved, yet again, to get back in touch with the whole blogosphere business…

    So, social networking sites. I only have a Friendster account, which I check every so often but have gradually lost interest in since I joined a few years ago. I won’t touch MySpace with a ten-foot pole because the animated, badly-formatted, music-playing clutter of many MySpace accounts I’ve seen drives me nuts and offends my web designer sensibilities to the core. Murdoch owning it now makes it even less attractive. And Facebook – isn’t that still really just for students? I’m not a student anymore. Why would I join? I don’t get it.

    As for the author’s assessments about class: interesting, trueish, but somewhat simplistic as well.

    Some random observations:
    I work with a few grassroots organizations that have youth programs, and let me tell you, nearly every one of those kids (mostly low-income people of color, many queer) has a MySpace account and is obsessed with it. Even though I hate MySpace, I do think it’s done a remarkable job of letting kids who have relatively little computer education get online and create a unique presence for themselves.

    Many organizations, including but not limited to youth-focused ones, are now using MySpace pages to communicate with members, recruit new ones, and get the word out about their events. It’s free, easy to use and update, and lets you create an Internet presence that people are already partially plugged into; if folks are already on MySpace all the time, it’s a lot easier to get them to be your MySpace friend and check out your profile and messages every now and then than it is to get them to go to an entirely different, not plugged in website that doesn’t provide the same social opportunities.

  21. exholt
    exholt June 29, 2007 at 8:45 pm |

    When I returned to school, an undergrad friend of mine urged me to sign up for facebook. While it was a good way to make new friends in the academic setting and meeting long-lost friends, I don’t spend much time on it. Though I spend a lot of time online for research and other purposes, I prefer to spend my social time interacting with people in real life, not online.

    Considered joining myspace, but it screamed excess and did not seem worth the trouble to set up.

    Spending frosh year on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) got most of the online socialization out of my system.

    However, I have been finding myself drawn to Youtube recently. Lots of interesting videos posted by various people and groups on a wide variety of subjects.

  22. CScarlet
    CScarlet June 29, 2007 at 8:51 pm |

    Er, I have both. And the reason that I use Facebook more often is that you can’t put a bunch of shitty code on your profile that is a) ugly and b) takes forever to load. I was one of the first on MySpace and really liked it then, before people starting doing that and before Murdoch bought it out, apparently.

    I remember really being excited about Facebook because you had to have a college email to get one until a year ago. Now, it doesn’t matter and everyone I know has one.

    I don’t agree with the distinctions being made in that article. Most people I know have both MS and FB. Facebook makes it much easier to connect with friends if you are in college, as it sorts them by network. It’s just a lot CLEANER, more user-friendly, better interface, etc.

  23. MJ
    MJ June 29, 2007 at 10:09 pm |

    My friends and I avoid MySpace like the plague because to us it has the reputation of a place where way-too-young people post pictures of themselves drunk and half naked. Not to mention the aforementioned ugly modifications that people make to their pages that make them impossible to read/navigate. Facebook was just cleaner and more streamlined, until they started letting the 13 year olds in and added all the “applications.” Sigh.

  24. kxo
    kxo June 29, 2007 at 10:26 pm |

    From my experience, Facebook is populated largely by college students and college-bound students, but since it was opened up to everyone (it did start out specifically for college kids), that has started to change. Myspace is hardly reserved for “kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.” In highschool, I was literally the only person I knew without a Myspace, and I hug out exclusively with geeks, artists, and queers. I’ve kept a Livejournal since I was sixteen, and for several years before that I kept a Deadjournal, and in my experience, those are/were mostly for the “subalterns” (I haven’t tried any other networking sites). To me, Myspace seems like a place for people to build hideous sites with blinky shit and post pictures of themselves getting wasted while wearing very little clothing. Livejournal is where geeks go for networking that involves fandom, art, politics, poetry, hobbies, and actual journals. Facebook seems like a mixture of the two, but caters more towards the wasted-and-naked folks.

