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I did it–I left MySpace

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A while ago, I wrote a blog entry about why Facebook is better than MySpace in which I referred to having a page on MySpace as sitting on a barstool in the skankiest singles bar in cyberspace (or something to that effect).

Now that I’ve been using Facebook for more than six months, I’ve really come to appreciate the clean lines, the lack of bizarre ads, the “news feed” feature that shows me what my friends have been up to, the status updates, along with the how the different “apps” that can be added to my profile don’t overwhelm my profile page with unnecessary graphics–and anything that has flash/animation/sound capability has to be clicked on to start. No automatic music playing or waiting for animations to load when viewing someone’s profile.

But the thing I’ve come to appreciate most of all is the level of privacy/security Facebook affords. Here’s the information from the “Privacy” page:

    Privacy Overview
    Facebook wants you to share your information with exactly the people you want to see it. On this page, you’ll find all the controls you need to set who can see your profile and the stuff in it, who can find and contact you on Facebook, and more.

    You are in one network and you can control who can see your profile, contact information, groups, wall, photos, posted items, online status, and status updates.

    You can control who can find you in searches and what appears in your search listing.

    News Feed and Mini-Feed
    You can control what actions show up in your Mini-Feed and your friends’ News Feeds.

    Poke, Message, and Friend Request
    You can select which parts of your profile are visible to people you contact through a poke, message, or friend request.

    You can edit your privacy for applications you have added to your account, applications that you have used on another website, and other applications built on Facebook Platform.

(And I just have to say—I love the fact that whoever wrote this knows how to use commas and apostrophes correctly.)

I mentioned in the other post about some of the creepy e-mails I’d been getting at MySpace. Well, they stopped for a while. But in recent days, I’ve been inundated with them, whether they’re simple text e-mails from users asking me if I’ve ever had my feet licked (reported it to “abuse,” blocked the sender) or saying, “You’re cute, I hope we can meet” (reported it to “abuse,” blocked the sender, set my profile to “private” which supposedly means it’s only available to approved friends). Since setting my profile to private, the number of unwanted messages has actually increased. I’ve gotten messages about debt consolidation, dating services, escort services, over-eighteen-only sites (on MySpace and off), and a few more sexually harrassing e-mails from other users. After receiving three spam messages today and never hearing anything back from customer service on my previous complaints, I finally had enough. I cancelled my MySpace account.

I already feel safer. I feel cleansed. I feel like my couple of friends who contacted me only through MySpace will have to figure out how to e-mail me through my regular e-mail account . . . or get a Facebook account and contact me there (at least one already has).

I originally set up a MySpace account because it was supposed to be the best place for not just social networking, but marketing myself as a writer—to start building a readership base before getting published. But you know what? My blog does that. Because I write so much about common writing-related topics, I get tons of hits from websearch sites that lead to several page views per visit. And they don’t leave me comments asking me if I’ve ever had my feet licked. Or if they did, I’d catch them before they would even be posted, as until I approve someone to be able to post comments, I have the opportunity to moderate any comments coming through.

On Facebook, not only have I had the opportunity to network with and keep up with what’s going on with a couple dozen other writers, but I’ve connected with members of my family I’d never really had the chance to get to know well before, separated as we are by age and distance.

MySpace can have their skanky singles bar. I’d much rather go hang out in the safe coffee house that is Facebook.

  1. Wednesday, July 18, 2007 11:29 am

    I’d love to switch completely over to Facebook but most of my friends aren’t on it. 😛 Boo! Anyways…I get like next to no spam on MySpace…my profile is set to private too. The spammers must cycle through lists of users or something. IRRITATING!!
    I need to take another look at my privacy settings on Facebook…I’m not sure I have them set to take advantage of maximizing their potential…if that makes sense.


  2. Wednesday, July 18, 2007 3:50 pm

    Good for you, Kaye! I hate that kind of e-mail.


  3. Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:54 pm

    I love facebook…I just wish I was more diligent in checking it each day.

    I’m glad you left MySpace…you’re too nice to hang out in a skanky singles bar. 😀


  4. Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:18 pm

    Those are the some of the reasons that I’ve never done the whole MySpace thing, even though most of my friends have. I HATE music on webpages that playes automatically, flashing graphics and things of that nature. There are author sites I won’t visit because of music and flashy graphics that make my vertigo act up.

    Long live Facebook!!!


  5. Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:56 am

    I love Facebook too, but like Erica, I don’t use it enough. There are so many neat applications I haven’t even checked out. Love the skanky bar/coffee house analogy. Do you have a ShoutLife?


  6. Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:18 pm

    That’s why I’ve resisted MySpace, and am completely resisting the notion of my preteen son having a page, although he’s getting pressure from friends and even family.

    I recall hearing about a similar site solely for writers but I can’t remember the name of the site (and Google isn’t helping me right now). If I think of it, I’ll let you know.


  7. Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:11 pm

    Patricia, that would be ShoutLife that Georgiana mentioned.

    I don’t have anything there yet. Building up something like that is one thing I don’t have time for right now. I’m about to start sacrificing some of my writing time (not that I’m making much right now) on the alter of changing jobs. A worthy sacrifice though, the switch will leave me with more physical and emotional energy TO sit down and write. It’s really hard to write fiction when you can barely string a coherent sentence together in normal conversation.


  8. Caleb Abel permalink
    Friday, July 20, 2007 12:23 am

    Nicely put. I still technically HAVE a MySpace, but I hate the site so I almost never check it. They really give you TOO much freedom. I find that most peoples’ sites are entirely to cluttered, noisy, and obnoxious.

    Facebook is great.


  9. Friday, July 20, 2007 1:07 am

    I looked at ShoutLife–set up a username/login, but I think for the timebeing, I’m just going to stick with Facebook. I already spend too much time diddling around there—definitely don’t need to add another one!


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