Skip to main content

Social Networking and its Discontents

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Apparently, social networking hinges on an individual’s quest for freedom (MySpace) and civilization’s demand for conformity (Facebook).
According to a project by tech researcher danah boyd, who is so down with dotcoms that she legally ee cumminized her name, Facebook is for college preps and MySpace is for Latin Kings, or at least economically depressed, goth-wearing, gang-banging, extreme bass-playing meth addicts.
This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, since Facebook started out at Harvard, then migrated to other Ivy League schools (and MIT), where the site is currently most entrenched as a percentage of the student body (we completely made that statistic up, but suspect it’s true, especially at Harvard).
Class differences are also becoming apparent, with the proletariat more MySpace leaning (also no surprise with Facebook’s Ivy League bent). Almost half of Facebook (which is capitalized in the media due to the media’s giant hard-on for the site but not on the site itself) users have a household income over $75k while less than 40% of MySpace users do (those numbers are from Comscore).
A problem with any research involving social networks - about half of social networking users use more than one site, so the Harvard grad by day is most often a timpani player in a goth Architecture in Helsinki cover-band at night.
Why MySpace is for freaks and Facebook is for preps [Machinist]
Social network site users 'are chronically unfaithful' [Times Online]
Measuring the social networking divide [Valleywag]