Reading Boyd’s article was like a blast from the past. I entered high school just as Facebook was starting to take off in 2007, a year after the launch of the site. I created a MySpace in 6th grade because my friends in the 8th grade had one and I wanted to be like them. I kept this a secret from my parents who viewed MySpace as unnecessary and unsafe. My friends and I spent a lot of time on AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace seemed like a “cooler” way to interact with my peers, though few had entered the realm of social media at the time. I never had any troubles with “creeps” as were mentioned in Boyd’s article that I can remember and felt safe on the site as I made sure to only interact with people I knew.
Once I entered high school, Facebook was the new thing. For a while, I kept up with both Facebook and MySpace. Today, I am unsure of my precise motive to leave MySpace and never to return, but I assume that it had something to do with the majority of my peers switching to this site. I do, however, recall feeling more safe on Facebook because it required you to have a school email address in order to join the site at the time.
It is interesting that these students used the term “ghetto” to describe MySpace. I would have to disagree and say that MySpace is not “ghetto,” it is just outdated and used mostly for bands and people who want to discover music. Even now, more and more people are deactivating their Facebook as they find Instagram and Twitter to be the new hip and innovative social media site/app. This article was obviously written a while ago because it talks about how our online profiles serve as our “digital bodies,” whereas now we call this online self-presentation.
Although evidence leads us to believe that the divide between Facebook and MySpace may include race, I do not believe that this is currently the case. Seeing that this article was written a few years ago, Facebook was new and up and coming. “Ghetto” people or individuals in urban areas who are not introduced to new technology or who do not keep up on the new findings of the internet may have been slow to create a Facebook, but nearly 10 years after it’s launch, they are there now.
I absolutely do believe that there is an online culture and it varies from site to site or game to game where you interact with others. It is now understood by most people (hopefully) that the way you present yourself online affects the way people view you in real life. If you want to judge Facebook culture by demographics, it is not difficult to see trends in this online culture. New parents post tons of pictures of their kids and expect to see the same type of content on their newsfeed. College students are notorious for posting pictures of them partying, “selfies,” and statuses relating to trending topics. Business professionals usually post about work and tend to stray away from posting too much information about their personal life. Now that most people are using various forms of social media, it is interesting to look at it from the perspective that the various demographics in our society are not choosing one platform from the other, per say, but that they interact and convene online in ways that are very different from each other, which creates their own unique culture with the people they choose to interact with.