Teaching Students About Myspace
In today’s world, social media has become a significant part of our lives. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram play a considerable role in how we interact with one another, share ideas, and consume information. However, it’s essential to understand the history of social media to appreciate its evolution. This article aims to discuss the groundbreaking platform MySpace which laid the foundation for modern social media as we know it. Educators can use this information to teach their students about MySpace and how it shaped the online landscape.
A Brief History of MySpace
MySpace was created by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson in August 2003. The platform provided users with customizable profiles where they could share photos, updates, and music, and communicate with friends. The unique feature that set MySpace apart was its ability for users to fully personalize their profiles with HTML coding.
MySpace quickly gained popularity, becoming the most visited social networking site globally from 2005 until early 2008 when it was eventually surpassed by Facebook. At its peak in December 2008, it had over 75 million monthly active users.
Why Teach About MySpace?
Educators should encourage students to learn about the history of MySpace for several reasons:
Understanding Social Media Evolution: Before popular platforms like Facebook or Instagram came into existence, platforms like MySpace laid the groundwork for them. Studying MySpace would help students appreciate how social media networks have evolved over time.
Culture Influence: MySpace had a substantial impact on popular culture during its heyday. It played a significant role in promoting music and helped launch many artists’ careers who continue to influence pop culture today, such as Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys.
Nostalgia: For older Millennials and younger Gen X-ers who grew up on MySpace, revisiting its history sparks memories of their teenage years. Teaching students about it provides an opportunity for cross-generational discussions and learning.
The Rise and Fall of a Tech Giant: Examining MySpace’s rise to prominence and subsequent decline serves as a cautionary tale of the dynamic nature of the tech industry, allowing students to learn what made it fall behind competitors like Facebook, offering valuable lessons about online trends and adaptability.
How to Teach Students About MySpace
There are several ways teachers can introduce students to MySpace:
Discussion: Teachers can introduce MySpace through class discussions where they can present the platform’s history, its impact on popular culture, and the significant features that differentiate it from other platforms.
Multimedia Presentations: Utilize multimedia presentations with relevant images, videos, and articles to better illustrate MySpace’s rise, fall, and impact on social media history.
Hands-on Activity: Organize an activity centered on customizing old-style MySpace pages by finding templated HTML codes that somewhat replicate the customization that was available during MySpace’s prime. This exercise will allow students to understand how user experience has evolved since then.
Assignments: Encourage students to research fallen tech giants like MySpace and present their findings on what led to their decline and any ongoing influence they may have today.
Guest Speaker: Invite speakers who had direct involvement with the platform during its heyday or experts in social media history to share anecdotes about their experiences with MySpace.