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MySpace and 1984
Millions of teenagers and young adults today share an almost neurotic obsession with an online social network known as MySpace.com. Essentially, it has tapped in to what young people crave on a daily basis: interacting with friends, expressing themselves, and consuming popular culture. “‘This is the new way kids interact,’” says Paul Saffo from the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, California. “‘Fifty years ago they borrowed their parents’ phones or made their own phones out of string and Dixie cups. Today they have their own cellphones, and they have their own computer accounts and Web pages and they have their own blogs.’” Members of MySpace “are able to create highly personalized home pages loaded with message boards, blogs, photos, and streaming music and video.” These elements comprise the social network that allows each of its members to interact with one another when they are connected to the system through the Internet. In fact, the social trend known as MySpace.com possesses several characteristics that closely resemble the Utopian world of Oceania in George Orwell’s futuristic novel 1984.
Orwell was very perceptive in certain aspects of his predictions about the future depicted throughout his novel. Some of his ideas are comparable to what the world is like today in 2007. However, they relate even more aptly to the development of computers and technology, more specifically, to the online social system known as MySpace.com. MySpace is an Internet website where people can meet, interact, and keep in touch. From the moment one logs, one is fully under the watchful eyes of MySpace’s “Big Brother” Tom or other administrators of the site. And while under their supervision, one must follow certain rules and guidelines. Consequences for breaking these rules can be as drastic as getting one’s profile deleted. And if MySpace is looked upon as a system that exists within the greater society, there are different...
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