thanks for the ascii
June 30, 2006 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Supposing ... I'm too old for MySpace.
posted by The Jesse Helms (71 comments total)
 
I don't really get the sensation. It's got the same risks & benefits as chat rooms, message boards, having a personal website, etc. If you don't teach your kids to be responsible on the Internet, then they are at risk for doing something stupid & possibly dangerous.

And as far as being "too old"...I don't buy that either. True, the appeal seems to be for teens & college students, but I know several coworkers who have MySpace accounts to keep in touch with former coworkers, and some who have them to keep tabs on their childrens' MySpace goings-on.
posted by tastybrains at 8:12 AM on June 30, 2006


I can never figure out if I'm right in the target market, or if it's ridiculous and bad, or if I'm too old for it, or what. It just doesn't work for me. Maybe I'm just not cool enough.
posted by blacklite at 8:13 AM on June 30, 2006


Our age? Officer Krupke, you was never our age!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:16 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Worth it for this alone: "I could go and create a page myself, but somehow I'd rather scrape my retina off with a car key." I am so stealing that.
posted by Zozo at 8:19 AM on June 30, 2006


I dunno, the first article was sort of more like a self-righteous blog rant than an actual article. I get it, he doesn't like it.
posted by tastybrains at 8:23 AM on June 30, 2006


I like Charlie Brooker.

TV Go Home was sheer bloody genius. That site used to make me laugh until I thought I was going to burst my appendix.
posted by Decani at 8:27 AM on June 30, 2006


I'm definately too old for Myspace.
posted by djseafood at 8:31 AM on June 30, 2006


Last week, in the US, I saw an advert for a handheld gizmo using the slogan "It's not a cellphone: it's MySpace on the go." It's a terrifying first - a new gadget I know I'll never want to buy. I've never felt so lost.

I cannot tell you how many times when, on the road, I've been overcome with a need to view a website with a horrible layout, hideous background, and built-in music player.
posted by graventy at 8:32 AM on June 30, 2006


I usually like Brooker, but this isn't him at his best.

Brooker was the Guardian columnist who got into serious trouble for calling for Bush's assassination in his TV review column 18 months ago. That article is, obviously, no longer online.
posted by randomination at 8:33 AM on June 30, 2006


I agree with this guy, I am too old for MySpace. Nothing wrong with it, or any other social networking thingy but I just don't have any reason to use it. I don't really need to make any new friends and I keep in touch with my old friends through email.
posted by octothorpe at 8:34 AM on June 30, 2006


If you're too old for Myspace, you probably remember the Banana Jr.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:38 AM on June 30, 2006


When he started veering into "those blog things suck, too, and the word blogosphere", he lost me. That's quickly becoming "take my wife, please" territory.
posted by Plutor at 8:39 AM on June 30, 2006


Yep, that's pretty much what my thoughts are on MySpace too, I don't get it, nor do I really want to.

But then, this and MeCha (oh yeah, and Flickr) are pretty much the only social sites I frequent. We've got all the drama and better in-jokes too. And less pedophile stalkers.
posted by fenriq at 8:40 AM on June 30, 2006


If you're too old for Myspace, you probably remember the Banana Jr.

Or... the Green Machine!
posted by BobFrapples at 8:46 AM on June 30, 2006


I dropped myspace early last year, but have found it's definitely worth keep an active profile, because of its popularity. It's become one of the most reliable ways to find people from high school and long lost friends (or for them to find me). It's also helped me out a lot professionally, as searching there for everyone I come into contact with has yielded lots of startling and useful info.

Otherwise, as far as the whole "community" aspect of it goes, it's somewhat on par with having sixty cats that you talk to all day while they crap in your house.
posted by hermitosis at 8:47 AM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hmph. Bit dull by Charlie Brooker's standards. I think that I'm still pissed off at the Grauniad's caving in and removing the column in which he "demanded" someone assassinate Bush, not least because it contains the best description of John Kerry ever: "he looks and sounds like a haunted tree".
posted by Len at 8:48 AM on June 30, 2006


tastybrains: I dunno, the first article was sort of more like a self-righteous blog rant than an actual article. I get it, he doesn't like it.

