Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 28, 2006

MySpace profiles are for show offs

by Diana Frey, Page Editor
America's youth has looked past online gaming websites and the novelty of having e-mail addresses to the new and ever growing social network of MySpace. MySpace is a web site that enables users to create free personal profiles about themselves, post pictures of themselves and friends and provide personal information such as dating status and favorite pastimes. Users can choose background music, colors, animated patterns and any other creative touches they wish to add that include an HTML code. The result is a website featuring fountains of personal information about individuals who divulge the details of their lives for the world to see and abuse. A web site made with the purpose of helping people keep in touch with old friends and making new ones is causing teens to lose touch with social reality. MySpace lets teens forget how to act with their peers in person, face to face, and instead conditions them to socialize screen to screen.

According to an article written by Kimra McPherson for the San Jose Mercury News, MySpace currently has over 54 million users. According to an article written by Jesse James Garret for Business Week Online, the site gains 150,000 new users daily. Popularity has continued to grow not only among teens but among adults as well after Rupert Murdoch, also known as the "media manipulator" by the Center for American Progress, bought the website for half a billion dollars.

The problem with this web site is that instead of making online acquaintances and keeping in touch with real friends, users are making "fake friends," requesting to be friends with those they wish to be nosy about. Let's be real, to get to know someone better there are numerous methods of communication including picking up the phone to have a conversation, corresponding through text messages, or meeting in person to interact. It is common to see MySpace advocates prowl the pages of personal pictures of other users in a judgmental way, to decide how exciting and cool others' lives are usually focusing on the attractiveness of other users and their list of friends links. Users even have the opportunity to post comments about others' pictures that are shown right underneath the pictures for others to read. To some, it is a game to accumulate hundreds to thousands of friends most of whom they will never talk to outside of the website.

Facebook , a similar website founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz at Harvard College in February of 2004, is available to college students all across the US. Facebook, unlike MySpace, actually requires one to be listed as "friends" with someone or attend the same school in order to view a profile. Recently Facebook has even extended its availability to those who have a high school email address to register. Facebook's homepage states that one can use Facebook to "Look up people around you, see how people know each other, and make groups and events with your friends." Some would argue that the idea of keeping in touch with those they once associated with in high school after leaving for college is a daunting task, and profiles such as Facebook are useful tools to do just that. If one needs a profile to send them a birthday reminder of a friend's upcoming birthday, is that person really worth keeping in touch with?

In an informal survey of 100 Blazers in April, 52 percent said they had a MySpace and or Facebook account. Blair has thousands of students who have the opportunity to meet and interact with peers within the walls of one building. It's ridiculous that this many people feel the need to create Internet profiles and show off their lives online.

Friends are the people who know your favorite band, the name of your significant other and what school you attend without reading it online. Deciding to get to know someone because of a picture is a shallow way to form friendships, and using online profiles to decide if someone is hot or not is a waste of time. If the purpose of creating an online profile is to remain in contact with old acquaintances, there are many other ways to keep in touch. If the purpose of using online profiles is to spy on how successful and happy the lives of old acquaintances and complete strangers' lives are, then one should consider finding a new hobby.

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  • newsflash on May 28, 2006 at 11:29 PM
    facebook and myspace: the number one problem facing american youth today
  • Dumb Democrats= (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 7:53 AM
    I would like to point out that there is barely any connection between the title and the editorial.
    1) There are many reasons why people keep in touch. One of them is the memories they shared. They may not be close friends anymore, but they would still like to say I know you. That is why there are class reunions. Just because Facebook calls someone you add to your list a "friend" does not mean it has to be a friend. According to Facebook, you can either "not know the person" or that person is a "friend." There is no middle ground. By attacking facebook from just a silly word choice "error" is ... silly.
    2) I never used MySpace before but keeping in touch with those that you do not see anymore is not as pointless as you think. Say, you graduate from high school and you do not see your classmates for many more years. Obviously, most of them will not call each other in college. However, people will still have reunions, which shows that they still want to keep onto their memories.

