I’ve know that I’ve actually lived about 50% of my life (at this point) in the age when there was no public internet. There were no mobile phones. Hell, home computers weren’t even a thing when I was a kid. Infact, ours was one of the first families to have a computer at home and even an internet connection. A black and white monitor, running of DOS (I think). It took quite a while to boot. And even longer to connect to a sporadic internet connection, which hit as often as it missed. And disconnected when some moron called the landline. I played Wolf 3D and Max Payne on those computers. Pacman was one of the coolest things we could play. And Prince.
It often used to give me a jolt when half the people I encounter today wouldn’t even know about what I’m talking about. Well, I am old. Sorta.
Today’s generation is all about Facebook and Farmville and Candy Crush. They were born in the era of great phone connections, and by the time they stepped into teenage, there were mobile phones with internet connections. Anything you want to do at your fingertips.
But today I met a group of people who had no idea of what MySpace was. Remember MySpace? The big daddy of social media. Before there was a Hi5, Orkut and Facebook and all that?
Looking back, MySpace was a cluttered, rough ecosystem of what is today and what is possible. But it established the idea of an internet community before anyone else began to think of it. Perhaps Facebook wouldn’t be Facebook today without Tom’s MySpace.
Actually, on second thoughts, MySpace was perhaps cooler than Facebook is today. It was truly a community for like-minded people. Great music featured on the original ‘pages’. Blogs. A mix of everything. And that little personal touch with Tom sending you a message the moment you created an account. And a little creepiness by friending you. At least, you’d always have Tom as your friend if no one else.
But it is forgotten in the deep dark space of internet. Maybe someday Facebook, Twitter and all these will disappear into the same hole, leaving behind a closer community oriented, more data-rich (if that’s even possible) mine of people in the landscape of internet.