LifeSlices: MySpace

When I grew up, high school was a very trying social experience. Individual identity was always tied to group identity.

“Oh, he’s that guy from the choir.”

“She’s a cheerleader.”

“He’s such a loser.”

“She’s just so popular.”

And so forth.

Getting in with the “right” crowd was the most basic quest of every student back in the early 60s, and this mission has been the basis for countless movies about growing up.

Kids were always labeled by other kids, and I don’t imagine it’s much different today. But there is something very different about today, and it’s found in the social connectivity of MySpace and similar places.

In this space, you’re permitted to define yourself, and I think that has significant ramifications for the future of everybody. That’s because it’s actually possible to drag your online identity with you into the “real” world (IRL), and in that sense, they’ve taken power away from the mob culture. Kids actually have some control over how they’re are seen by others, and that, my friends, is huge!

I would hope this means that young people just might be able to see past the surface and be more tolerant of others. Because if that can happen, tomorrow’s world will be a whole lot better than today’s.

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