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Ever since the arrival of household computers and the internet, information and communication have become quick and easily accessible. Along with the sudden growth in technology, the internet has become an everyday tool, a tool which allows people to connect with the rest of the world, whether with those close to home or with those on the other side of the world. Some of the many ways one may use the internet are research, email, advertisement, music and, of course, the ever popular social networks such as MySpace and FaceBook. MySpace and FaceBook allow people to communicate with others, rebel against their parents' wishes of them not having a MySpace or FaceBook, and most importantly, allow the users to express their individuality.
On August 15, 2003, intermix media launched MySpace 1.0, and since 2003 has grown to accommodate over two hundred million users, with about 230,000 new users registering every day (A Brief History of MySpace). As the world's largest social networking website, MySpace has rocketed to popularity over the past four years gaining attention from a wide age group of thirteen to thirty year olds, as well as musicians and companies such as Harper Teen and Forefront Record Label. Right behind MySpace is FaceBook, which is the second largest social networking website. FaceBook started in February of 2004 and has grown to include more than fifty-five million active users (Yadav).
Much of MySpace and FaceBook's popularity is due to their simple and effortless methods for mass and private communication, along with the rebellious nature of teens who wish to displease their parents, and the desire for individuality. People are always looking for ways to keep up with others, and teens are drawn into whatever seems to displease their overbearing parents. However important these two factors may seem to play in the spreading popularity of MySpace and FaceBook, it seems that individuality is the main factor. In a day and age where society screams for people to all conform, it seems all the more compelling to go the other way and stand out, be an individual.
MySpace and FaceBook both allow users to customize their page along with adding their own pictures, videos, and songs. It seems as though today people spend more time decorating their MySpace and FaceBook pages than their own rooms. Teens have been known to spend anywhere from a few minutes a day to five or six hours on MySpace, editing their profiles, posting bulletins and pictures, along with listening to music and watching videos. The ability to personalize one's own MySpace or FaceBook profile enables users to present themselves to the world as they would like to be perceived, not robotic or generic. MySpace and FaceBook have developed a new type of computer and internet using generation, a generation that is able to express themselves through a series of HTML codes and fancy backgrounds, and this way to express individuality is what keeps people coming back to social networking sites such as MySpace and FaceBook.
Due to MySpace and FaceBook's unique qualities and ability to accommodate its users' personalities, these social networks will continue to grow. Their popularity is continuously expanding while users continue to express their need individuality. People love expressing themselves, and whether through their art, pictures, videos, songs or crazy and complicated layouts, MySpace and FaceBook have both provided an environment and the tools necessary to allow this type of unique and addicting individuality.