  25. The Stranger
    The Stranger June 29, 2007 at 11:07 pm |

    Hmmm…. CS-humanites-double-major college student here. Pretty much everybody on campus is on Facebook. I also get a general sense of contempt for myspace, which has something of a reputation for immaturity. It also stems from, say, us CS folks taking a SEVERE dislike towards eye-gouge-out color schemes and automatically-playing music and “u r 2 gr8″-speak.

    Bad stuff gets on Facebook, no doubt, but at least it looks more professional for the most part. I feel it’s kinda like the difference between Slashdot and 4-chan.* Both are arbiters of internet culture, but the one is definitely a more respectable location.

    * Slashdot has trolls, and they can get extremely graphic and offensive and nasty, but the moderation system means that you can generally avoid even knowing they’re there, and a lot of the comments are really insightful and informative. 4-chan is a mostly-fandom imageboard that’s responsible for lolcats and, uh, many stranger things. Not safe for work for the most part, and unless you are willing to risk your sanity, do not go to the ‘random’ or /b/ channel. We’re talking worse than goatse/tubgirl here (and if you don’t know what those are, google is not your friend. Wikipedia has a text description if you really must know).

  26. The Stranger
    The Stranger June 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm |

    Oh, and I hang with the freaks and geeks, and most of them seem to have the same contempt. Especially the geeks, for the aforementioned reasons. If anything, it’s the quintessential fratboys who seem more likely to post their Spring Break and House Party adventures on myspace.

  27. hb
    hb June 29, 2007 at 11:11 pm |

    My instant reaction to that paper was the same as several others have voiced: White, honors classes, headed to college? Check. Jock? Athlete? No way. I would’ve been horrified if someone had tried to call me preppy. (Goodie two shoes…ok, yeah.)

    Geek? Definitely. Several queer friends (many of whose parents did go to college). We so “didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.” More like we worked really hard to run the other direction entirely. X is popular? I’ll go with Y, thanks.

    I can definitely imagine a divide between the college-bound and the not, given Facebook’s origins, but the idea that the geeks aren’t college-bound or that many of the honors kids aren’t outcasts kind of boggles my mind.

    Now I’m a grad student at a prestigious university. I’m from one of the last few classes that didn’t generally have Facebook when we showed up at college, so while many of my friends are on it, plenty of others aren’t. Amongst the undergrads here it seems to be ubiquitous. I thought about joining a couple times, but I’m just too skeeved out by the dubious privacy policy. I do have a MySpace account that I made once and never use. I check out various bands’ MySpace pages pretty often, though.

    I started using LiveJournal in college, and for the first year or so out of college it was a really nice way of keeping track of my college friends’ lives. I still check my friends page daily even though most of my friends (myself included) have drifted off and don’t write much on it anymore.

  28. JW
    JW June 29, 2007 at 11:35 pm |

    Started with Friendster, then it sorta quailed. I deleted my profile, since I’d moved over to MS and most of my friends. All of this stuff is, for me, for keeping in touch with people I know IRL. I’ve moved a lot growing up and even more since finishing undergrad, so its convenient. I started a FB site recently, to keep in touch with some students I used to teach, but I don’t really like the interface.

    I agree with the posts about too much sparkly crap and excessive “custom” layouts, but I guess it helps me identify who I care to associate with. Tinkerbell logos and tHis SorT oF ThiNG? Buh-bye. The stupid drunken antics recorded for posterity? You’re going to get that on any networking site. Depressing, but again, it makes it easy to weed out the losers.

  29. anonymous this time around, though I do hang around here
    anonymous this time around, though I do hang around here June 30, 2007 at 12:19 am |

    Fun fact: I not only went to the same high school as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of facebook, I used to carpool with his two younger sisters and once had a dentist appointment with his dad. I also now currently attend the college he dropped out of, though I’m taking time off.

