Tom, U Up?: Contemplating a move back to MySpace

The Buzz Bin

There's been a lot of talk among my actual friends and social media "friends" about leaving Facebook behind in favor of less data-breachy outlets. It's hard to imagine people will want to spend time rebuilding their Facebook worlds on another platform, but I understand the impulse. We see less of our friends' posts every day and more advertising — nevermind the whole accidental-toppling-of-our-democracy aspect of Mark Zuckerberg's platform.

As I started seeing more "I'm logging off forever" Facebook posts, I evaluated whether one option might be a return to the start of my social media life, back before "social media" had a name. If I say goodbye to Facebook, might I once again say, "Hello, MySpace"?

Having not visited MySpace in at least a decade, well, let's just say it was a little weird. My profile used to automatically play a favorite tune when visited (Sleater-Kinney's "Jumpers"), but no more. The site has been dramatically redesigned, of course, and instead of a recognizable "profile picture," there's just an evolving series of stock photos. Oh look, birds! A drum set! A bunch of longhorns! What these have to do with me, I have no idea, unless you slather the birds and beef in BBQ sauce and drop those drums in a Texas roadhouse. But I digress.

I joined MySpace probably around 2005, using an email address from four jobs ago, so naturally I can't begin to access my own page. I looked for MySpace's Tom Anderson — my first social media "friend," along with everyone else who joined back then — to ask for help, but he was nowhere to be found.

What I did find at, then, is an oddly preserved slice of life 13 years ago. Among my "Connections," some are still dear friends, while others I can't remember. There are stores and former employers now out of business and bands who have broken up. Most horrifying is evidence I once listened to some electronic music. Yikes.

The upside is rediscovering some still-accessible photos I'd forgotten. I had posted snapshots of Sleater-Kinney's last pre-sabbatical show on there, and one of Tommy Lee maybe giving me the finger at a Sundance Film Festival party. There's a shot of me and Joan Jett backstage at a Warped Tour, her smiling because she doesn't know I just stole beers from her bus. And best of all: A bunch of pretty bad shots from a private Beastie Boys show that MySpace hosted at a Utah hotel.

The verdict: MySpace in 2018 might be a nice place to visit for the memories, but I wouldn't want to live there again. ♦

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