Social Distortion: Killing Tom Softly With MySpace's Song

Oh, 2006. Long lost 2006. The Golden Age of MySpace.

Remember MySpace?

That social networking site you logged into obsessively before the advent of Facebook and after Friendster's demise? Where Microsoft Paint made a fourth-quarter comeback in the image editing (and annotating) arena? Where bloody-souled emo ingrates and their bathroom mirror reflection shots laid the foundation for the hipster indifference movement? Where choosing a perfect page background was the biggest decision you made all day? Where you de-friended those who didn't put you in their Top 8? Where the heinous added glittering, seizure-inducing Flash graphics such as "2 Hot 2 Handle!" and "I'm Not a Bitch, I Just Know What I Like"? Where, when berating a photo for having "the angles," everyone knew you weren't talking about geometry? Where you received at least five bulletin posts daily claiming you'd sprout snakes from your bellybutton if you didn't repost them? Where the English language officially went to hell, with wall posts such as, "sOoOoOo fUk uRseLF LOL i LuV u NE wAyZ bEoTcH!!!"?

Ah yes. Now you remember MySpace.

Well, if you hadn't noticed, it ain't 2006 no more (you can toss that free Lillian Vernon calendar now). And like all things older than a second on the Internet, MySpace's shit got stale. Editing HTML in a 10x10 pixel box became irritating, the ad space creep mimicked the behavior of the main characters in Arachnophobia, and the emo kids went to college to get their black hearts trampled upon, instead of listening to Dashboard Confessional whine about it.

As popular demand shrunk to the size of your high school beau's appendage, MySpace slashed 30% of its U.S. staff, then pulled the rug out from under 2/3 of its international entourage. Ouchies.

But these workforce reductions didn't apply to Tom Anderson, MySpace co-founder and everybody's BFF. Kinda. While MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe got the firing squad, your default friend Tom only got a knife to the back. Sorta. As long as you don't deem being told to never show your face at the office again the Stab Heard 'Round the World, that is. To the tune of $500,000 for the next two years, mind you.

Ultimately, it must be a heartbreaking loss, considering he and DeWolfe sold their souls to News Corp devil Rupert Murdoch for a pretty penny only four years ago. And it's probably a jagged little pill to swallow, seeing that the MySpace siren is pretty much a-singin' her death song right about now.

It's sad, really. Tom, once a maven of the social networking sphere, now merely a techie scorned! It's so difficult to imagine how Tom will support his plain white t-shirt, burrito, and Fritos addictions and still make ends meet on such a paltry salary. Brings a tear to the eye. Maybe even two tears. And a sniffle.

Tom's position isn't enviable, that's for sure. His placement in an elite, three-letter name class - like Eve, Ken, ALF, God - makes him destined for greatness fraught with struggle. Somehow, some way, Tom, the newly crowned ambassador to the Beginning of the End, will venture forward with Godspeed. Until the only path to follow is the one leading back to Facebook.

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Fayza Elmostehi
Contact: Fayza Elmostehi