    So, I was way too young for Friendster, I had a Myspace that a friend set up for me because she was obsessed with Myspace and I wanted to be able to see other people’s pictures, but my biggest problem with myspace as opposed to facebook is, honestly, the loading time. Myspace is SO SLOW. Can’t stand it.

    Facebook hit my high school (understandably) pretty hard–we have a 100% rate of college attendance, which puts us pretty definitively on one side of the class divide (in some respects, at least) regardless of our individual economic situations–the Prep for Prep kids got into, and attended, Ivy Leagues same as the legacies.

    The biggest Facebook event I remember, and the one that finally inspired me to get a Facebook, was when high school & college facebook merged–at least one friend of mine friended so many alumni so fast that she was banned from friending people for 24 hours. Nowadays, especially, I would say that in high schools where most kids go to college, Facebook is more likely to be prevalent–a social networking site is only fun if all your friends are on it. Facebook is now open to all (and I think most people do know that they opened it up–they’re not exactly subtle about announcing facebook news).

    Livejournal has never seemed to me a social networking site–more like a cozy blogging network. If the emo kids have a site, it’s definitely LJ. I have one myself, which is half a way to keep in touch with the friends of mine that have one and half a way to, well, keep a sort of public journal.

  30. Jay in Chicago
    Jay in Chicago June 30, 2007 at 6:01 am |

    I had facebook right after it opened up to my state university. at the time, given my 7th year senior status (woot?), I felt incredibly ancient compared to most on it. I had a bunch of people added from classes and the LGBT group and stuff. Not a huge deal, since I saw most of them regularly. I liked that you could list classes and find people who were in the same sections of big lecture hall classes–“can I get the notes from Tuesday?”
    But I hardly see the point now that I’m not in college.

    Myspace is godawful for reasons already stated. I have a tendency to add people and then never actually social network with them. shrug.

    Livejournal is it for me. Give people some context.

  31. DolorDecorus
    DolorDecorus June 30, 2007 at 7:40 am |

    I’m on Facebook and I enjoy it well enough. My friends at UT (University of Texas) are on there and it’s good to use to keep in touch with them (and find some old friends who went to college easily there too).

    I dislike myspace, I have an account but do not care for using it at all.

    I use a lot of art communities (like furaffinity, deviantart, and sheezyart) and have a live journal.

  32. Activist Mommy
    Activist Mommy June 30, 2007 at 8:36 am |

    […] ace There was an interesting post yesterday over at Feministe reguarding Facebook and Myspace. It was interesting to s […]

  33. pauline
    pauline June 30, 2007 at 10:36 am |

    I read that a while ago and I think it’s ridiculous. I use Facebook over Myspace because Facebook is well-organized, well-built, and hosted on servers that aren’t mysql and don’t blow up every two minutes. And it’s not done in a butt-ugly color scheme of baby blue and orange. Most everyone I know, be they jock/preps or “art fags”, uses both Myspace and Facebook.

  34. Jane Doe
    Jane Doe June 30, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    I am the only one of my friends who has only a facebok and not a myspace. And that’s simply because I find myspace to be full of pedophiles, horny teenaged boys, and girls who want $10 a min for their webcam shows. Not to mention loud and annoying profiles. And I’m even a film student. I shouldn’t I be wallowing in myspace? I find myspace repugnant to my artistic sensibilities. At least until myspace takes the sparkle pen away from people.

    That and I surf the web with the radio or iTunes on, so I really don’t give what your sparkly new favorite song is. I hate having to wait 10 years for a page to load just so I can turn the stupid thing off and not have to hear it.

    I think the other thing that’s driving this is that facebook did not start out as open to everyone. It used to be a college only site. And I personally don’t know *any* kids at my school with a myspace and without a facebook. It doesn’t matter about your race, or economic background. It matters that you’re in college (and maybe high school now).