    I dunno, it just seems as if you're too critical about facebook and myspace.
  • facebooker on May 29, 2006 at 10:05 AM
    i can see some of your points about the uselessness of facebook, but there are a few perks about it that are really nice. i recently went to a party and within 24 hours there were numerous photo albums that friends of mine had put up. i was able to look at pictures from the party that i never would have seen otherwise.
  • Clair on May 29, 2006 at 11:05 AM
    Nice article diana!
  • Matcury (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 2:10 PM
    MySpace is basically for "Friends" or what I call real friends seeing as all my friends on MySpace are from school and not fake.I should go consolt them on that they are fake even though I see them daily and talk to them daily via phone and Yahoo Instant Messanger.I believe that thier are no fake friends on My Space,just people who want to make as many friends as possible by ignoring them and putting stupid bullitens up.I usually don't do things like that and people who do are doing what they want to do and for me some fool to complain against it is stupid but,it's for friends even though there have been several abductions this yeara nd stalkers by websites such as MySpace but hey,if you're friends a stalker or pedophile,why not be his friend blindly?
  • 08er on May 29, 2006 at 3:06 PM
    People need to talk face to face, read real books and write BCRs because there are people like "Matcury" who can't spell nor punctuate nor string together subjects and predicates in a coherent manner.
  • FOol (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 5:16 PM
    You don't know anything about what myspace is all about. All my friends on myspace are people I've meet many MANY MANY times... I can keep in touch with them with a quick email, like this. Or get to know people I knew back in grade school. The only problem with myspace is.... NOTHING, we can tell people anything we want about ourselves, and if you don't want anyone to read it, make it PRIVATE!!! Only a real fool will get hurt on this site. Quit bashing stuff you have no intrest in and no knowledge...
  • no name on May 29, 2006 at 5:35 PM
    i disagree, and i think myspace profiles are people who want to make new friends and keep in touch with old ones so it seems that you misunderstand the idea
  • XochiltFlower (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 6:06 PM
    It is true, that myspace is a website used daily by shallow, attnetion craved, and even lonely people. I personally think that although myspace can be useful for some parts, it has become a huge annoyance. Especially with "myspace whores". These are people who are actually admitting that they add numerous people for the sake of having a high friend list number. This only makes them appear to have friends. Another terrible fact about myspace are the people who well constantly leave comments on a band or famous persons website saying "add me!". Not only that, but the myspaces themselves that people make to pose as a famous celebrity or musician. What is the purpose of that? I've meet up with friends I had lost contact with through myspace, but to be honest myspace has shown itslef to be relativily useless. Which makes me wonder why I have one. Seeing how I only have 64 friends and I'm content with so, I dont consider myself a myspace whore, and yes alot of people on ym list I do know in real life and talk to. But I doubt no matter how stupid and juvenile myspace is, its not going away anytime soon
  • on May 29, 2006 at 7:35 PM
    You shouldn't lump together the people who actually use facebook and myspace to keep in touch with people they actually know with the people who use it to stalk people or make fake friends.
  • blaztermaniac75 (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 7:59 PM

    i use to think that myspace was a good website but since it has appeared on the news so many times, it has become a link for the criminals to meet there next victims. there's a lot to talk about this myspace..... 2 words....
    IT SUCKS!!!!
  • (View Email) on May 29, 2006 at 9:49 PM
    Just wanted to say this is a very unprofessional title that has nothing to do with the article itself anyways. Where do you talk about showoffs in the article?
  • Think in Pink on May 29, 2006 at 11:48 PM
    Facebook does have the advantage of letting you create events. That way, if you want to do a somewhat informal gathering, you don't have to print up invitations or call and pester people.

    Also, Facebook/MySpace allow you to learn things about a person that you probably would not have learned otherwise. For example, if there is a kid who sits next to me in band class, it will not be that easy for me to learn that her favorite food is pizza or that she loves the same movies I love. With Facebook/MySpace, you can see those things and strengthen your friendship. I have learned a lot of stuff about my friends through Facebook.

    And as for the birthday thing, if one of my friends cannot remember if my birthday is the 18th or the 19th, I am not going to suddenly drop them as my friend. Hey, if they get the month right, I am happy.

    If you haven't had contact with someone in a few years, it usually isn't that easy to find them.
  • 1337 h4x0r on May 30, 2006 at 6:41 PM
    the internet sucks.
  • jeg on May 30, 2006 at 10:51 PM
    To o8er. back off matcury. Spelling doesnt count rightnow. These are just comments. It iformal not formal writing.
  • AJking8 on May 31, 2006 at 9:23 AM
    My space is awesome!!!!!!!!

    I love Myspace!!!
  • The Internet Police on May 31, 2006 at 10:07 AM
    Welcome to the worderful world of the Internet.

    People are stupid. Deal with it.
    Anytime people have a chance to present themselves to people they don't know, they're going to exaggerate or do something to boost their ego. College applications, anyone?
  • yay me on May 31, 2006 at 11:17 AM
    i think your opinion is can't judge a site if u haven't tried it out....i mean granted everyone has one but that doesn't mean everyone has itfor the same reason and not only that it's not a game it's a way for people for keep in touch and your contradicting yourself!!!

