The point that stood out most to me was in article by Danah Boyd titled "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online." Boyd examined the differences in who uses which social network, and drew comparisons between their choice and their class.
Boyd looks at both race and economic status when making her point. The section that popped out at me was quite small, but it really got me thinking about myself and why I chose to 'make the switch.'
Craig (17, California): The higher castes of high school moved to Facebook. It was more cultured, and less cheesy. The lower class usually were content to stick to MySpace. Any high school student who has a Facebook will tell you that MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious. Like Peet’s is more cultured than Starbucks, and Jazz is more cultured than bubblegum pop, and like Macs are more cultured than PC’s, Facebook is of a cooler caliber than MySpace.The series of quotes from high schoolers is what made me think. Why did I leave Facebook? And in a way, Craig summed it up for me. Between his thoughts and the thoughts of Melanie, who is quoted just below Craig in the original article, I figure out why I did it. I wanted to get away from what seemed like the "lower class." Facebook was the hot new thing, and it offered this clean slate, something that is the same for everyone, and it is "more like adultness." I was making the transition from high school to college, from this giant pool of people into this more cultured, sophisticated world, and moving to Facebook seemed like the right change to make.
More than anything, education and a sense of sophistication seem to be the deciding factors in who's on Facebook and who's on MySpace. Those who remain on MySpace seem content with what was, and they're not looking for the next best thing. And that could be because they're satisfied with where they are in life. It's a stretch, but after reading this article and seeing what some of these younger kids think, it makes you stop and really question it.
It seemed like the 'big switch' happened when transitioning from high school to college. So I wonder if transitioning from college into the 'real world' will induce another change (possibly to LinkedIn) or the dropping of social networks all together? In the very least, leaving college will change the way we use Facebook.