MySpace is Evil

I’ve been rebelling against the MySpace craze for quite some time now. I don’t like the site for a variety of reasons, but recently, I went ahead and set up a profile for myself. ((And no, I’m not providing a link; it’s probably not going to be active much longer, anyway.)) Enough people that I know have their own profiles that I was curious to at least test-drive the service for myself and see what it was all about. And I’m afraid that my worst suspicions were confirmed.

MySpace is, indeed, evil.

There are a number of reasons why I say this. For one thing, customizing site profiles breaks just about every rule for good web page design that there is. The way the site is set up, for instance, margins break all the time. I use a 1024×768 screen resolution on my monitor, and far too often I am forced to sidescroll twice that width in order to view the entire page. This is usually due to the annoying practice that many MySpacers have of pasting images that have no business appearing on a computer screen into the comments. Someone left one such comment on my own profile, and I summarily deleted it. It would be better to completely disallow images in the comments, but I do not see such a thing occurring anytime in the near future.

Apparently, few people have ever been told that it is really bad form to load onto their web pages audio or video files that start automatically. It is not uncommon to surf to a MySpace profile where at least one audio file is playing, and sometimes there are two or three playing on top of each other. Two words – cacophony. Links to files are good; embedded files are bad.

MySpace also gives non-registered users the sense that there is more happening behind the scenes. I was disappointed to find that this is not really the case. Yes, there are image and video galleries that are only accessible to registered users. There is also a pseudo-mail system at work and bulletin boards, but aside from that, there really isn’t a whole lot happening on the backend. What you see on the front page is pretty much all there is. Again, two words – blasé.

My end conclusion is that MySpace is a lot of fluff and nonsense with no real substance. It’s a social profiling site, and in my opinion, that’s a waste of both time and effort. If I really wanted to get to know someone, I would do it in real life, not through a shoddy, poorly designed web page system. Take part in a discussion forum, chat over Xbox Live, meet people in real life, but by all means, whatever you do, avoid MySpace. There are better ways to socialize over the Internet than via this site. ((By the way, I hold the same opinion about similar sites, like Facebook, etc.))

A well-designed MySpace profile _can_ be a good thing and can be very useful if you want to promote something, like a new novel or a band you’re in, etc., but such profiles are a scarcity. The amount of junk and the number of broken profiles that proliferate the system far outweigh any advantages MySpace holds. As such, it’s best left alone.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and the whole thing will cave in on itself. We can hope.

11 thoughts on “MySpace is Evil”

  1. Mark, is there anything different or better about Facebook? Seems to me that Facebook is just about as pointless in its purpose.

    DewKnight, thanks for the link and the comment. I think the best way to take up arms against MySpace is to simply not use it.

  2. Hm. This is very, very interesting to me — because I view many of the social networking sites (heck, even blog sites, ala xanga or, dare I say, your own) as a vessel or a tool… you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Yes, it may be poorly designed — but keep in mind its target audience.

    I’d be very interested to hear your view on Facebook, which is a social networking site, but does not have many of the “features” of myspace (embedded music, broken margins, hyper-customization, etc.).

    I recently deleted my MySpace account, and I would agree with your sentiment on *that specific website,* but I can honestly say that I have been blessed in significant ways by blogsites and social networking sites.

  3. I haven’t used Facebook, though I suppose I _should_ set up an account just to give the thing a test run for a review. Eric, I think you’ve just issued me a challenge. :)

    As for blogsites, like Xanga, I don’t have quite as much against them. I started out blogging on Xanga, after all. But I did tire of how small that community was and how “elite” many of its members are, hence my move to an independent platform. Blogging sites are good, I think, because their primary purpose is to allow folks to write. Sites like MySpace, though, seem rather pointless to me because their primary purpose is to network. I guess I just don’t see much of a point unless, as I’ve stated, you’re trying to promote something, like a book you’ve written, a movie you’ve made, or some other such thing.

  4. in all of these ramblings there is one fact that you have failed to mention….. If you dont like myspace then why do you even bother to go there. Simply put if you dont like whats on the telivision you change the channel you dont complaine about it hoping it will magically change

  5. magus » Honestly, I don’t. I can’t remember the last time I visited a MySpace page. Hell, I don’t even go there to maintain my own page, which I have _only_ because it’s the sole means of communication I have with some of my high school chums. That’s how much I despise MySpace. Now, I touch base with my Facebook profile about once a day, sometimes not even that often. Mostly, I find these social networking sites to be pretty dull and boring. MySpace just has the design scheme from hell, and I hate the way they do things there.

    So, to answer your question, magus, I _don’t_ go there.

  6. Facebook is much better than myspace simply because its not a popularity contest.
    Myspace was made for bands to get the word out and it turned into who can have the hottest pictures, the most friends, and the best layout.
    Facebook is simple.
    there is no coding allowed on wall posts (like comments), you only accept people you know because if their not in your network [aka your school or city]they won’t show up. Its mainly used by college students to keep in touch with friends from high school or other colleges. you can have many photo albums and tag friends easly…and while myspace tryed to mimic that, their process is such a hassle. facebook makes everything convient and easy to access, their is no layout codes so you cant “have the hottest page” and no competitions. to put it easly, myspace is skanky popluarity contest based on vanity and self-obsession, and facebook is a well organized way of keeping in touch with friends.
    myspace vs. facebook?
    Dirty vs. clean.

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