    Myspace knocks my socks off!!!!
  • elissa h. fischel on May 31, 2006 at 11:36 AM
    myspace has basically ruined my life. i check it all the time and i KNOW it's pointless and lame, but it's also so addictive.
    on the other hand, myspace has allowed me to better stay in touch with my sister and friends in other states/countries. it's true that we could just call each other, but that can get pretty expensive. i think there are some benefits of myspace and facebook, and as long as you use them responsibly (don't put up pictures of yourself drinking/smoking/etc and don't decide to meet up with people you don't know)i don't see a problem with it.
  • Everything>Myspace on May 31, 2006 at 12:03 PM
    Myspace fails at life. I have proof, unfortunately I can't reach my source from school.
  • Hmmmm on May 31, 2006 at 2:44 PM
    to Think in Pink:
    If you want to find out what movies your bandmate loves, why not just ask her during class?
  • blogger (View Email) on May 31, 2006 at 6:15 PM
    Myspace has the potential to link people with similar interests and help them share in a setting that is open to whatever the users want. Just like any open and free forum, it is user beware and then go have fun!
  • Kat (View Email) on June 1, 2006 at 2:07 PM
    I love myspace! it's a way for me to keep intouch with people i cant talk to everyday. It's also a great way to talk to family members who are far away. I will admit that MySpace can be bad. but it's onlyif people make it that way. Giveing out your phone number and address a nono duhh... but where you work and what school you atttend isnt safe either. I guess MySpace can be good if you know what your doing
  • kitkat (View Email) on June 2, 2006 at 9:05 PM
    well first off, i think my space is kinda a waste of your time......basically you are pretty much putting your personal life in know like your full name and a lot more of your personal life....and a lot more space is okay but make sure that you are safe and not everyone knows about your space....
  • Kial on June 3, 2006 at 3:01 PM
    I have a MySpace and I don't think it's that horrible and I'm no show-off. I have the chance to contact people I don't see in school all the time and also contact as many people as I can if I want to throw a party. Yes, it has its useless qualities, but then again, all websites have that.
  • 07 on June 6, 2006 at 11:11 AM
    myspace is not anything new!!!!!
    Blackplanet and xanga has been around since i was in middle school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Ray on June 9, 2006 at 5:55 PM
    I think people create and maintain profiles at online social networks to convince the rest of the world (and themselves) that they have an exciting social life with lots of friends. Others just use it to stay in touch with pals to let them know when they buy a pet hermit crab or a giant squirrel raids their trash can one night.
  • blazer on June 11, 2006 at 7:06 PM
    It depends how you use your myspace. I'm pretty paranoid and have no pictures of myself or anyone I know personal information or even my real name up on my myspace, and I only use myspace as a way to talk to friends from school (though I'm not against using myspace to meet new people either). Even if you did put a bit of personal information like your name up, you'd probably be fine. Don't be stupid about it and your pretty safe.
  • curlstaff (View Email) on June 11, 2006 at 10:27 PM
    yeah it really does depend how you use it. I know alot of people just use it to talk to random people so they think they have more friends, and I allways see girls who are obviosly like 13-15 saying that they are 20. I don't really understand the point of this. I just use it to talk to my brother because he lives thousands of miles away and can't use AIM at work.
  • jordy on June 18, 2006 at 8:11 PM
    Hmm...I don't really care about the philosophy behind mySpace...and what people use it for...that is all fine and good. Personally, I can't deal with the awful web designs people use and the horrendous blaring music choices on some people's pages. How are you supposed to read their 'information' if the background is blue and the text is black?
  • kary on June 22, 2006 at 8:03 PM
    well i have my own space and i just use it to write thinks about my feelings or some thoughs i also put up some pictures of my friends and my hanging out.It's like everybody says denpend how you use it.
  • batcrkgeek (View Email) on July 5, 2006 at 2:18 PM
    I agree with most of what you sais but i findit easy to use and I have contacted old friends i have not seen in 15 years.
    70% of the people on my friends list i know for real.
  • wife (View Email) on July 7, 2006 at 8:41 AM
    MYSPACE - I am addicted...and I can't stand it!!! I have this myspace love/hate relationship. I like that I was able to meet up w/ old freinds from highschool and 'talk' about the old days - however my husband has found a few girlies that he is (present tense) keeping in touch with...and at first I didn't mind...really - I didn't... but when the emails are coming in daily...see thats when it struck a nerve...I cannot help not checking his page, and seeing what NEW friends (chicks) are added!!!! I DO NEED TO FIND A NEW HOBBY - any suggestions???!!!!
  • 05 Heather (View Email) on July 24, 2006 at 9:06 PM
    if you use it responsibly and intelligently (ie: not making stupid chain bulletins all the time, not posting suggestive pictures of yourself on it, not adding every person who tries to friend you, etc), myspace can be a fun way to keep in touch with people you don't see that often, or even people who you see on a regular basis.