    And that probably does exclude more minorities and lower income people. But Facebook started as a college site, which was a great niche for them and they’d probably be just another myspace wannabe if they hadn’t, but it does affect the sort of person who has a profile there.

    Facebook is the way you see who’s in your classes and that sort of thing. Myspace, I think has something similar (where you can search by a class at a certain school), but I’ve never heard of anyone using it because Facebook is just so much easier.

    At least at my school “facebook” is a verb. You wouldn’t google someone, you’d facebook them because it’s easier to find them.

    Although facebook is sadly becoming more and more like myspace by the hours.

  35. Jules
    Jules June 30, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    I have a myspace and have to admit I’m quite fond of the (more subtle) sparkles. I use it for band updates, campaigns and for keeping in touch with online friends I’ve made through forums. Most of my real life friends are on Bebo – I have one of those too but don’t like it much.

    I avoid Facebook because it does strike me as very college/middle class. I’m one of these arty queer types. I got a place at college but couldn’t afford to go, and Facebook just doesn’t feel like the place for me.

  36. Nomie
    Nomie June 30, 2007 at 3:49 pm |

    Livejournal isn’t really a social networking site. It’s a blogging platform. The move towards attracting teens and networking has only really been since the SixApart buyout. (I’ve had one since I was a grotty teen, and I got it so I could keep in touch with my friends who had moved there from blogspot.)

    Facebook is generally as dangerous as you let it be, privacy-wise. I actually liked that it was only for people with college e-mails – I could make sure that the person I was friending was somebody I actually knew and not some random pervert old enough to be my dad. But I never got totally obsessed with it like some of my friends. Myspace broke my video card, so I haven’t been there in months. It’s definitely a lot more consumer-oriented, and I think that ties into it being used for bands at the start.

    For what it’s worth, my sister is a jock with school spirit and she has a Facebook and a Myspace. (She’s in high school.)

  37. Will
    Will June 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm |

    I think the author that the post cites forgets that a lot of the “subaltern teens” are more likely than not to come from a hegemonic background. Queer kids are a great example–open queerness is heavily associated with higher socioeconomic status. And to assume that the “art fags” or band members are likely to go join the military instead of finding a conservatory or an art commune somewhere seems pretty baseless to me. It’s certainly inflammatory to suggest that facebook hosts the officers while myspace hosts the soldiers, but I don’t think it’s well-founded, especially based on the quotation here. The assertion that the military has banned myspace but not facebook seems at best tangential and reliant on conspiracy-theory-style thinking (the closest I can get it to relevance is that the military must hate poor people, therefore it turns off myspace and keeps facebook because only the elite use it–that’s not only circular but a bit of a stretch).

    The only thing that keeps facebook largely college-dominated is its history of being Ivy-League-, and then college-only. Given that, the military connection makes even less sense–Ivy Leaguers have, if anything, a reputation for avoiding military service. This may be an issue of class, but there’s nothing intrinsic about facebook (anymore) that makes it class-based. And really, the traits that make myspace unique (its ability to host multimedia content and its greater design freedom) seem more geared toward a higher-class market, a market with the connection speed to upload multimedia content and the artistic background to want design freedom (not saying lower-class individuals can’t be artistic, only that higher-class individuals are more likely to have the free time, the early education, and the encouragement to be). At the end of the day, the social connection seems based on the high proportions of latin@/immigrant users. That connection might be there, but it seems much more tenuous than the essay suggests.

  38. Random
    Random June 30, 2007 at 6:45 pm |

    This is, um, really really not my experience.

    I’m 18, and most of my friends have both myspace and facebook, including my latino/a friends.

    I only use Facebook myself, but I’m about the farthest from a preppy kid ever, considering I dropped out of high school. As a “burnout” and a “queer”, by her theory I would be on MySpace.

  39. Amanda
    Amanda June 30, 2007 at 6:52 pm |

    I graduated college in 2005 and until recently, had both a Myspace & Facebook account. Most of my friends from college had the same.

