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MYSNS

I first wanted to come right out and say that in my current opinion Myspace is taking a downward slide. It takes forever to load and is loaded so full of fake friend requests and spam that I don't even enjoy using it anymore. The idea of Myspace and all other online social networks is great. Users can join various communities, get in touch with old high school friends, check out new artists on the rise, perform long term chats through wall postings, and ect. The biggest problem that seems to have came out of it is the whole concept of friends. According to Boyd only 2 out of the top 13 reasons for people to friend people are because they are actual friends or family with them (Boyd 8). I believe that because it is the internet and there is so much anonymity to it people just become "friends" with anyone. Why not, theres not as much risk involved as there is in real life in developing friendships. This often leads to so many people who take advantage of other's disregard for who they let into their "network" in order to spam them. Often because they have nothing better to do or they need an easy way to advertise. I do love how the author notes that the type of people who commit this spamming/hacking/joking are, "shy and even anti-social, and they enjoy the power of hitting so many systems with such little effort" (Gurak 97). (This quote was more so directed at hackers, but I like to fit spammers in the same catergory).

Besides Myspace, there are other internet communities that I really do find a great deal of pleasure in being a part of which havn't been corrupted quite yet. For example when I used to build computers for my friends and family I quite often participated in usergroups to problem solve things that would come while putting the computers together. I have also participated in other social networks that dealt with music and movie reviews as well.

To summarize. I believe people need to be more careful with how they treat their myspaces and other SNS's. While they can become a great tool to help keep in touch with your real life friends or discuss things in an environment that is much more anonymous than real life with others, it is very important to keep a distinction with who is really your friend. After all, "friends are expected to provide a shoulder to cry on, be a partner in crime, and guarantee to bail you out of jail" (Boyd 4).

Comments

I really liked your comment about the importance of knowing who one's real friends are. It does bother me a little bit that some people make friend requests with other people simply to feel like they are friends with everyone in the world and not really try to develop a real friendship with them. For instance on facebook, I have a ton of people that are my "friends," but they are people that I barely even know, so can they really be my "friends?" Can I dependent on them or call them in the middle of the night to talk about my problems? Probably not. I'm not even sure why it is that I accepted them as friends other than for the fact that it would be rude of me not to make them my "friends." I think that in a lot of ways people who ask total strangers to be their friends are more like in a competition to see who can pretend to climb the most on the social ladder. I think that it's a self-esteem issue more than anything. I also agree with you that it's just a way that hackers and spammers can get to you and send you useless info.