Well, I read the article and the reactions to it, and got a very different impression. He spends more words criticizing himself for fossilizing that criticizing myspace. It's not really about myspace, it's about how an early adopter has become a "luddite."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:51 AM on June 30, 2006


Supposing...I'm too discerning for MySpace?
posted by adamrice at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2006


I love MySpace and I am 36 years old. It's silly, technically outdated, and most of the pages look bad, but I love it anyway. MST3K made bad movies fun, MySpace makes bad personal websites fun.
posted by tadellin at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2006


14 year old decides to hang out with random person from myspace, gets sexaully assaulted --> sue myspace

14 year old decides to hang out with random person from a park, gets sexually assaulted --> sue the city government?
posted by beerbajay at 9:04 AM on June 30, 2006


Like tadellin, I have a myspace page, as do most of my friends, who are almost all 30+. The whole dumb tempest in a teapost reminds me of how people talk about AOL when it 1st started-- in all caps-- "are you Online?" my mom used to say. I tried to explain to her that AOL was just a bridge, but she never got it. Same with myspace. it's a tool. Some will use it to share music and get the work out about their bands; some will use it to try to abuse teenagers. None of these functions are inherent to the tool.
posted by miss tea at 9:04 AM on June 30, 2006


I can sympathize with this. I'm 23 and Myspace is completely beyond my realm of understanding. I was sort of caught up in Friendster when it first appeared -- and then, later, Orkut -- but it got frustrating and mundane. Now I have facebook and it's tame enough for me to log in once every two weeks without pulling my hair out because I can't read the flashing red text on top of the garish paisley background with some cliched song playing in the background.

All this hype about "Web 2.0" and social networking and so on is just that -- hype. Myspace just seems like a bizarre return to the ten-year-old craze of building garish homepages with the twist of being able to "friend" people.
posted by kdar at 9:10 AM on June 30, 2006


Ok, here's the thing. He doesn't understand MySpace because he doesn't have a community of friends that already use it. Get it? It only becomes relevant when you can go on there and find everyone you grew up with, went to high school with, etc.

Thankfully, everyone I care to keep in contact with uses Facebook, and I don't have to deal with the recreational abortion that is MySpace, but I'm sure he could say the same thing about Facebook.
posted by WetherMan at 9:11 AM on June 30, 2006


" Because I hate it and it's crap and I JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW."
This is now officially my stand-by argument.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:12 AM on June 30, 2006


Yeah, quite funny. But not Brooker at his best. Randomination's right about his call to assinate Bush. It was such a ludicrous storm in a tea cup. That so many supposedly clever people - such as Andrew Sullivan - took it seriously beggared belief. Brooker has also called for the shooting of the cast of Eastenders.
posted by rhymer at 9:13 AM on June 30, 2006


sorry, should read assassinate. Assination sounds like something else entirely.
posted by rhymer at 9:14 AM on June 30, 2006


"It's not a cellphone: it's MySpace on the go."

LAND SHARK!!!

*screams*
posted by brundlefly at 9:27 AM on June 30, 2006


...the truth is that, as with absolutely every form of media ever, 99% of the "blogosphere" is rubbish created by idiots.

Awesome.
posted by rottytooth at 9:37 AM on June 30, 2006


This guy is a tool. And as such, he should also see that Myspace is also a tool... it can be as cool or as horrible as you and those you welcome into your circle decide to make it.

Though myspace is, at the end of the day, all about the people in it. There IS a threshold as to how likely your real life friends are going to be on it given your age. I'm at the very crest of it, at 29. Any older and it wouldn't matter how much I like myspace, because I wouldn't know very many people on it... Still glad that I make the cutoff, if barely.
posted by illuminatus at 9:40 AM on June 30, 2006


Thankfully, everyone I care to keep in contact with uses Facebook, and I don't have to deal with the recreational abortion that is MySpace, but I'm sure he could say the same thing about Facebook.

College ends, and when it does facebook fades away. Myspace is broader and more lasting.
posted by illuminatus at 9:41 AM on June 30, 2006


When are you too old for MySpace? Why, when you hit puberty, of course.
posted by nlindstrom at 9:42 AM on June 30, 2006


I'm definitely too old... whoever heard of a 37-year old emo. You usually find us in bars.
posted by rolypolyman at 9:43 AM on June 30, 2006


You're never too old for MySpace.
posted by hangashore at 9:44 AM on June 30, 2006


I'm too old for Myspace, but I'm on it almost every day. There's nothing on it that you can't do with some other service, much, much better. But 75% of my friends are on it. If enough of your friends are on it, it's fun and useful. I don't think social networking sites are inherently a youth-only service.
posted by justkevin at 9:51 AM on June 30, 2006


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060629/ap_on_re_us/myspace_mideast

I'm still trying to figure this one out.

wha? rubs eyes.
posted by eatdonuts at 10:14 AM on June 30, 2006


A few years ago I heard about another Social Networking/Dating web site (I honestly forget the name of it now), so I went to check it out. I went to register in order to participate, and the reg form "Year of Birth" dropdown... stopped about five years short of my birth year.

