« Friendship update | Main | Social Networking is now mobile »

Are you friends with Tom?

Let me start off by saying that I have in the past and/or currently participate in the following online communities: Myspace, LiveJournal, Friendster, Facebook, Tagworld, and deviantART. Wow that seems like a lot! Currently I really only participate on Myspace, I have 70 friends (that’s actually not very many in the Myspace world). Besides the bands, I do personally know the vast majority of my Myspace friends in real life. I pride myself on that; I don’t like to add people just to have a lot of friends. I’m definitely not a collector, and actually think the whole idea of collecting friends on an online community is pretty lame. I was skeptical of Myspace at first and really didn’t what to join; now I’m a Myspace addict. Do you think in the future there will be support groups for online junkies? Anyways, I must admit that Myspace has actually been a great way of finding friends from my past that I have lost touch with. I loved the quote in Boyd by Tonya “Who are we kidding? ...Myspace is psychological warfare.? This made me chuckle. It made me think of when my brother’s friend Mike put me (instead of my brother) in his top 8 because my brother didn’t put Mike into his top 8 after he added him. I actually know people that have had the debate on who should go first in your top 8, should it be your boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, or sibling? It’s kind of off the subject, but let me just say that I didn’t realize that the acronyms ROTFL or ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) were used fifteen years ago (Baym, 113). I really don’t recall using online acronyms such as that until the last five or so years, I guess I must just be slow!

Comments

Hi Nicole
It sounds like you actually have a tangible benefit from MySpace. It is great you can find and keep in touch with past friends through the communities you use. I think it works for you because of your demographic. I don't know any of my friends that use MySpace and I think it because of the generation gap. You are "addicted" to MySpace and I am addicted to emails or phones with a cord.


You mentioned "tongue in cheek" support groups for online junkies. Maybe the support group is actually your online community. You all provide each other support by being present in your groups.

good post

Mike

I agree - I'd rather pick up a phone or when I'm lazy and don't want to chat, I send an email. Of course, a lot of people I know don't check email too regularly. They use it mainly for sending lame jokes, amusing stories, etc. Stuff I consider junk email. Must be the generation thing.

Same for MySpace. My son loves it while my daughter doesn't care for it. For me, it just makes me nervous. I guess when I go out there next week for our assignment, I'll find out it's not such a big deal. Hopefully I won't be the next online junky! I'll have to keep the obsessive part of my personality in check...

I also do the same as a Myspace user-- add people whom I know in real life. It's a great way to keep in touch with people & find old friends. I've never been a fan of it either but it is quite addicting, entering your space and seeing you've got a comment! :) wow, I must have missed that-- "acronyms ROTFL or ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) were used fifteen years ago". Actually, I didn't even know what they meant until now. hehe :D

I agree with you about just "collecting" friends online within myspace is pretty lame. I also agree with you that joining myspace and other SNS sites really does make you stay connected with friends and family that you don't see everyday or that you can't see on a daily bases because of everyones schedules.

All the friends that I have on Facebook are my friends and I do talk to them often.

Hi Nicole,
I agree that MYSPACE and FACEBOOK can be quite addicting. Like you, I was very skeptical about joining either one of these online communities, because I know what a distraction they can be. I find myself checking my FACEBOOK page 3-4 times a day!

However, I must say that the main reason I did join the trend of these online communities was to reconnect with some old friends in highschool and elementary. It is very interesting to see what they are up to and where they are in their lives. Both these progams, allow you to do this.

A couple of weeks ago I asked the same question- will there be online support groups for addicts? The amount of time people spend on the internet concerns me. In my past relationship, 'computer time' was my biggest rival and was the focus of many fights. I even nicknamed his computer, 'the mistress'.

I too only have 'real' MySpace friends. I am sure when people log on to my page they think, oh this poor girl is so unpopular. But the truth is, 1/2 of my closest friends aren't members of an online community. I try to keep a balance of how often I connect with my online and offline friends.

I like what you had to say about psychological warfare-
and it's quite apparent that it exists (your example, albiet they were good-natured about it).

Julie

Hi Nicole

I had the same experience with Myspace in the begining... I did not want to have an account for a long time, while all my friends were creating their pages, and I finally created one and became addicted. I generally refuse requests from people I don't know too.

I think less and less people tend to collect as many friends as they can. By now, everyone know that it's not a matter of popularity but a matter of adding friends all day long...
Pierre