The Myrtle Beach of Social Networking

28 06 2007

i’m growing up. or running out of time. i’m not sure which it is, but over the past few months, I’ve noticed the amount my time spent tooling around social networking sites has hit an all-time low. I think back to the golden era (i.e. my junior year of college) when I could easily spend a few hours looking at friends myspace and facebook pages, and their friends pages, and people i’ve never met’s pages, wandering amid hundreds of profiles in single sitting.  But the times have change – for the most part.

Now Facebook is kind of an enigma, because for the most part, its my only contact with many of my friends from college and a lot of my friends from Young Life. Its simple design and non-intrusive with advertising. I’m not sure I’ll ever love the mini-feed, because I still don’t really want to know that Greg added “The Notebook” to his Favorite Movies and Sarah removed “needle work” from here interests. But Facebook is what it is – a PDA with birthday reminders, pictures, e-mail and more than you ever wanted to know about every friend you ever had.

Then there is Myspace. My myspace page has become a ghost town – i haven’t updated or changed anything on there in a while (save for my profile picture, which I’ll get to later) and for both Myspace and Facebook, I hardly ever take the initiative to write to others or comment or whatever. The only friend requests I get now are from crappy bands or strippers – yeah, I really want to get to know alt-rockers A River of Decay and Trixie, a “fun girl with a webcam! check it out!”.

Then, a few weeks ago it hit me – Myspace has become the Myrtle Beach of social networking. Trashy and tacky – full of ads, hookers and high schoolers. People spend more time there in the summer, have a fling with someone from out of town, and have pictures of themselves that they probably wouldn’t show their grandma. And I guess I’m over it. I’ve met and re-met friends on there, kept a few relationships in the loop and used it for some theme party invitations. But for this guy, Myspace has run its course. I recently replaced my profile picture with a letter to Myspace. It says “Dear Myspace, I’ve met someone else.” and I have. Say hello to Virb. The “new black” on the social networking scene, it’s sleek, highly customizable and most importantly, a little more respectful of its users. I have had my share of friend requests from bands, but at least I haven’t had to worry about Sasha or Lace asking me to buddy up and the advertising is strategically placed as to not be a constant eye-sore. But even with all these upgrades, I still can’t seem to dive in like I did when I first became a Myspace-r and Facebook-ite (I’m pretty sure that is the vernacular…). Maybe I’ll try harder to plug in. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll go outside and sit in an intertube and float around the cove. So to sum it all up – Myspace is out. Virb is in. And I’m still not sure I care.

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