That rather stung.
posted by sidereal at 10:23 AM on June 30, 2006


"...early adopter..."

Marketing speak for "does whatever we tell them." Why people flaunt this description is beyond me.
posted by 517 at 10:28 AM on June 30, 2006


517: Marketing speak for "does whatever we tell them." Why people flaunt this description is beyond me.

No, the concept of early adopters comes from work of Everett Rogers going way back to '62. The early adopters tend to experiment with technology before the agressive marketing campaigns.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:55 AM on June 30, 2006


I will also add the the majority of my friends are under 30. And for the comment about finding 30 somethings in bars: you are correct. We use Myspace to coordinate gatherings at different bars or pool parties, etc.

The fact remains: if you have a lot friends on MySpace you can get a lot of use out of it. I don't use it to meet new people. I have to know you in person before I'll let you in my network. It's a good way to share pictures from parties that you may not otherwise get to see. I like it.
posted by tadellin at 11:03 AM on June 30, 2006


I mean, I could go and create a page myself, but somehow I'd rather scrape my retina off with a car key.

I'd rather scrape mine off with a sharp stick.

Still, I'm glad to see that the stereotypes that (a) MySpace is only for younger people and that (b) all younger people are gaga over MySpace are disproven by this thread.

Also, just because a technology doesn't resonate with me doesn't mean that there's nothing I can learn from it. I ignore that lesson at my peril.
posted by blucevalo at 11:04 AM on June 30, 2006


99% of the "blogosphere" is rubbish created by idiots.

Well not all of us can publish our substandard commentary in the Guardian.
posted by dgaicun at 11:22 AM on June 30, 2006


It only becomes relevant when you can go on there and find everyone you grew up with, went to high school with, etc.

Well, when you are my age, most of your friends have only a passing knowledge of "that computer thing" and you are lucky if they check their email once a week. A lot of people who didn't grow up with computers being everywhere, never got comfortable with them.

When I went to college there were almost no computers around; with my C64 I was the only one of my friends with a computer of any kind. Most of my friends were either science or agriculture majors and did not understand at all why anyone would be interested in computers.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on June 30, 2006


I really don't get how myspace beat friendster, not that I everused friendster. Myspace is just so bad at everything, and for a while it was friendster with critical mass. I guess people are desperate for enough rope to hang themselves.
posted by I Foody at 11:32 AM on June 30, 2006


Well, when you are my age, most of your friends have only a passing knowledge of "that computer thing" and you are lucky if they check their email once a week.

Grandpa, is that you!?
posted by tastybrains at 11:49 AM on June 30, 2006


I Foody: MySpace used PHP, friendster used something else...something Javascripty, which ran REALLY REALLY SLOW. That's my take.
posted by Brainy at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2006


Supposing... I am too attractive for MySpace. Or suppose that I have aversion to embedded video and very bad design?

I keep saying that MySpace is a typo. It's supposed to be MyAdSpace. Duh.
posted by smallerdemon at 12:18 PM on June 30, 2006


Where's the disconnect between people insisting that MySpace is just a tool to be either used or abused, versus people insisting, "I'm too old for MySpace"? If it's just a tool, how can you be too old for it? How is age relevant?
posted by cribcage at 12:37 PM on June 30, 2006


In my day we didn't have people bitching about being old and out of touch until they were at least sixty. I don't know what's wrong with thirty-somethings today. Shocking, it is.
posted by Decani at 12:49 PM on June 30, 2006


If it's just a tool, how can you be too old for it?

Safety scissors.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:51 PM on June 30, 2006


If it's just a tool, how can you be too old for it?

Spoken by someone who's obviously never gotten a cross-continent call from his parent about how to operate a TV/dvd player/cell phone/vcr/etc.
posted by octothorpe at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2006



MySpace definitely makes me feel old as dirt. The crowded page design, the cacaphonous audio files, the tendancy of folks to use fat, fuscia display fonts over cyan-and-purple stripes and the like-- honestly, it makes me wonder if The Young Whipper-Snappers process information differently than I do. This stuff probably looks to me like Cabaret Voltaire and The Dead Kennedys sounded to my mother, way back when.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:42 PM on June 30, 2006


I'd never heard of Charlie Brooker till recently, but there's a been a couple of metafilter links to his Guardian column lately and it's good stuff. Makes me laugh anyway. Off to visit the Charlie Brooker archives
posted by jcruelty at 1:45 PM on June 30, 2006


I don't think that MySpace started out as a teen thing. When I first created my profile, it was, more-or-less, "the Friendster that doesn't crash every five minutes and isn't completely fucking broken in every possible way." It had some music-themed crap, which meant that bands always wanted send me spam, which I always ignored. I pretty much just used it as a point of contact. I've never attempted to meet anyone over MySpace.