    Recently, I deleted my myspace account for a few reasons:

    1. having two accounts with the same friends/profiles on two different websites seemed redundant – basically, i wanted to consolidate my online social networking to one site & I find facebook to be more user friendly

    2. i never liked myspace’s craziness – the pick your own background, music, colors for each individual section of your profile, what font, how big, do you want a music video? it was too much for me – i joined a social networking site to stay in touch with friends from college now that i’m on the other side of the country – not to show how great i am at designing a sick webpage.

    3. i also disliked how my coworkers/boss found me on myspace – they’re not on facebook b/c its kind of a younger scene. additionally, my one coworker would post photos & graphics on my myspace that i always found cheesy, but ya know felt guilty if i deleted them.

    4. rupert murdoch bought myspace – ew.

    5. a lot more randoms would message me on myspace to “add me as a friend” – why? i never understood adding strangers – i don’t know you. you don’t know me in real life. i’m not on this site to make virtual friends.

    6. myspace – more celebrities, more photos of half naked people, just seemed to me to be more “fake” for lack of a better word. more PR pages for music/movie/media wannabes than real people.

    thus, about 2 weeks ago, i said screw this & deleted my myspace. now my online presence is solely facebook & i am happier. i love checking out my friends photos from their recent travels, graduations, weddings, etc. and every now and then sending a message to say hey whats up, what are you doing these days?

    as far as a class divide, i’m not sure b/c i haven’t analyzed the socioeconomic backgrounds of all myspace & facebook users. also, i know many people that have both accounts – so the overlap is large.

  40. lemur
    lemur June 30, 2007 at 11:01 pm |

    I don’t think that facebook is more inherently for the preppy kids. I attended a performing arts highschool, and most of us had both.
    I personally prefer my facebook. I used it to meet kids that would be attending the same college orientation I would be attending. Myspace doesn’t have that sort of thing.

  41. BStu
    BStu July 1, 2007 at 3:52 am |

    Given that I graduated college way back in 2000, Facebook was shut out from me during its growth period so myself and my friends just never really took hold there. I’ve got a couple friends who use Facebook more than MySpace, but otherwise its so overwhelmingly in favor of MySpace that I hardly remember that I have a Facebook account. When I use it, the interface seems stand-off-ish and the whole approach uninviting. What I like about MySpace is the sense that anyone and anything might be there. Yeah, they might have a crappy web page with awful graphics, but they are there.

    And while I cringe at the horrible templated pages on MySpace, there is actually something I really like about the amount of personalization people can do of their personal web space. I find it informative, in both positive and negative ways and I think that’s a good thing. I like being able to make a direct statement of sorts with my MySpace profile. It all feels very democratizing as long as you can get past the ads and NewsCorp association.

  42. Christine
    Christine July 1, 2007 at 1:27 pm |

    (Lesbia’s Sparrow – we must go to the same school, since I recognize way too many of those groups, heh.)

    Facebook came out when I was a freshman in college, and pretty much everyone I know has an account there; nobody on Friendster, a few on MySpace, especially musicians/performers. Facebook is largely the medium of choice for procrastination among my peers. I got a MySpace for doing outreach for one of my jobs, but I never really use it for personal stuff. Facebook has definitely gotten creepier in the past year, but I think a lot of my fellow just-graduated friends are hopeful that it’ll end up being a good way to stay in casual touch. I do really love the photo feature, too, but I’m really leery of this whole “employers are checking facebook!” thing. Leave us our social space, would you?

  43. Hugo
    Hugo July 1, 2007 at 1:33 pm |

    As a college professor and youth leader, I had Myspace years ago — and gave it up, largely because I realized all of my friends were half my age or younger, frequently putting up pictures of themselves half-dressed. I wondered what a parent of one of my teens would think if they saw me as their child’s friend.

