An Open Letter To Myspace
Hey you. It was nice crossing paths the other day. Seems like you're back in the cultural conscious again, doing all right for yourself (over 50 million viewers a month), thanks in heavy part to your endless trove of #TBT fodder. And that’s great. I’m happy for you, I really am.
Remember that time, senior year, when Brian Murray’s parents went to Puerto Rico for a week and he had a party every night? You were there. And after you showed my mom those pictures (unintentionally, of course), she said “I’m so disappointed in you,” for the very first time. Man, those were the days.
But I’ll admit it, maybe I should have made more of an effort to stay in touch with you over the years. I grew up. We grew apart. I moved on.
I went away to college and to other social media outlets that could propel and facilitate my tastes beyond teenage predilections for mirror selfies and gilded, rotating Dashboard Confessional lyrics. I Zuckerberged. I tweeted. I ‘grammed. I’ve even been known to Snap and Pin when the situation calls for it. You lost another person on your proverbial friend counter: me.
For our generation, the jump into social media happened with one click and one very special new friend—Tom, that perpetually blurry bastard. Our stranger-danger ingrained, newly Internet-savvy minds may have immediately considered him a potential threat, but whatever flames of concern we had were quickly extinguished by that trademark half-turned, not-really-trying smile stance. Like a jubilant Blue Steel.
And with that first friend, we dove head-first into social media like a stoned Michael Phelps into a vat of Cherry Garcia. Soon everyone was on it. You had your “Top 8," easily the biggest spot of contention between teenage BFF’s until Twilight came out. No lesson in the court of social politics could prepare you for the struggles of the Top 8. Choosing who to cut out of that select group is the Millennial version of Sophie’s Choice, except with way more crying.
And can Facebook or Twitter even begin to compare to your customization options? You could make your homepage look as violently vibrant as a New Jersey mob wife’s wallpaper, with gaudy, pre-gif spinning images of your favorite quotes from Perks of Being a Wallflower lining your comment section, too.
The music. Oh, the music. Whenever someone visited your profile, you allowed us to bare our adolescent souls, automatically playing a song of our choice for the lucky listeners. This kind of brazen public expression of musical taste is probably what inspired every single person in the world born after 1993 to become a part-time DJ at “some club outside the city every other weekend." But we won't hold that against you.
Nowadays, it seems like you're a little too into music. When we were together, the only bands who had Myspace pages were my friends’ Reel Big Fish cover band that didn’t have a trumpet, bass, or drum player. Now you present yourself as some kind of musical platform for a dying industry. I might have changed, but you certainly changed, too.
Look, high school certainly can’t last forever. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t care about you. “The first” is an intrinsic necessity required before crossing that threshold into “the rest." And I’ll always be glad that first, was you.
I’m sure this won’t be the last time we cross paths. I have no doubt you’ll be there to embarrass future presidential candidates with shirtless selfies and underage drinking photos in the year 2035. And I bet you’ll make an appearance at the 10-year reunion.
Who knows? Maybe thousands of years from now, future archaeologists will find *~SwEeTCuTIE63~*’s e-diary post about “how stupid Jason is” and how “her Mom just doesn’t get it what it’s like to be 16” and declare it the defining work of our time.
You’ll always hold a special place in my increasingly Internet-reliant heart. You weren’t my forever, but you’ll always, always be my first. From the thrill of getting a little red envelope, letting me know I have a new friend, to the haunting awkwardness of that glowing green "Online Now" button, letting me know some of my best friends are ignoring me—you were an essential part of growing up in the new, computer-literate millennium.
And if I listen very carefully, even to this day, I can still hear the sounds of Fall Out Boy playing through blown-out Desktop speakers, and I can almost see that pixelated grin of Myspace Tom, assuring me that everything was going to turn out just fine, in the end.
Thanks for digitally-immortalizing our awkward years, Myspace, and don’t forget to friend me on Facebook, you know, when you get a chance.