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Intro: Myspace is one of the hottest and most talked about social  computing websites.  It is an online community that allows the user to not only keep in touch with old friends from around the globe but also gives them the "opportunity" to make new ones.  Members have the ability to include photos and video as well as music and personal blogs that can either be kept secret by using the "private" option or they can be shared with the public by using the "public" setting.  Myspace also gives individuals much more options such as  setting their entire profile to private so that only individuals on their friends list can view their page.  In addition people can send instant messages back and forth and allow their friends to see when they are online (example is "online now" link just beneath profile # 1) and they can also post bulletins, share their birthdates,  block other users,  and require approval before posting any comments that friends have left on their page.  In other words, Myspace gives the user total control over how their space is presented and utilized.  It seems like a great thing...but how many people are serious about making a real friend when they add you?  It appears to me that Myspace has become a place where many people come to "celebratize" themselves and that this particular social computing website has helped to reinvent the meaning of the word "friend."  People have fallen into the habit of collecting friends because they are attractive, party-animals, or unusual rather than really trying to make connections.  It has become a place where people are more interested in popularity---even at the risk of being perceived as shallow.  For some, it doesnt matter...what matters are the numbers and whether they are increasing or not. People have adopted the, "look how many cool, unique, and attractive friends I have" mentality.  This has bothered me for quite some time which is why I have decided to challenge it.





Ryneezy

online now image grab

Premise: I came up with an idea to challenge the myspace community  by creating two seperate profiles with two very opposite personalities.  The objective is to gauge which type of person the myspace users are more attracted to. This will become evident  by how many people try to add  each  one. I am very positive that the majority of people that take the bait will choose the first profile I created under the psuedo-name Ryneezy (you can view  this profile by clicking on link titled "online now" just below image)  The reason being is that he is very typical of many myspace users---concerned about image with very little to say about himself except for the fact that he likes to party hard.  He isnt serioulsy interested in making connections...everything is very impulsive and short-lived with him.  On the other hand, Mr. Everything Happens For A Reason, is a character that I created that is genuinely concerned with making connections, humanity, brotherhood, acceptance and so on.  He is a person that vies to make the world a better place and is interested in meeting like-minded individuals.  I predict that less members will be drawn to him only because he is someone that appears to take things more seriously and actually has something to say.  Anyone that is looking to increase their friend count wouldnt add him soley because he doesnt appear to be someone that would fall for it.  In any case I would also like to exemplify that  these online communites are very unsafe.  If anyone adds either of these personalities it just goes to show that people are accepting what I have to say as being true---which is false in both cases.  In the realm of social computing sites we learn to trust in images and words and that may not necessarily be a good thing.  It really begs the question, "How effective and trustworthy are they?" and "Are they the best way to meet REAL people?"



Progress: As of November 1, 2007 I have recieved only 6 profile views for Mr. Everything Happens For A Reason and absolutely no friend requests (this page can be viewed by clicking on link below picture)  As I predicted however, Ryneezy has been a tad more successful with a total of 36 views and 2 friend requests thus far.  He even recieved a comment from a new friend (check it out by  viewing that  profile).


Results: I am actually quite dumbfounded that not as many people fell for this as I had anticipated.  One reason for this could be that the profiles simply weren't up long enough to be noticed.  On the other hand, people may just be changing their standards and be more selective in choosing who they would like as a friend.  Who knows? Maybe people are more concerned about making connections these days.  I would like to believe so.     








Mr. Everything Happens For A Reason

online now image grab


                       
                         myspace.com image link