MySpace and Facebook Compete for Supreme College Social Network By Will Cain Throughout the many stresses of college – school, finances, friends parents, jobs and many more – relaxation time is invaluable, whether it’s catching up on sleep or doing something completely unrelated to school. The favorite thing for most college students is to spend time with their friends and family members. It’s easy to spend time with them when there is time, but technology has given Americans more resources to accomplish all of the things they need to do. MySpace is one of those cultural forces everyone knows about, and if someone doesn’t, that person has been living under a rock for years. Generally liked by adolescents and despised by many adults, MySpace is going strong despite heavy criticism from the older generations. Like it or hate it, it seems to be here to stay. MySpace isn’t the only site of its kind, but it’s the most talked about and known. Sites like MySpace, which are called social-networking sites, are soon becoming the most popular visited sites online, and experts predict they will surpass Google and Yahoo! within a few years. The two most popular social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook. The main difference students come across is that there are no celebrities or bands among Facebook users, and until it was recently changed, only those who have legitimate school e-mail addresses were allowed to join. While MySpace appeals to everyone, Facebook is somewhat more reserved. Facebook is more popular with certain people for a variety of reasons. Facebook, surprisingly, has more privacy than MySpace, although many college users exposed alcohol and drug information that officials have found out. Both have been in the news at some points. MySpacers play it safer online now because they may not truly know who the person who requested to be their friend is. Both sites allow users to block particular users whom they think are threats. Identity is less traceable on MySpace than Facebook, which may explain why no 14-year-old girl has met someone on Facebook and traveled to the Middle East to see him. Amidst the concerns, albeit small, most people tremendously enjoy Facebook and MySpace. Among other reasons, they exist as the supreme way to stay in touch and eliminate boredom. Users are allowed to search for old friends with whom they’ve lost touch, often times catching up with each other. People are also allowed to search for people who have common interests, attend the same school or know the same people, which may lead to possible meetings with people they’ve never met. It also allows people to attain contact with people they’ve met before but have no contact information with. Aside from the numerous positive things about MySpace, it sometimes gets criticism from adolescents for a few reasons. This is best seen in an internet movie parody called “The MySpace Movie.” The introduction begins with a male teen taking crazy pictures of himself in the bathroom, only to have his mom walk in on him. The 15 minute movie really begins with two friends who examine a girl’s MySpace profile. One thinks she’s stunning, while another warns him that she has the “angles,” which means that her photos are of her best features and may be altered too. When the two meet her, it is true that she wasn’t the gorgeous girl he expected. Another scene comically mimics the aftermath of what are known as bulletins. Bulletins are messages of various topics which are posted so that everyone in a user’s network may read them. Although some of them are semi-serious, most are not. In fact, many people find bulletins ridiculous in nature. Examples of bulletins are mainly positive, and in ways, resemble a fortune cookie. It gets ugly when you don’t post the bulletin you just read. You may have bad luck for years, you will never be loved again, or a ghost will kill you in your sleep. No reports of deaths due to MySpace have been documented yet. MySpace is a great instrument for fun and communication, but some argue that there’s a point when one takes it too far. People whose lives revolve around MySpace have been given the name “MySpace Whores.” These are people who spend nearly all of their free time navigating their way through the World Wide Web. They post many, many bulletins, comment many people’s sites frequently, and add people who they don’t know and have very little interest with to be their MySpace friend. Judgment has come to adolescents via MySpace. It is a test of popularity, among other things. A user’s popularity is determined by the number of comments, friends and profile views she has. Profile views remain hidden from other viewers, though. Some users are troubled by others viewing their comments for whatever reason and have hidden or deleted their comments. Both MySpace and Facebook are immensely popular sites and have been bought by corporations for inordinately large sums of money. They have many of the same features but have very subtle differences. Nonetheless, some students can’t settle for one or the other, which is why they have both a Facebook and a MySpace. Before, a Facebook account had to be created with proof of a valid school e-mail address. Since this has changed, Facebook may have a user increase. MySpace hasn’t elicited any worries about its future. MySpace and Facebook will be around for a long time, so we may as well get used to it.