Nostalgia is a word that comes up when I think about Myspace. It is the social phenomenon that changed the world. I imagine you probably had a Myspace account, that you now only access to LOL at old photos and conversations with ex long distance lovers and the antiquated famous.
Myspace was launched in 2003. Wow, it’s crazy how much life changes in 10 years. In 2003 I was 16 years old and ready to change the world, one awfully posed photo at a time. As soon as the site was developed the “angle” was also perfected by millions of teenagers worldwide. It was slightly above, everyone looked thin, hair placed over one eye perhaps, and always that same serious photo face. Pierced, tattooed, and bright haired “Scene” kids filled the site with inspiration for my own developing style. They were modern gods. I was a sponge for the culture and the fast paced world that my parents would never understand. I had power. I was a teenage fashionista. My existence was justified and fame was within my grasp.
Myspace became the premier place for trends in music, fashion, and lifestyle to flourish. It was more than a social network; it was a virtual portal where people discovered new friends, new trends, and a way to express themselves. Myspace was where young people lived. It had a significant influence on popular culture and media and helped to shape my generation.
The old Myspace lifestyle was flashy and ridiculous (and I loved every moment of it). The amount of friends you had online began to outweigh the ones you knew in real life. I remember sharing endless YouTube videos and early memes simultaneously with my crushes from across the world and across the street. I also met some of my best friends on Myspace, it was a great way to connect with people everywhere. Bands and pinup models reached stardom that was unimaginable. Lilly Allen, The Arctic Monkeys, Jeffery Star, and Tila Tequila were all artists whose careers were launched to great heights by this social network. The anybody-can-be-famous attitude spread like wildfire through the world’s youth culture.
Finally there was a place to post photos of my unique style. My new piercings, freshly dyed hair, and clothes. I remember trying to jam every bit of me into that ridiculous HTML filled monstrosity that was my Myspace profile. It was a techno-junkyard aesthetic where everything flashed and sparkled.
New Myspace is streamlined and modern, very open and well designed. The beta version is completely ad free. The site is really orientated toward discovering new music. The photo display is impeccable. It is a user-friendly platform, with actions typically only taking one or two clicks. The new, cleaner interface of the beta site looks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Spotify and Twitter had a baby. There are many ways to connect with people who have common interests and style.
I am beginning to wonder if social media platforms are like fashion? Wait long enough, and pretty soon we’ll be looking for them again in the deep dark abyss of our closets. I’ve talked to many people about how great the new Myspace is, and the typical first reaction is “Myspace?!?!?” Myspace was founded in 2003, peaked in 2008, and bought by Justin Timberlake in 2011. The rise and fall was like any great empire, taken over by something fresher and more user friendly. Now we are all wondering, can Myspace reclaim its former glory?
My suggestion is to start out on a clean slate and give this renovated dinosaur a chance. The new site requires a new sign up process by either signing up with information from “Myspace Classic”, Facebook, Twitter , or by filling out the information yourself. Spend a moment; I don’t think you’ll regret it. And in case you were curious, Tom is not your first friend anymore. That made me a little sad.
Fun homework: Grab those old Myspace photos and compare them to what you look like now. If you don’t laugh there is something wrong with you. I made the same face in every photo. Now it makes me put my palm to my face and shake my head.
How do you like the new Myspace? Share your thoughts in the comments.