Social Media Throwback
Social media has grown up a lot in the past 10 years. From Myspace to Instagram and all of the adventures in between, if you were blessed to be a teenager at the beginning of social media, then you’ve known a lot of different ways to connect with friends and build your online persona. We’ve rounded up our favorite pieces of social media nostalgia. Do you remember them all?
Myspace was once the holy grail of social media. Tom was your first friend, and no one really knew who he was. But he was there for you. Myspace provided us with an introduction to social media and maybe even an introduction to coding if you had to learn HEX codes to change your background color. We will never forget what it brought us. And may it rest in internet peace.
Your Top 8
Myspace was famous for its Top 8 friend slots. This was your elite, the best of your best friends (and probably a crush or two). If you and your bestie were fighting, they were removed. That was their hint that you were mad. It was the pettiest of petty. But if you were in anyone’s number 1 spot, you felt pretty special. It was a coveted space in early Internet land. And it provided plenty of drama for pre-teen squads.
Later in the Myspace era, you were allowed to include music on your page. While it may be disputed, I firmly believe this was when the invention of the Hipster came to fruition. Who could find the most obscure band out there and put them on their page? Plenty of Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday tunes filled our friends’ pages. But who remembers bands like Matchbook Romance and The Spill Canvas? It was your chance to showcase all of the feelings you had about Jerry (who sat three rows in front of you in Spanish class) without him ever truly realizing your angst (or your existence).
If you didn’t learn the basics of coding on Myspace, then I’m not sure where exactly you picked it up. As soon as Myspace allowed for the customization of pages, every middle schooler known to man was teaching themselves how to code. Looking back, this was actually a really clever educational tool from the Internet Gods. We learned how to html code an entire webpage, y’all, at the age of 11. If anything good ever came from early social media, this was it. Kids these days will never understand the options you had for your Myspace layout, and how it was pertinent to code it better than any of your friends, especially your Top 8. Looking at you, Bethany Marshall with your fancy pink glitter background.
Before Tumblr and WordPress, there was Livejournal. Minimalist, yet full of possibility. If you got mad at your mom? You Livejournaled it. In a tiff with your BFF, Jill? Livejournal it, so she can passive-aggressively respond. Found a quiz online that you want your crush to see when you answer “Who Do You Like?” with a sly “idk”? Livejournal was there for you. It was a no-frills way to get your feelings out in the world. And during the emo phase where we all had The Used on repeat, you needed a way to vent.
AIM was our first journey into an instant messaging service, and wow did it not disappoint. From our first interactions with emojis to our ability to craft the perfect away message, it really paved the way for our online communications. Coming from someone whose screen name was BooBoo4103 (yes, really) and who got grounded because she was a little too honest about where she was going on an Away Message, I can attest to the pertinent knowledge that a service like AIM bestowed on us. How else would we have stayed in contact with our friends 24/7 unless we had a Buddy List to put them on? Where else would we have learned about chat rooms before the era of “How to Catch a Predator”? This was before the age of texting, people. We needed to have a way to communicate, and AIM helped fill that void.
Since Facebook is still so relevant in today’s social media world, it’s easy to forget all the changes that have been made. From having a wall instead of a timeline to being able to poke someone, there have been plenty of things that have come and gone on the platform. The most obvious is that the platform is now open to everyone instead of just college students.
But what about the not so obvious things? Do you remember when Facebook statuses were worded more like tweets? We all spoke in the present tense instead of just updating like normal people. And what about Notes? You could write an entire blog on Facebook if you wanted to. But mostly, we all used them for the questionnaires that said our mom would perish if we didn’t complete them and pass them along. What about bumper stickers and flair? You remember scouring for hours to find the perfect one to send to friends?
Social is an ever-evolving tool that seems to reflect what it’s users want to see even if that’s turned into a really creepy “are you spying on me?” type way. Regardless, it’s always fun to look back in the magical Eight Ball and ask, “Will Myspace ever make a real come back?” To which we are pretty certain the answer would be, “Not a chance.”