At one point, I noticed that a bunch of REALLY YOUNG people started sending me friend requests, so I had to send them messages that were like, "Umm, you're 18. This is creepy, please go away."

It would be nice if there was a MySpace for people who were 21+. Granted, I probably wouldn't use it any more then I use MySpace, but I wouldn't feel weird about having a profile there. I already have at least one friend who took his profile off MySpace because it has become, in his words, "the mall of the internet." I have to admit, I've considered removing my own profile on more then one occasion.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:51 PM on June 30, 2006


No doubt that's where its from, that's just not the manner in which it used anymore. When was the last time you say a new thing that wasn't launch right along with its own marketing campaign, kirkjobsluder.
posted by 517 at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2006


say=saw=blah
posted by 517 at 1:58 PM on June 30, 2006


I don't associate MySpace with youth so much as the narcissism of youth. I may not be too old for MySpace, but I'm certainly old enough to understand that I'm not interesting enough to be the subject of a web page. MySpace is a real-world justification of Metafilter's self-link policy.
posted by elderling at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2006


Fundamentally, MySpace is popular for one reason: Young people publish hundreds of thousands of risqué photos of themselves, and others like to look.

Huh? That guy's a nut.

I really don't get how myspace beat friendster

Music and video. How did YouTube "beat" Google Video?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:19 PM on June 30, 2006


btw, the myspace Webbys speech: "fun for the whole family"

they're crashing big time.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:20 PM on June 30, 2006


MySpace used PHP, friendster used something else...something Javascripty, which ran REALLY REALLY SLOW. That's my take.

I'm pretty sure Myspace uses ColdFusion with JavaScript. It's also very slow (probably a victim of it's own success). I don't think it's success can be attributed to anything related to it's implementation, but rather getting the right buzz at the right time.
posted by justkevin at 2:44 PM on June 30, 2006


MySpace is just a lower content quality version of livejournal. Shit, I never thought I'd say that.
posted by absalom at 2:51 PM on June 30, 2006


I'm a teacher. I've done a little sleuthing and reported about 20 of my sixth grade boys (that's eleven- and twelve-year-olds) who have MySpace pages. Their sites are so ugly they make my eyeballs grow centipede legs, and the boys post bold bad pictures of themselves and write lots of very brave dirty things, obviously imagining themselves to be big mean rappers. They post their full names and where they go to school even while they pretend to be eighteen, and they're too stupid and trusting to take their pages private even when I tell them to. It's very cute pedophile candy and I can't imagine why ANYbody would talk to these children except their friends and scumbags.
posted by Peach at 2:54 PM on June 30, 2006


MySpace definitely makes me feel old as dirt. The crowded page design, the cacaphonous audio files, the tendancy of folks to use fat, fuscia display fonts over cyan-and-purple stripes and the like-- honestly, it makes me wonder if The Young Whipper-Snappers process information differently than I do. This stuff probably looks to me like Cabaret Voltaire and The Dead Kennedys sounded to my mother, way back when.

Well, I'm 21, right around the target age, I think, and I'm just as disgusted by the affront to aesthetics that is MySpace. I don't think it has anything to do with age. It's just that MySpace appeals to the hordes of tasteless people who should never, ever, be allowed to design Web sites, and gives each of them a Web site and a wide variety of blinking, flashing, color-clashing ornaments to plaster it with. The result is inevitable.
posted by obvious at 3:12 PM on June 30, 2006


Or perhaps it's MySpace's "social" element that disturbs me. I'm a misanthrope. Everyone on MySpace seems young and happy and excited and flip and approachable, and this upsets me. Still, at least the teenage MySpacers are getting on with the business of being young and alive, unlike the fustier elements of the "blogosphere", who just waste the world's time banging on and on about how important the "blogosphere" is and how it spells the end of every old notion ever, when the truth is that, as with absolutely every form of media ever, 99% of the "blogosphere" is rubbish created by idiots.

That's the best thing I've read in months.
posted by Jimbob at 4:06 PM on June 30, 2006


It saddens me that I'm the only person pretending to be Rupert Murdoc on myspace.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:26 PM on June 30, 2006


Oh, and I completely understand what the author is saying. I'm 26. I set up an experimental MySpace profile as a band to post some music, then quickly discovered you can only post a few songs and gave up on it. Now that Metafilter Music is here, I doubt I'll visit MySpace ever again.

