MySpace Abstinence

Perhaps you've seen those "MySpace Ruined My Life" t-shirts posted around? Or, alternatively "I'm getting stalked on MySpace" or "I stalk you on MySpace" tees? They all illicit a little giggle from users because addiction is kinda funny, my friends--until someone pokes their eye out.

Now, I'm not really a big MySpace fan. It's an easy way to keep in touch with far-flung friends with volatile email addresses---you know, the kind who tend to drop their cell phones into mudpuddles while travelling by goat-drawn cart from Kerala to Andhra Pradesh. Most of my friends on MySpace spend more time on it than me--they message more, collect more friends, join the MySpace groups, and even blog with daily updates--sharing pictures, videos, music. It's a great pre-packaged venue for creativity. Aside from not really wanting to enrich Mr. Murdoch, I think the interface is mired in late 90s webdesign and find it creates a virtual "new friend making" ambiance equivalent to a dive bar (not even the ironic, good kind).

But, more than any of these pet-peeves, I hate how it wastes my time. When everyone's working and I'm feeling just a tad social, I "end up" there. It's not satisfying. Even if you receive a message or a friend posted a comment on your board, ultimately it's just a bunch of static pages with some music scrolling in the background. The content, page after page, is just tid-bits of actual friends---and most or crucial members of your ring of friends probably aren't there. Yet, I go, again and again.

That my friends and MySpace friends, is called addiction.

The number of MySpace users is about 80 million (
Financial Times, 2006) and its monthly pageviews near 7.8 billion (Intermix SEC Filing, via Iseff). Last Sunday I decided to be one less.

I'm on a MySpace abstinence for one week. Now, you might say one week isn't that long. If you use MySpace, you know, it's like crack (or cheetos)---unnourishing, self-perpetuating. I am reclaiming what it's carved out of the down-time in my schedule. Already, I want to open it up and see what's new. I was Googling yesterday, where MySpace content is included among search results, and accidentally almost opened a page---my page no less.

"The Withdrawal"
What I've squeezed from my irredentist temporal struggle: a third through a new book by Kevin Mitnick, I'm apparently posting again (hurrah), my stuff is neater, I cured cancer and eh, I've been more productive. So there, this MySpace abstinence
is going to pay-off, I swear, or I'll have nothing but a week's worth of missing updates and marginal shifts in backgrounds to show for it---and I can't let that happen.

Without a hint of overdramatization, let us remember...

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. -- Abraham Lincoln