    i personally have two people on my list that i have never met before (out of almost 120). and i've been able to get in touch with about 10 people who i grew up with in new york and haven't seen in at least 5 years, not to mention a whole bunch of past and present blair kids. myspace is harmless if you use your head.
  • jessiika on August 13, 2006 at 9:40 PM
    i so agree with you on this. i think our technology is to far advanced. i mean what ever happened to flying a kite? or riding a bike? now i see hardley 3 kids a week riding a bike down the street mainly 2 but i also like myspace i keep in touch with my sister who left to college ive also met a friend that i knew when i was 2 and my god brother and friends that i moved away from in the 5th grade so i personally like myspace for that reason but yes things do get out of hand on myspace like meeting up with guys/girls and things like that but mainly i dont really care it's not my place to say" GET RID OF MYSPACE" or "NO KEEP IT"
  • Justin W. Klingerman (View Email) on August 28, 2006 at 3:25 PM
    Well, for your information, Myspace is more than that. I have made many friends that go to my school and thanks to myspace I have a few more good friends because I am not exactly the most popular person in my school. Myspace is one of the coolest sites on the internet if you don't abuse it like I DON'T and many people do and I understand that, but anyone who is willing to complain about it in a huge paragraph form really needs to get a life. Some of us do not live near our friends, so obviously Myspace is a way to communicate for people who don't keep the phone number(s) of every person they meet since some people also have slow computers, and can't download AIM or other messengers for whatever reason.
  • oom on September 10, 2006 at 12:39 AM
    nice linkification! you should do that more, SCO. Gives you a new wave, Web 2.0 feel.

    Incidentally, I think your polls, your photo section and your entertainment/review box could definitely stand to benefit from some AJAX-y yumminess.
  • Ha. on September 10, 2006 at 7:36 PM
    Can't say I see the difference between people who constantly check Myspace and people who constantly check the comments on their school newspaper site.
    I'm not against either one. Just kinda funny how some people have the my-website-is-holier-than-thou complex.
  • Torrian Biggs on September 13, 2006 at 11:24 AM
    myspace's are not for show offs they're for friends to chat and have fun!
  • Anonymous (View Email) on September 21, 2006 at 11:42 AM
    I dont think that myspace is a bad place to air your personal life unless you are protraying it in a abusive and untruthful way. It is a great way to keep in contact with old friends as well as new ones it is better than e-mail mainly bacause it is more user friendly.
  • Olivia .. a concerned friend (View Email) on October 11, 2006 at 6:59 PM
    I am a former MySpace user, & I didn't only quit b/c I had to but I also realized I needed to. MySpace is extremely dangerous you may be talking to some one you think is you "friend" or someone who you think is your age, but it could be all a lie. When I was using MySpace I got messages from many older men I didn't know. Thatís what scared me. Now i think every friend I have has a MySpace. It really freaks me out that all these people I know could be in danger. I know my friends know better, EVERYONE says they do but you REALLY never know.

    What ever happened to going out side or getting some fresh air or doing something other than sitting on you @$$ all day talking on MySpace? I think sense my friends started using MySpace I has be come more important than A LOT of good things in life.

    I think MySpace should be gone & forgotten

    <333 Liv
    P.S. Don't call me stupid for this if MySpace is REALLY controlling your life (:
  • Matthias (View Email) on October 27, 2006 at 5:44 PM
    This article makes a lot of good points, but I think that one thing that it fails to realize is the responsibility of the myspace user.
    If you are someone who feels vulnerable using myspace, then do NOT put personal information on your page! It is your own fault if you put up private information and someone you don't like/want to see sees it. Only put up what you want to be seen!
    Secondly, if you are so scared of having personal information seen, then make your myspace page private to only those who are your friends. Myspace has plenty of options to let a persons privacy remain private.

    I think that it's unfair to blame MySpace as a socially destructive force when it is the user who freely gives their information away.

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