MySpace account ushers in new era

In September, I gave in to the pressure and acquired my own MySpace page.

I held out for as long as I could and was one of the most adamant opponents to the entire idea. I was slowly but surely getting over a breakup and had no desire to be found – especially not online.

Back in the fall, my best friend – in real life – moved out of the state for a few months. Thus, I had a justifiable reason to reverse my original conviction regarding the social networking site.

I went through a transitional phase that could be called before and after MySpace. I resigned myself to the fact that I had, essentially, compromised a belief. I was beyond needing this outlet for human contact, and more importantly, the decision to represent myself so openly online was one that had taken me years to come to terms with.

Not long ago, I wanted to be untraceable. I wanted anonymity from the world and from one person in particular. The thought that I could be found and my life could be summed up without my knowledge was enough to make me shun the entire concept.

MySpace is used to track down old lovers, old friends or complete strangers. I think that the creation of a MySpace page is, for some, a step that must be taken to advance with technology and keep up socially as well.

Inherent in my decision was the curiosity of what it could mean for my social life and the excitement of being able to portray myself to others – known and unknown. Starting an account represented a change in myself. If I could comfortably create a Web page about myself, that proved that I was comfortable with myself as a whole.

MySpace could also be considered a guilty pleasure, and it represents an indulgence taken by many to be completely self-involved for that minute or hour spent perusing others’ pages and making changes to their own.

The very idea that anyone – besides the people in my direct vicinity – could care about whether I was tired, sleepy, or motivated at that exact moment is the quintessential spirit of MySpace.

The fact that I personally update my mood periodically clearly says that I have become as completely self-involved as the rest of the MySpace world. It is almost freeing to know how others around the world are feeling, and what would be an appropriate song to go along with it.

Name, personal interests and background info are all there to be judged, and all are so easily changed and shaped to how I want my personal identity to be perceived by others. It begs the question of whether anyone stands out if they have a MySpace page, or is it those who still don’t that have one that have truly taken a stand?

If you don’t have a MySpace page, you can’t be singled out, you can’t be found by just anyone. This is a conundrum. Before I had a MySpace page, I was justifiably belligerent about not having one. I stood out, in my mind, as a voice against a pop culture phenomenon.

Now I find myself advocating the site and discussing it with those I once condemned. I find in this “space” a way of connecting with others and searching inside myself to accurately show who I am in blurb format. How do you want the world to see you? I guess that depends on why you started a MySpace page in the first place.

Jessica McGuire is a junior majoring in English literature.