Being nearly 30 (but still looking about 19, I know, I know) I remember the days when the internet first came out. A time before beauty blogs, a time before Facebook and even a time before smartphones *shudder*. Whilst at work today, I was adding some basic HTML tweeks to a bit of text and my mind wandered back to how I actually learnt this kinda useful skill. And it all boiled down to MySpace. Ah, MySpace.
As mentioned, learning HTML code to make your profile the most scene of them all was a life skill you didn’t even realise was something people did for a real job back then. You just thought it was a cool recreational endeavour to give you a fancy font to write your favourite Taking Back Sunday lyrics in.
You remember adding Oli Sykes and Tila Tequila as a friend and not even registering that one day they may actually be famous in some way. You just wanted to check out the latest angles and sickly couple edits from Oli and SJ, whilst seeing what colour raccoon hair extensions the latest scene girls were sporting. Jeffree Starr, Kate Nash, Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys are all amongst the celebs who originated on MySpace. All those kids who were over on Bebo were just missing out on the next best thing weren’t they?
When ’emo’ transitioned in to ‘scene’ you had to update your profile name to suit. Although mine always remained the same (intergalactic planniTERRI – FYI) there was the quirky refinement of names from users such a Matty Murder who transformed into Matty Macabre, complete with a newer, darker, side parting. Scene was just like Emo, but a bit more edgy you see. I’m sure there was even a Gary Gash who changed in to Gary Gore at some point too. Or maybe I made that up. There was also the standard rivalries between the scene girls who’d never met and lived in different cities, both battled for Matty Murder to ‘own’ their latest profile picture. And if you’re MySpace beau put another girl in their Top 8, shit got real man.
You occasionally used AltErnATe CaPs and felt so edgy you cried in to your latest mix CD.
Taking pictures of yourself didn’t even need a name like selfies do now. The only thing you needed to remember was that if you could perfect the 45degree arm angle of your self portrait, you were on to a winner. If you could work out how to up the contrast to perfectly define your fringe, eyeliner and piercings you were on a clear road to MySpace celebrity status.
When you worked out how to ♥ by your username your life was complete (zomg I didn’t realise putting in the code would actually create a heart either). If you went one step further than HTML shortcuts for hearts and things, you even tweaked your profile itself beyond recognition. Scrolling, flashing phrases, colourful text, GIFs and some of the most scene amongst us even hand wrote their profile, took a picture and uploaded it to the profile space WHERE YOU COULD JUST TYPE YOUR TEXT ALL ALONG.
You will remember when Pete Wentz and his leaked dick pics did the rounds.
And when the guy from Killswitch Engage(?) did a parody of them.
Before blogging and status updates, people used to do these things bulletins where you could do quirky little quizzes about your favourite bands and songs. Groups tried to be a thing, but they just never really worked out in the end.
I miss MySpace. I miss how it was socially acceptable (on the internet) to do all of the above things. How you could add random people you didn’t know just based on the coolness of their profile picture and which song they had auto-playing on their profile (mine was Neutral Milk Hotel//In The Aeroplane Under the Sea FYI) and I really miss how it just wasn’t as creepy as Facebook is. If a random person messages you on Facebook you have to check your doors are locked through fear of stalking, and if someone pokes you… in 2015? Just call the authorities because that shit ain’t on any more.
-What’s your favourite MySpace memory?-