Former MySpace Users Get Real

There have been several stories of late about the majority of MySpace users being over the age of thirty–a fact that has driven away younger users en masse.
Today, USA Today zooms in on another reason younger users are fleeing the so-called social networking site.

Gabe Henderson is finding freedom in a recent decision: He canceled his MySpace account.
No longer enthralled with the world of social networking, the 26-year-old graduate student pulled the plug after realizing that a lot of the online friends he accumulated were really just acquaintances. He’s also phasing out his profile on Facebook, a popular social networking site that, like others, allows users to create profiles, swap message and share photos — all with the goal of expanding their circle of online friends.
“The superficial emptiness clouded the excitement I had once felt,” Henderson wrote in a column in the student newspaper at Iowa State University, where he studies history. “It seems we have lost, to some degree, that special depth that true friendship entails.”
“I’m not sacrificing friends,” he says, “because if a picture, some basic information about their life and a Web page is all my friendship has become, then there was nothing to sacrifice to begin with.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.

Comments

  1. “True friends,” he [Bugeja, director of Iowa State’s journalism school ] tells them, “need to learn when to stop blogging and go across campus to help a friend.”
    And Iowa has such a nice campus. Of course, I challenge any midwestern state school to anything as beautiful as the nature of Indiana U.
    I better stop now.

  2. I prefer Madison.

  3. Why?

  4. In other words:
    Challenge !
    1. Variety of trees on campus.
    2. Naturally clad architecture from the area.

  5. I thought I would wake up to see at least one person from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, etc.,
    Gee willikers, even Nebraska! defend the honor of their state bird, flower, etc on campus.
    I guess I can be even happier to see that they are not here. The romantic in me suggests they are all outside meeting someone under the ol’ oak tree. . . birch, fruit, maple, gum, or beach.
    Sweet. tweet.

  6. And with any luck, more and more people will realize how empty and shallow it all is. If you met all your “friends” in person, I wonder how many would remain such after a half hour of real conversation.
    Turn off the computers. Go out and connect with the real world.
    …tom

  7. daveednyc says:

    Why is there this presumption — which smacks of arrogance, IMO — that myspace users are Internet shut-ins who fail to have “real” relationships? Even if that is the case in some instances, who are we to admonish them and say they need to “go out and connect with the real world”? I say we all mind our own real world(s) and not care how people choose to spend their time.

  8. well, dang, I was just out in my real world, which is a picture perfect subdivision. I then crossed the border to find some spaces of tall grass followed by some luscious fields filled with golden rod, those tiny spikey daisy things, and purple starburst weeds…
    ahh, there was no one out there. Who am I to complain? Well, okay the person who stopped to ask for directions, picture perfect, too. For real or was it all in my mind … in my space.
    I better go back or maybe further and glean some more stuff from shutter openings.

  9. You miss my point (or “presumption”), daveednyc. I didn’t say you myspace users and the like are “shut-ins”. I said they mistake two-dimensional, internet “relationships” for actual, human connection.
    On the internet, it’s all too easy to swallow any personality others wish to present. Just look at all the patently fake “identities” on the internet. How many of us posting here are doing so using our real names? I’d guess the number is pretty close to zero. Why? Partially because of security – which is understandable. But more likely because we can say whatever we wish without any concern of responsibility or retribution.
    Why admonish this? Because real relationships demand that we learn how to interact on an unvarnished, human level. Real relationships require the use of empathy and understsanding. Of negotiation. Of courage. Of honesty. The more we rely on the no-risk/all-reward comfort of online relationships, the less adept we will be at coping with the far more messy world.

  10. Y’all dont use your real names? Next it shall be revealed to me you are all a bunch of girls?
    And no, I am not a nancy boy.

  11. Real relationships require the use of empathy and understsanding. Of negotiation. Of courage. Of honesty. The more we rely on the no-risk/all-reward comfort of online relationships, the less adept we will be at coping with the far more messy world.
    Thanks, “Theo”. That’s some of the most lucid thinking I’ve come across in a while.