    I was lured onto Facebook when Amanda started a Pandagon group there a couple of months ago; there’s something infinitely more wholesome about the feel of it, and I have a whole bunch of friends who are in my age group. There are quite a few more profs on Facebook than on Myspace, best as I can tell…

  44. William
    William July 2, 2007 at 1:51 am |

    I find it interesting how much the content of many of these comments seems to support the original post, if only diagonally. When my mother first saw my (much younger) sister’s myspace page she described it as “polaky.” Aside from the racial slur she used as a descriptor, she is saying basically the same thing that a great deal of posters here have said. She looked at a page that she found gaudy, aesthetically unpleasant, and amateurish. I’m sure she would have like facebook more, with it’s clean lines, professional presentation, and ivy-league pedigree.

    The point of the original post was to ask if class and culture might have something to do with who chooses which service as a profile, and I think these posts are throwing some light on the question. You have quite a few people who come from college background, people who are presumably middle class, people with access to computers, people who are just old enough that they can look back at those childish 15 year olds with a bit of disgust, and what do you hear them say? You hear them bemoan that just anyone is allowed on facebook these days, you hear complaints that facebook is letting in low culture in the form of little applications, you hear people spitting on someone else trying to share a little shard of culture that they liked or building a page that isn’t classy enough.

    Seems to me that I’m seeing the digital equivalent of WASPs laughing at those stupid little people with their gaudy houses, their flashy clothes, and their cheap, empty, dirty little cultures.

    But hey, it isn’t classism, right?

  45. Feministe » Recapin’ Your Ass
    Feministe » Recapin’ Your Ass July 2, 2007 at 10:50 am |

    […] uantanamo cases. Jill: Jessicas are all pretty bitches. What’s in a name? Holly: Facebook for the preps, MySpace for the weird kid […]

  46. tps12
    tps12 July 2, 2007 at 4:29 pm |

    MySpace is ugly and spam-ridden, but as long as the rappers I listen to and the DJ’s on Hot 97 are shouting out their MySpace profiles, that’s where I’m staying.

  47. Christina
    Christina July 2, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    a) you can’t be “forced” to create a profile, your friends don’t “make you” join. That’s called peer pressure, and you gave in. Deal.

    b) Most people I know, have both amongst many other things (blogs, etc.)

    c) The military does not BAN myspace or facebook, they just get pissed off when someone posts the exact time and place a battalion will be arriving. Lame as it may be, it’s a security issue. You can have a myspace, just be smart (though I won’t get started on how many military folk aren’t smart about it) They will prevent you from seeing your family on-time if this happens, trust me.

  48. belledame
    belledame July 2, 2007 at 6:55 pm |

    yay, holly!

    i did not realize that about MySpace v. FaceBook. i’d barely registered the existence of FaceBook, just figured MySpace was for the kids and hadn’t thought of any further distinctions. veddy interesting.

  49. Amanda
    Amanda July 4, 2007 at 9:53 am |

    When my mother first saw my (much younger) sister’s myspace page she described it as “polaky.” Aside from the racial slur she used as a descriptor, she is saying basically the same thing that a great deal of posters here have said. She looked at a page that she found gaudy, aesthetically unpleasant, and amateurish. I’m sure she would have like facebook more, with it’s clean lines, professional presentation, and ivy-league pedigree.

    William – your mom used the racial slur. No one on this post has included a racial slur when describing either site. Point?

    You have quite a few people who come from college background, people who are presumably middle class, people with access to computers, people who are just old enough that they can look back at those childish 15 year olds with a bit of disgust,

    Assume much?? Also, I think access to a computer is a prerequisite for having a profile on both facebook & myspace.

    You hear people spitting on someone else trying to share a little shard of culture that they liked or building a page that isn’t classy enough.

    Wow, you have a pretty broad definition of culture. I’m sorry but when someone posts a naked woman on my myspace wall with the banner “Its the weekend, time to get F**cked up”, I want to delete it. And what bs if you’re calling that “culture.” Maybe the culture of objectifying women.

