Throwback Thursday: Myspace

Thursday, 15 March 2018

If you've been a reader of any of my many blogs over the years you will know I love a good series. Whether it's countdowns in music or photo diaries, I like consistency. I've decided to start a new series on my blog titled Throwback Thursday. I will be exploring various different throwbacks to take a trip down memory lane with you all and just have a little fun.

The first installment is Myspace. If you are a 90s kid like me, i'm almost certain you had Myspace. For those of you that were born yesterday, Myspace was the place to be. The Tumblr before Tumblr, the Instagram before Instagram. It had a significant influence on music and pop culture, and at one point it was even receiving more visits than Google, It was huge, and it housed a certain type of person.

Here are the top 10 things that made you a true Myspace kid.

01. You took selfies from angles that showed more of your skull than your face, or you'd resort to a mirror selfie in the bathroom with an actual digital camera rather than a phone, most peoples favourite seemed to be the Sony Cybershot. In these photos (that you'd edit on Paint with your username watermarked all over it, shoutout to Jazzlepants) you'd be wearing a plethora of beads, a bow in your hair the size of your entire face, a studded belt, something neon, and skinny jeans so tight you'd just sleep in them for a week to save the embarrassment of trying to get them on and off. Skinny jeans were also called drainpipes. And boys had to wear girls jeans. That was just the rules.

02. Eyeliner. Just pure, thick, black, kohl and liquid eyeliner. Better yet, guyliner. Every fucker had dark circles around their eyes and Billie Joe for their inspiration. No blending, no real craft, just solid black rings around the eyes to show you were an emo and proud.

03. Speaking of emo, you were either emo or scene. You couldn't be both, and you couldn't be neither. 10 years later there is of course absolutely no real difference in the two but back then it was the be all and end all, it clarified which Whore Train you were on and whether Jeffree Star or Kiki Kannibal was your inspiration. If an emo kid dared listen to a band that were deemed scene then that was it, you were out of the gang. And that gang were ready to post Bulletins about you slandering you and demanding you remove the [Crew] out of your name.

04. Bulletins. The original Facebook status. A mini blog, almost. Often including Myspace Quiz's that you pasted from your friends answering questions like "Are you a Virgin?" with "tehe xD". All bulletins had to end on PC4PC (that's picture comment for picture comment, for you n00bs) and should include at least one smiley, usually of the square bracket variety. Not forgetting the "emo heart". Less than three. You less than three'd the shit out of everything. My girls <3 Boyf <3 Being Random <3 Enter Shikari <3 Everything. Must. Have. A. Heart. <3

05. Hair extensions. Specifically the coon-tail kind. You had to backcomb your hair until it reached the ceiling, then clip in poker straight extensions to hang down the side of your face. Clearly, very natural and healthy looking. The longer the better, and the more they looked like road markings the cooler you were. Guys often followed this trend too, or they just had the standard "Myspace Fringe". Fringes were a thing before Bieber made them a thing, and we all could have taken out shares in hairspray. You'd also have piercings. Preferably snakebites or a septum. Or both if you really hated your mum. Your ears were stretched, even if just to a 6mm so you could get one of them spikey plugs in your ear so everyone knew you were alternative and edgy. This usually accompanied an eyebrow slit or a shaved side of the head.

06. Top Friends!! I don't know about you, but I would happily see today's social media platforms introduce a top friends feature. There was some weird sadistic pleasure in ranking your friends in order of importance, and even more so watching the decline of friendships happen right in-front of your eyes as they slowly wormed their way out of the 8. Everyone knew who everyone was shagging based on their number 1, or if you were a true Myspace nerd you'd just keep Tom there for the lolz.

07. You learned all your HTML skills from editing your profile to include blingees and drop-down menus to list all the bands you only really liked one song of. Your Heroes section was a scroll box declaring your love for all of your friends or people you've known on Myspace for 5 minutes. Instead of just messaging them to tell them you loved them, you put in real effort to these profile essays and would change it daily to match who your latest bff was. (My Heroes section was legit a picture of Craig David... Look where I am 13 years later, ha!)

08. You would have had a local music venue that housed your mates band for a fiver entry. Mine was The Standard in Walthamstow (RIP <3). Here you'd really pretend you liked screamo music and scope out the best fringe in the room. When attending these gigs you'd be wearing a kids rucksack and a pair of Converse that you'd scribbled your Myspace URL on the toe-cap. You might even wear odd Converse to be really edgy (don't @ me and my black left and pink right) or just Checkerboard Vans slip-on's if you wanted to convince everyone you arrived on a skateboard. If there wasn't a gig on, you'd end up loitering around Trafalgar Square or "Traff" as it was known to your breed, whilst swigging a 2 litre bottle of Strongbow and covering half your face in any photos taken, so no one could find out how photoshopped your sky-high selfies were.

09. Everyone was bisexual. Even if you weren't interested in the same sex, you said you were. It was trendy, which was a curse for those genuinely confused about their sexuality, but a blessing for those needing to experiment. Your top search on Google was 'emo boys kissing' and the boys in those photos were undoubtedly in your friends list.

10. And finally, your profile song was either From First To Last, Panic! At The Disco, Hadouken, Bullet For My Valentine, You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Underoath, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Alexisonfire, Gym Class Heroes or Death Cab For Cutie, anything else wasn't cool. (Edit: Thank you to Fay for recommending this incredibly nostalgic Myspace playlist!) You wanted to murder those with auto-play on their profile, but would follow your 'thanks for the add' with a 'love your profile song' as long as it was one of these bands. You would in no way be accepted with a Justin Timberlake banger, who actually went on to buy Myspace in 2011 in an attempt to resurrect the site.

Unfortunately Timberlake failed and we all severely missed the lack of Myspace Tom (who is now a photographer and took the feature image for this post, check out his stuff on his Instagram here). The platform is now a graveyard with no skulls and neon in sight. I personally met some of the people I now call my best friends because of Myspace (shoutout to Charlie and Emily!) and i'm pretty sure the name Jazzlepants will haunt me forever.

You are missed, Myspace. Less than three.

Image Source: Tom Anderson.

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