Mike Brown: MySpace!
For this month’s installment my editor suggested that I write about a website called MySpace, which is perfect because I never had one. When MySpace was becoming a thing, the concept of online friends seemed really stupid to me. Honestly it still does, despite the amount of screen time I waste on the good ol’ FB, Insta and occasionally Snapchat. I don’t have a TikTok—I just don’t have the energy for another echo chamber.
The reasons I didn’t fuck with MySpace in the mid-2000s when it dropped were pretty simple. I worked full time in a snowboard shop and held out on getting a cell phone when the Motorola Razr was the hot shit. The idea of my boss or girlfriend knowing where I was all the time and what shenanigans I was up to seemed terrible. So I stayed offline in all capacities. I was either at work, at home, at the skatepark or at the bar. If you wanted to find me, you could. Nowadays, if I don’t post something every 12 hours, people want to do a welfare check on me.
Since I missed MySpace the first time around, I started one for this article for half-assed research purposes, and it’s a pretty boring corner of the internet. I think Justin Timberlake bought it from Rupert Murdoch or some shit like that. And seeing how many people are hating on Mark Zuckerberg these days—but still use his platform religiously, might I add—I don’t know why you would buy a defunct social media website. But hey, Timberlake could be shitting gold bars as we speak. If you want to be in my top eight on the MySpace, my username is @mgb90210.
Lets rewind back to 2005 when I was managing the snowboard shop. At 26, I was the elder scholar of scumbaggery among lazy 18-year-old employees. All those kids had MySpace. At the time, SLUG had me in charge of covering skateboard content. The editorial staff was either much more lax or much more lazy those days because they let me cover the skate content however the fuck I wanted to. I made up some imaginary skaters named Zach and Brodie Hammers, who were the best skateboarders in the world and lived right here in SLC. I conceived them to be notorious shit-talkers.
“Since I missed MySpace the first time around, I started one for this article for half-assed research purposes, and it’s a pretty boring corner of the internet.”
There was a large amount of activity among the local skaters at the time on the good ol’ MySpace. Guys were talking shit on each other left and right. It was good source of gossip for my skate columns. Since I was still holding out on the idea of digital friends, I employed my buddy Kordel (who worked at the shop, skateboarded and MySpaced a bunch) to start a MySpace page for Zach and Brodie Hammers with the sole intent of talking shit, spreading misinformation and having my imaginary friends take the heat instead of me.
It actually worked. Several younger skaters initially came to believe that Zach and Brodie Hammers were real and were left questioning why they weren’t at the SLUG Summer Of Death skate contest. I produced these contests at the time so I told the kids that they weren’t there because it was an amateur event, and it clearly wouldn’t be fair if Zach and Brodie showed up and entered—they would have easily won.
Other than that, I still think that the idea of digital friends is stupid. The concept of MySpace is basically the same as Facebook and MySpace predecessor, Friendster. Real O.G. keyboard warriors know what Friendster was.
I do, however, wonder what happened to MySpace Tom, the weird guy with the poor posture who was the first digital friend of many a millennial? Is he dead? Is he in prison for cyber-crimes? Is he secretly Mark Zuckerberg? I won’t lose sleep over it. I have to go back to my echo chamber now and get my weekly digital self-esteem dose by counting my likes.