As any semi-regular reader is aware, I love to make fun of myspace and all those crazed myspacers, with their backgrounds and music and picture slideshows and animated nonsense and personality quizzes and so much other goofiness. It was truly the site I loved to hate.
After reading this little blog essay from my new favorite person, Danah Boyd, I now have a greater respect and understanding for myspace. Go read it now and you will better understand this post (make sure you also read her response to the ridiculous amount of criticism she received after the piece was picked up by bigger media sources).
Now I feel bad for how I treated it. I am always quick with the harsh judgments, especially of things I don’t get. And what I don’t understand I must belittle. My deepest regrets, myspace.
What Ms Boyd says makes a lot of sense to me, her ideas of class and how life online mimics regular life. But what opened my eyes was the very real sense of community that Myspace creates among these kids. Adults, too, although admittedly I still think it’s kind of weird to be over 30 and an active, dedicated myspace member, especially if you don’t have a band.
The need for community is something I understand, but what I failed to see was that myspace exists because it fulfills that need for a quite a lot of people, particularly teenagers. I’m glad for myspace, for its role in our new culture.
My very own site right here is basically the same thing, albeit on a much smaller, more intimate scale. A place for expression, acceptance, belonging. And just because myspace is a virtual community doesn’t mean it won’t have the same real people displaying their individualism, conformity, banality, ingenuity and every other adverb and adjective you can name. People are people, and we bring what we own wherever we go.
Anyway, this is my formal apology to myspace and all who participate. I shall never bemoan your existence again, but I still will probably make fun of some of you, I just can’t help it.
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