3 Things You Never Knew About Social Media

Sequoia Powell
5 min readAug 26, 2021

Friends! How many of us have them?

Friends! Ones you can stay up to date on. Friends!

Apparently, we all do. Thanks to social media!

However, the real question is, which of your friends is worthy of your Top 8 Friends list?

Now, if you are sitting there like, “Girl, what is a Top Friends list?”, you have come to the right place.

We are going to take a quick trip down social media memory lane. In fact, I have three things you probably never knew about social media.

However, before I get into those, I just want to make sure you know what social media means.

Social media is basically any digital tool that allows users to create and share content with the public.

(Shannon, 2015)

Now that we have that covered, we can get into three things you never knew about social media.

Social Media has been around since the 1970s

Even though it may seem like social media is this new shiny toy that everyone is obsessed with, it’s been around for years.

Believe it or not, the first email was sent in 1971.

(Brafton, 2018)

And, yes, before you start debating with me about whether an email is social media, refer to the definition above.

I mean, did you know that Instagram is over ten years old? Shocking, right?

Well, imagine being around when MySpace was popular — feeling old yet?

If you had asked me ten years ago if social media would be what it is today, I would have definitely told you that there is no way social media would be a platform for brands to hit their target audience, especially when Tom was my number 1 friend.

For those of you who are like, Tom, who? That leads me to my second thing you never knew about social media.

Meet Tom — Everyone’s #1 Friend

I decided to focus on MySpace because, to be honest, it’s one of my favorite social media platforms.

I loved being about to create a custom page, change my background weekly, pick new songs, and of course, carefully select my top 8 friends list.

MySpace gave me the freedom to customize my page and share it with my friends. It was truly a creative outlet.

MySpace was created in August 2003 as a replica of Friendster by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson.

The social media network was a platform where users could message friends, share photos, and play music.

In fact, it was the most visited social media site in the world from 2005 to 2008. Yep, that even included Google, which MySpace often surpassed in the number of visitors during that time.

(Experian, 2006)

Here’s a quick fun fact, everyone’s first friend on MySpace was Tom, hence why he is everyone’s number one friend. Not only did he help your overall friend count, but his friendly face also greeted you daily with loyalty.

(Love, 2018)

In addition, I chose MySpace because I feel like, without it, we wouldn’t have the platforms we love today, like Facebook and Instagram.

With that said, that leads me to my third point. MySpace was the social media platform you never knew you needed.

All Hail MySpace!

Imagine a life without your favorite social media.

No place to post your content.

No platform to watch hilarious videos.

No place to stalk your ex. I am just kidding!

Seriously though, if MySpace didn’t exist, you probably wouldn’t even know what YouTube was.

MySpace played a vital role in the growth of social media and is imperative to digital history. Being the first social media network to reach a global audience, it had a significant influence on technology and pop culture.

MySpace was important to digital history because it set the bar for the social media networks that would follow it.

For example, we can thank MySpace for the fact that our favorite social media platforms are free. It proved that how impactful their platform was without requiring a paid subscription. Instead, social media platforms could focus on making money through advertisements while reaching a wider audience by being free to join.

In addition, MySpace paved the way for creators. The social media network started was one of the first platforms to encourage its users to make MySpace their space by allowing them to customize their pages.

This was huge for digital history because it revealed how important personalization is to consumers. As a result, personalized content has become one of the critical factors in social media today and what typically sets brands apart.

(Maketing Insider Group, 2016)

Now, of course, with the good comes the bad.

Although the Top 8 Friends list was a game-changer, it caused a lot of drama.

I mean, seriously, people we ending lifelong friendships over those spots. Imagine going to school, and your soon-to-be ex-best friend storms over to you, yelling about why she got moved to number three behind your new boyfriend.

Crazy, right? But it was definitely, reality.

Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that MySpace played a vital role in digital history by letting us know that publicly ranking your friends isn’t the way to go.

After the Top 8 Friends list fiasco ended, social media networks quickly made a note to avoid this problem in the future.

Rather than having users publically display their top friends, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram decided to do it discreetly with the Close Friends list.

With all of this in mind, it is clear that MySpace played a vital role in digital history. Luckily for you, no friendships have to be lost because of it.

Happy secretly ranking your friends!