Blogs » Pop Goes the Culture » Myspace: The poor man's Facebook?

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Just when we think we're finally making strides against things like racism, class war and elitism in this world, some media critic has to go and muck it all up.

The newest issue that's busy stirring up the pot? Is Myspace the ghetto of the World Wide Web with Facebook sitting pretty over by the virtual country club?

In an interview with BusinessWeek, media critic Michael Wolff was quoted as saying "...if you’re on MySpace now, you’re a [expletive] cretin. And you’re not only a [expletive] cretin, but you’re poor. Nobody who has beyond an 8th grade level of education is on MySpace. It is for backwards people."

Over at CNET, staff writer Caroline McCarthy picked up on the story and made a good point. Myspace started out as a place for independent music fans to gather whereas Facebook started as a directory for students of the Ivy Leagues. Not to mention, on Myspace you can be "SexyKitten1414" whereas on Facebook, you have to use your real name. Those initial differences could account for the kind of people attracted to each site.

On YPulse.com, the site takes the conversation further by linking to a 2007 blog essay by Danah Boyd about American class divisions viewed through the two social networking sites:

"Hegemonic American teens (i.e. middle/upper class, college bound teens from upwards mobile or well off families) are all on or switching to Facebook. Marginalized teens, teens from poorer or less educated backgrounds, subculturally-identified teens, and other non-hegemonic teens continue to be drawn to MySpace."

Now, I happen to have profiles on both sites (I'm a junkie...what can I say?). And I must admit that a difference in who was on what site never occurred to me. About half of my friends are on one and the other half are on the other. And as far as I can tell, there's no one identifying characteristic of either group of friends, it just seems to be more of preference thing.

So is there a class division going on with Myspace and Facebook? Are all Myspacers uneducated poor cretins and Facebookers all elite college snobs? Or is it simply some media hounds stirring up the pot because it's been a slow week (when oh when will Lindsay finally fall off the wagon?).

Any thoughts?