American Class Divisions Through MySpace and Facebook

Danah Boyd has an interesting essay up about viewing American class divisions through the utilization of MySpace and Facebook. Her point is that teens are flocking to MySpace and Facebook, but they’re not the same teens. The more well-off are using Facebook, the less well-off are using MySpace. She posits a few reasons, among them the fact that Facebook started off as ".edu’ college students only, which meant it served that exclusive demographic (and then later, high school students who knew college students). Personal experience and observation backs this point 100%.

Boyd also says that in the military the officers are on Facebook, soldiers on MySpace. Is this true?

Fascinating how class divisions seem to make their way onto the internet….

(hat tip: Stan James)

9 comments on “American Class Divisions Through MySpace and Facebook
  • My friend is an Army Reserve Lieutenant who is on Myspace. I can’t say if that’s normative or not. I would guess that the Lt’s that want to be in touch with their troops would be on Myspace. I don’t know if any of the ranks above captain would be much into social networking, but who can say.

    Do you think there’s a difference between regular armed services and reservists regarding myspace vs. facebook?

  • Now that you bring it up, I’ve noticed a similar division. My friends from college are almost all on Facebook, and my friends from waitressing (many of whom did not go to college) are on MySpace.

    Quite interesting.

  • I find it more interesting how easily one can observe class distinction once it makes its way into social network sites. These are sociological gold mines, _especially_ post-split.

    If you’re not already watching danah’s blog, Ben, you ought to be:

    FWIW, there really are no capital letters in her legal full name.

  • I noticed the same thing. I have both myspace and facebook…..but for some reason facebook is turning more into something along the lines of myspace, they are adding components, music, and letting you modify your profile. I personally like facebook better because it loads faster, the graphics are clean and you don’t have to worry about spam or viruses getting on your machine.

  • I too have noticed a lot of these trends, and have some mixed feelings about the conclusions drawn. However, I did want to point out that among Latin@ friends of mine, many of whom are at top colleges and universities, myspace use is still more common because of Spanish language support. Not to say that they don’t also use facebook, but if you want to stay connected with your community, you need a system that supports your language.

    just my 2cents.

  • Come on Ben. You need to learn the concept of statistical significance. Danah must have had some crappy education because she clearly doesn’t understand how to conduct a real research study. Shame on you for quoting it just like every other blogger.

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