    Seems to me that I’m seeing the digital equivalent of WASPs laughing at those stupid little people with their gaudy houses, their flashy clothes, and their cheap, empty, dirty little cultures.

    Um…again, assume much? I’m not white and yet I don’t like myspace. Not liking a website because it is poorly designed and preferring one that is much more organized is not a race issue. But thanks for all the assumptions and condescending attitude for those that prefer facebook.

  50. William
    William July 4, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    Amanda, first and foremost, ratchet down the defense a little bit. Sorry if I struck a nerve but I was simply expressing my opinion. Also, I don’t believe I was addressing you personally, so I’m not sure why you’re so worked up.

    William – your mom used the racial slur. No one on this post has included a racial slur when describing either site. Point?

    The point was that, despite the particularly offensive way my mother expressed herself, she was essentially making the same criticism many of the posters had made. The term she used is generally used to describe something that is gaudy, especially something that uses bright colors in an attempt to mimic style. I thought that was clear, sorry if there was some confusion.

    Assume much?? Also, I think access to a computer is a prerequisite for having a profile on both facebook & myspace.

    Sure, I assumed a little. I looked at a number of people who had mentioned being in college, who were posting comments on a blog that tends to skew towards the fairly well-educated. More to the point, we were discussing two services, one of which was ONLY available to people with university addresses until very recently and had, previously, been available only to Ivy League students. I understand that not everyone involved is going to be middle class, but lets not pretend that doesn’t suggest a certain level of comfort.

    Wow, you have a pretty broad definition of culture. I’m sorry but when someone posts a naked woman on my myspace wall with the banner “Its the weekend, time to get F**cked up”, I want to delete it. And what bs if you’re calling that “culture.” Maybe the culture of objectifying women.

    Hey, I don’t really consider it my place to determine what is or isn’t art. I’ve been around enough to know that trying to apply objective standards to taste is a fool’s errand. Sure, myspace (like all democratic systems) has a tendency to allow any idiot to say anything they please. On your public space you allow what you choose to allow, others allow what they choose, and then you argue about taste. The post you described certainly seems like it objectifies women, but I’m not exactly comfortable denigrating a means of communication because some people suck.

    The point you seem to have missed was that myspace allows people to share. It allows people to make something of their own, to show a video or a picture or a song to their friends. What many of the posters were criticizing wasn’t necessarily the content of communication, but the style. People mentioned pages being ugly, they mentioned teenagers putting up pictures of themselves drunk, they mentioned hideous color schemes and music that autoplayed.

    As for your actual criticism. I’m not quite sure what a “myspace wall” is, but only people you have chosen can actually post comments on your page. If you’ve got friends showing up to your page and posting pictures of naked women with the phrase “Its the weekend, time to get F**cked up” perhaps the problem isn’t myspace, but the people you choose to associate with.

    Um…again, assume much? I’m not white and yet I don’t like myspace. Not liking a website because it is poorly designed and preferring one that is much more organized is not a race issue. But thanks for all the assumptions and condescending attitude for those that prefer facebook.

    Um….poor grasp of comparison much? Did I say that the people criticizing myspace were WASPS? Did I imply it? No, in fact I clearly see the phrase “digital equivalent.” I meant (and I’m having a little trouble believing I would have to explain this) that some of the posters reminded me of WASPish contempt for “low” culture.

    I didn’t assume you or any of the commenters here were white. In fact, for the purposes of this discussion, your race really doesn’t matter at all. This is the internet and you are whoever you say you are. I was pointing out that the class attitudes on display in this thread were similar to class attitudes elsewhere in society. I see this discussion as largely people of privilege (and in this context I mean people who have more “sophisticated” taste, people who walk in the kinds of circles that would lead to their friends being on a site with a history of elitism like facebook) who are taking a rather elitist stance. If that isn’t you than I wasn’t talking about you.

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