MySpace, YourSpace, Get Outta MyFace
by Richard Wallace

I made a MySpace page a few months back. I had an empty one that I had created some time ago, to help a friend spy on her kid and the nutjob teenagers he hangs around with, but that one didn't have anything on it. No pictures, no music, not even my real name. Just a login because you have to have one to see the pictures of them taking turns on the hookah and whatnot. The new one, that one has my real name in it, a couple of people, and a couple of bands. No pictures or links to other things I do online, but having my real name it got caught in a search of my real name by someone I hung around with in high school and beyond. I'm not sure if this is going to be a good thing or not, we didn't exactly part on bad terms; but there was some ambient animosity amongst the whole crew when we disbanded. One person moved to one state, one to this other one, one moved in with his Granny in the desert, I moved way over here, and one person stayed put, for a while anyway.

You can't hang around in a group for eight years or so without doing some drunken thing to somebody's sister, or insulting somebody's Mom, maybe vomiting in the back seat of their car, it's just unavoidable. The picking up on each other's discarded girlfriends might be iffy, but being the guy she cheated on him with, I think there is a line there. But, I forgave that, or at least stopped stewing over it, once the girl was gone but the bro remained. Forgiveness aside, you accumulate resentments subconsciously, and nothing about the good old days is all that good when you view it through ill memories. The best you can do is try to remember the good times more often than the bad.

So, I made this profile, added the one IRL friend that I made it to keep in contact with, and forgot about it. I wanted to know, if for some wacky reason, a band I like might come near enough by for me to go and see them, so I added the band, and restarted forgetting all about it. That was about the extent of my friend's list, so I never signed into the thing, and the email address it is associated with is a disposable one that I never check. So of course, I sign into MySpace the other day, and imagine my surprise to find an interSpace email thing from someone I didn't know with the subject line "Blank High?" on it. Understand, I mean that it had my high school not the word 'blank', I'm all alcoholic about the anonymity thing, if you think you went to high school with me email me. I check the profile first, and I really don't know this woman, at all, but I recognize immediately a couple of her friends. She has like 7, a MySpace noob like myself, and two of her friends are the sisters of one of my old crew. I'm confused, because she lists her age as being too young to be someone I went to high school with, and I think I would recognize any of those two girls' friends that I knew then anyway, so I have to open the email.

It says:

"I don't have a My Space account myself so I'm using my wife's. Is this the Richard Wallace* that went to Blank High and hung out with Frizzle & Frack? If so this is Frizzle and I live across town from Frack in City, State. Send me a message if this is you. If not sorry to have bothered you.


I wrote back that I was indeed that Richard Wallace, what's going on the last 15 years, and why don't you have a MySpace when your sisters and even your 60-something year old Dad has one, fercryinoutloud? Because, you know, it was a little weird that his Dad has one, although not that weird, considering how creepy his Dad always was. I should hear back soon what's been going on the last decade and a half with those two guys, and I'm a little apprehensive about it. More curious than anything, it's a real interimnet adventure that's for sure. I'll follow up on it if it amounts to anything at all entertaining or sad. My first adventure in MySpace was sad and without resolution, just sad. I'll tell you about it, like to hear it, here it goes.

myspacefttw.jpgAs I wrote a few lines up, I made a throwaway profile for lurking, and I was amazed by some of the things I discovered. Along the way I found that my friend Isabel's teenaged cousin was not shy about posting pics of herself with a vodka bottle and bragging about how often she gets drunk, and the neighbor kid was making up pretty much everything on his profile, but I think that is expected. As you look around, from one profile to another, the other thing that becomes apparent is a lot of white suburban teenaged girls think they are Snoop Dogg or DMX or whoever. They be thuggin' "4 realzz"! It would be a lot more comical if it weren't so tragic. Consider, if a few of them were doing it; ha ha, very funny. Since pretty much all of them have a gangsta rap song playing, (thank you dial-up, I shut them down before they get started), a few slutty mirror pix, and the requisite "Where my niggaz at? Hollla!!"in the comments header, there is a lack of irony that is awe-inspiring at this "place for friends to meet and greet" - or whatever the slogan is. There doesn't seem to be much going on other than tagbacks for each others' photos, and half conversations through the log, interspersed with a few "thanks for the add, you're sexy!1" type comments.

Oh, there are features available to make it much better like the blog and photojournal and .... well, I never looked into it too much, like most MySpacers. Just accumulating friends that you don't know and will never get to know. So, you have 9000 friends, now what? I'm not here to review MySpace dot com, but I will offer some tips for the 2.6 teenagers that might read this: Stop talking about things that you do (or don't do but are lying about to look cool) that you don't want your parents to know about. Your parents know your name, they gave it to you. Create a different profile under a fake name and do all that crap, just tell your 'friends' to only visit with their fake profiles, because these things are all interconnected and as much of a Net savvy edge as you think you have over your parents, they know people like me (and likely some much better) to help them figure these things out. Also, don't add everyone that asks, ask them why first. Why exactly do you think this person wants to be your pal, and what good is it to you to add them? You're all gonna get kidnapped, won't someone think of the children?

I was here in the box the other night, (I'm finally getting to the sad part), and thought of someone I hadn't thought of in many years. Not sure what made me think of her, but I wanted to try and contact her. Anyway, I trundled over to MySpace and tapped in the info: high school, name, years attended, alumni >>> there she wasn't. Huh. Imagine that, a 36 y. o. woman that doesn't have a MySpace. Here is where it gets odd. As I am there looking at all the Melissas that aren't her, it occurs to me to try and find a girlfriend from long ago. I couldn't remember if I ever knew what high school she went to as she was about 7 years older than I when I was 19 and we started dating; so I went with her slightly uncommon first name just to start with. Not good, a lot more than I would have thunk. I flip through the pages and it is obvious that none of these are she. It then epiphs to me to look for her daughter, who was 4 the last time I saw her. She would be 17/18 now, very likely to have a MySp.ace. I guess I thought that her Mom would probably have one too, as some of the parents I know do, for keeping tabs on the kiddies as I mentioned earlier. What I didn't think about was what it would feel like if I were to find her. What it would feel like to find the little girl that used to light up my face, but that I had no contact with after her Mother and I broke up. What it would feel like, to find that little face-lighter-upper that barely acknowledged me the last time I saw her, about a year later. Well, I didn't find that little girl, I found an 18 y. o. girl with favorite songs, favorite movies, a boyfriend, and a notably IRL-based friend list. I was very impressed that she didn't have hundreds of people she'd never met littering the place.

epiphfttw.JPGIf I had human emotions I would have cried. Instead, I stared into her eyes for a bit, trying to think it wasn't her, perhaps thinking that would be better than having found her. Of course, I would have continued looking, compulsively. But it was her, no doubt. (We both like that band, tee hee.) Do I think she (and her Mother) were much better off with whatever life has brought them in the last 14 years without yours truly? Indubitably. Is it still horribly sad to think that maybe you missed out on what your life was supposed to be? Yep.

*Wallace is fake too, can't have the revenuers finding me at FTTW.

Epiph: To have an idea, like an epiphany; only a verb. eh-pif epiphs, epiphed, epiphing.

To suggest itself in thought; come to mind (usually followed by to): An idea epiphed to me. Used instead of occur just because.

Richard was going to post this as a MySpace bulletin, but decided against it.

eXTReMe Tracker