MyVice: Why Myspace Lost It's Cool

Words: Louise Doherty
Sunday 01 April 2007
reading time: min, words

"I’m going to delete my profile right now, start living in the real world and put all this MySpace stuff behind me"


It seems that these days the only thing you really need to be famous is an addiction. With Britney checking in and out of rehab virtually every other day, and our very own Robbie admitted for ‘addiction to prescription drugs’ (recreational varieties are so passé, don’t you know), an addiction is apparently the new must-have celebrity accessory. So presumably, anyone with a penchant for falling out of clubs in the wee hours and a weak mental disposition has a shot at the fame and fortune that comes with celebrity. Which is good, because I have an addiction too. That’s right, my name is Louise Doherty, and I’m addicted to MySpace.

It might not be as rock and roll as Pete Doherty’s well-documented heroin issues, or as wild-child as Amy Winehouse’s (alleged) coke habit, but I’ll have you know MySpace is worse than crack. I’m not the only one either - the internet is full of sites warning that MySpace can take over your life and ruin friendships, which I already knew, but I don’t think I can give it up. I’m not even sure I want to. See, unfortunately MySpace is far too useful.

Everyone knows the rags-to-riches story of the Arctic Monkeys, but it’s invaluable for normal people too. Need to know what your mates got up to that night you had to work? Met a hot guy out when drunk and can’t remember what he looks like? Burning desire to see who your ex is dating now? MySpace can help you. It’s the all-seeing, all-knowing social oracle, akin to a modern day God for today’s atheist  masses.

But MySpace asks much more than your average deity. Most religious figures only ask that you devote a few minutes a day to them, and perhaps the occasional Sunday morning, but MySpace demands that you get up early to worship before breakfast. It then eats at you all day, making you feel so guilty you have to check your messages at least 518 times at work.
But the sign of a truly devoted MySpacee is the way they preach to the uninitiated: “Have you got a MySpace? Oh you really should! It’s amazing, everyone’s on it…” I’ve even said on nights out “I can’t wait to check MySpace tomorrow! The pictures are gonna be so funny.” Whilst it is a good way of catching up on all the goings on you were too pissed to notice at the time, it does worry me slightly that my private vice is spilling into real life.
As with any addictive substance, there’s a fine line between use and abuse. I might be in denial, but a bit of virtual stalking never hurt anyone. It’s purely for information purposes, and it helps when I see people I haven’t seen in a while because I can sound like I remember what they’ve been up to recently. It makes me a better person. But the MySpace casualties aren’t hard to find.
A friend of mine decided to go cold turkey after receiving two disciplinaries for his MySpace antics during work hours. Before that he would choose to sit in front of his computer all night reorganising his ‘top friends’ and changing his profile picture,
whilst we were at the pub laughing at him. But now alarm bells are going off in my head it’s not quite so funny anymore. Especially since my friend was back online less than a week after deleting his profile. I fear that it’s a one way road from here on in.

I’ll start lying about how often I log on (one of the first signs of spiralling addictions). I’ll begin to dream about MySpace conversations, waking up in a fevered sweat because I haven’t replied to a comment. Then I’ll start spending all day at work trying to determine if I really do know the person who just added me as a friend, leaving my boss no choice but to sack me. I’ll start sitting in front of my computer for 19 hours a day, stopping only to sleep and pay the takeaway man. I’ll stop washing and changing my clothes, spending my days mindlessly, deliriously browsing people in my area until I get RSI or bed sores or scabies. Oh my God, I need help!
I’m going to delete my profile right now, start living in the real world and put all this MySpace stuff behind me. Get out whilst I still can. But then again, if I can’t quit smoking where there’s an imminent threat to my life, what chance have I got of beating the subversive, evil forces of MySpace? I might as well just resign myself to the inevitable downward spiral. On the plus side, maybe I could end up in rehab as the first casualty of MySpace, which would mean I could sell my exclusive story to Heat and build a tabloid career off the back of it. Every cloud…

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.