Ramblings & ephemera

MySpace/Facebook history & sociology

From danah boyd’s “Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?” at the Microsoft Research Tech Fest, Redmond, Washington (danah: 26 February 2009):

Facebook had launched as a Harvard-only site before expanding to other elite institutions before expanding to other 4-year-colleges before expanding to 2-year colleges. It captured the mindshare of college students everywhere. It wasn’t until 2005 that they opened the doors to some companies and high schools. And only in 2006, did they open to all.

Facebook was narrated as the “safe” alternative and, in the 2006-2007 school year, a split amongst American teens occurred. Those college-bound kids from wealthier or upwardly mobile backgrounds flocked to Facebook while teens from urban or less economically privileged backgrounds rejected the transition and opted to stay with MySpace while simultaneously rejecting the fears brought on by American media. Many kids were caught in the middle and opted to use both, but the division that occurred resembles the same “jocks and burnouts” narrative that shaped American schools in the 1980s.

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