But, like the author, I don't get it. My first and lasting impression has been "Is that all there is? Is there something I'm missing? Maybe my browser is broken and there's some important part of the site I can't get to." It just seems a very bad, feature-poor, half-assed kind of website, and it makes me stressed somehow - "All these kids who use MySpace - I hope they know there's actually more to the web than this?". I found a grand total of one real life person I know on there - the one-time stand-in drummer for my old band, who is 21. I guess it could be useful if you can use it to find lots of old friends, but if it were me, once I'd found them I'd switch to email / IM / phone to contact them, rather than be constrained in that dreadful cage of MySpace.
posted by Jimbob at 4:28 PM on June 30, 2006


Decani writes "In my day we didn't have people bitching about being old and out of touch until they were at least sixty. I don't know what's wrong with thirty-somethings today. Shocking, it is."

Yeah, well I've been gearing up to be a cranky old man since before puberty. Embedded music is the tool of the devil. I can code to standards, and there's a lot of new innovations we could be using, but MySpace is the path of least resistance, not the best solution, much like most trends. They get a momentum of their own, and pretty soon "everyone is doing/buying/using/wearing/eating it, why aren't you?" and that's about the time the novelty is lost on me. Some of my friends are on it, but I don't have the patience for it. Nobody will care when the next social networking thing hits.

And text messaging? I missed that joy train to paradise when I passed the cutoff age of 30. Must be the generation gap. Or maybe I'm just not a fucking idiot. Don't even get me started on that rip-off. I'm old enough to know when I'm being taken. 8-10 cents/message, or $20/month, just to send what amounts to IMs? Hey, you kids get your damn TXTing off my lawn! Go home to YourSpace!
posted by krinklyfig at 4:36 PM on June 30, 2006


Just to chime in.... I'm 34 years old, a professional developer, blah blah blah and I use MySpace all the time to interact with people in their 20's and 30's who I also interact with in real life if they live close enough, most I knew before-hand or met through friends. Half the shit people bitch about regarding MySpace are lame excuses for people with no friends [online]. Stop bitching about it, ignore it and go somewhere else.
posted by melt away at 6:52 PM on June 30, 2006


I put up a MySpace page a couple of months ago just to have it. I'm 41. My only friends are three real-life friends and a guy from high school who friend-requested me this week. (I don't even remember him, but it seemed rude to decline.)

One of my friends, a 35 year-old, fits in with (or has adopted) the MySpace vibe so well that it's scary. Well, actually, it's embarassing. But he's a chef, works mostly with 20-somethings, and having a bazillion cool friends is pretty much his thing.

As far as the "save the children from pedophiles thing", the more I think about it, the angrier I get. The vast majority of the people sexually abusing children are their parents, relatives, and other trusted adults. That Peach worries that his/her sixth-grade students often put their phone numbers on their pages (and then tattles on them) blows my mind. But almost certainly one of Peach's students is being molested right now by their father or uncle. Or one of Peach's colleagues. Maybe Peach should spend some of that energy ferreting those guys out? Uncle Bob doesn't need to get Timmy's phone number from MySpace.

Anyway, others said it above, but it's simply true that from a utility point-of-view, nothing else comes close to MySpace in terms of how many of your high school, college, and work mates are there. But it's also true that it's almost all under 30 somethings. There's dozens and dozens of people from both my small town and my tiny college on MySpace. But almsot not a single person I really know. It's like there's a wall at about 28.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:30 PM on June 30, 2006


Kids who get molested are often neglected, and they often go looking for love wherever they can get it because of the indifference or even complicity of the people who are responsible for them. I report my students who are on Myspace because I'm responsible for them. Often they come to me and ask me to report them, because things happen there that scare an eleven-year-old and they trust me. I put considerable energy into knowing my students and what's going on with them. This is just one of the ways I do that.

The people who molest children are people they know - certainly parents & relatives, but also older students in the school, teenagers (or pretend teenagers) they trust online, or the church organist in my husband's case when he was a kid. He can still be brought to white-hot anger because his parents had to know what was going on but they just went along with it and didn't put their foot down.

So I'm an adult in their lives, and they're doing something unsafe that they're not supposed to do because they're underage, and I put my foot down.
posted by Peach at 7:58 PM on June 30, 2006


Supposing... I don't give a fuck how old I am?
posted by geekhorde at 9:55 PM on June 30, 2006


My only friends are three real-life friends and a guy from high school who friend-requested me this week. (I don't even remember him, but it seemed rude to decline.)

A friend of mine wrote in his MySpace profile:
If you didn't get a message from me, hi. I don't know how you found me or if you even know who I am, but I'm sure we can be friends, if only on the internet. I mean, clicking "deny" on somebody's internet friendship just seems harsh.
posted by cribcage at 11:13 PM on June 30, 2006


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