In Which MySpace Turns Me Into Woody Allen

August 15th, 2006 by Alex

I’ve been accused, several times, of having a MySpace obsession. For the record, it’s not true. But at least I used to have plausible deniability - after all, I don’t even have a profile on the damn thing. Or at least, I didn’t. See, I caved last night.

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It’s not like I had a crisis of conscience or anything; it’s just that setting up a profile on MySpace isn’t as simple as it appears. There are a lot of factors that come into play: screw up any one of them, I’m convinced, and no one will ever like you again.

The background, for instance. Like, is it acceptable just to have the plain default profile? Will its plainness and simplicity merely point up the emptiness of my profile, the paucity of content and friends in this early stage, and mark me as a man whose life is as empty and meaningless as his plain white profile? Should I use a profile editor? Or will that make me look like I’m still in high school?

And the interests section. Should I list my real interests or be cooly sarcastic and ironic? If I decide that being ironic will just make me look bitter and unfun and list my real interests, will people think I’m a dork for liking the Jackson 5 and hopelessly unoriginal for enjoying The Shawshank Redemption? Will I, as a consequence, remain a virgin forever?

But all these concerns pale in comparison to the harrowing process of adding my friends. “But Alex!” you say. (I have good hearing.) “It’s so simple - you just find your friends and add them!” Oh, you naive fool: would that it were so easy.

See, it’s all about establishing the proper order. Certain people can only be added at certain times. You’ve got to get a first tier, a base from which to add certain other people. Like, say I wanted to add an old friend of mine; let’s call her “X.” X and I used to be decently close, but we’re in different cities and we haven’t seen or spoken to each other in a few years. It’s MySpace, so it’s totally fine to add her (at least, I think it’s totally fine to add her) but is it really acceptable to add her as my fourth or fifth friend? Isn’t the message I’m sending, “Hey, X, I know we haven’t spoken in five years, but I really couldn’t think of five friends I needed to add before you?” I think it is, and I don’t know if my ego can handle that. Ditto acquaintances, for whom I worry that the message would be the same. So the trick is to find the people - my best friends, and then at least my longtime friends - who know me well enough to know that no one really likes me all that much anyway.

After that, it’s about padding that first tier with people who won’t judge me; JahFurry, for instance, seems rather forgiving, and Larry knows I haven’t had a profile until now. They probably won’t think I’m a loser for having few friends. (Guys? Please?) Once I’m at, I dunno, 40 or so, I think I can move on to the second tier with a minimum of worry.

And don’t even get me started on that whole “Top 8″ thing. Jesus, is there anything more nervewracking than ranking your friends, loved ones and employers for the world to see?

I need a drink.

Oh, and if you didn’t get the headline - it’s because being on MySpace has made me a neurotic Jew. (See, see, I can make allusions. I’m smart! Love me! Oh, why won’t you love me? And after you love me, for God’s sake, please add me.)