In Tales of the Early InternetMashable explores online life through — back before social media and the smartphone changed everything. A nagging nostalgia, I suppose.
Affection for an internet long gone. A part of my life I hardly remember. A certain bored curiosity that comes with life in quarantine. The internet is a central part of my life now, even more than most. I make a living writing on the internet, about the internet. It fascinates me that Myspace could all but disappear from the daily habits of the perpetually online. What happens when a site that was once ubiquitous — the first stop on the internet for many — falls out of favor in a flash, leaving the bones of our old s behind?
The internet is alive and ever-changing, but this relic meant so much to me, a lates person barreling toward Beyond AIM, Myspace was the center of my generation's online universe at the time. We fretted over our Top 8, stressed over the perfect song, tried and failed to look cool in photos.
You can get a good sense of who I am in via my Twittermy writingmy websiteand countless other places online. I hoped my Myspace could remind me who I was back before iPhones were a thing. But I remembered nothing about my Myspace at the beginning of this journey. Top 8? No way.
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All of my current usernames turned up nothing. A tool my boss suggested turned up nada. I thought my profile was fully gone. Then, in a bit of wild irony I pretty much only use Facebook for its Memories feature these days. T for Tim, my first name and Mar for my last name, Marcin.
It was not a complicated nickname. It hit me! I used Tmar as a username for nearly everything back in the day. From there it was just a guessing game.
Just Tmar? Tmar16 — the of my favorite soccer player — nope. Eventually, I found it: Tmar There it was. There I was.
The profile was undoubtedly me, pictured in a high school soccer game. I look like a freshman? The memories were immediate. I think I played with that guy on a travel team once? Mike something? And then I hit another wall.
I could see that image but nothing else. My profile was restricted. A new issue to solve. I tried to -in.
I now knew Tmar19 was my username, but what was my password? My memory has never been that great and trying to remember a password from roughly a decade ago — yikes. I tried a few different passwords I thought might be what I used back then. No dice. I had no idea what address was connected to my Myspace. Onto the next challenge. After some wrong guesses, the correct address was, duh, [ protected] Sweet! This could be an easy fix. I went to AOL to try to -in and, nope, it was gone.
I got this message that told me the old had been axed due to inactivity. All I could think to do was try every combo that could maybe, possibly be the password to my Myspace.
Where is all my old stuff and what old stuff can be restored from classic myspace
I tried every last thing I could think of over the course of four days. I was rejected time and again.
I gave up for a bit, and then, I ed Myspace, not hoping for much. That same day — that very same day! Sure, we can help, just fill out this form. All I needed was a link and some basic info like my Myspace username, display name, address connected to thebirthday, and zip code connected to the. My long journey — what I thought might be an impossible one— was over. Getting into my Myspace was so easy I felt dumb. After a simple password reset and connecting a different address, I had Myspace again. But my steps were basically this:. Fill out this form My unique link had a ticket for service, so it may help to before filling it out The result, well, was kind of My profile photo was the only picture attached to my .
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Half the links were broken, images were error messages. There were zero old posts. There was no song. There was no special de to my beyond what Myspace auto-generated.
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I clicked through the bar of my profile. Photos, portfolio, and mixes all gave me nothing. The sheer emptiness might be because Myspace lost 12 years worth of user data a few years back. What a letdown. I logged off because it was late, and I had some TV to watch.
All that for just a skeleton of my former self. I revisited Myspace the next day. Sure, I had no real profile left, but some of my connections remained, 69 of them. I poked around. Most of the usernames were jumbled, some pictures were missing, but I could tell who everyone was.
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It was like going back in time. It felt like going through a vault, seeing these people when they were roughly 13 to 16 years old.
Most are now double that age. Our online images are ethereal and fluid; it felt like thumbing skin we all shed. It was a wonderful reminder of an internet that once was, when Myspace attracted more users than Google. I'm so jaded by the internet — which brims with misinformation, harassment, and abuse — that it was nice to wander around a less advanced, but certainly more fun, shell of the internet. It was a reminder of how it could be a joy to be online in the early s. Even now, it was addictive to go to a friend's husk of a Myspacethen click out to someone I just kind-of, sort-of knew.
Reflecting back, I could see how Facebook and Instagram took over the world. It was as if we all collectively understood at some point that the internet is about performance — wait, if other people are stalking s like I stalk s That perspective had yet to fully gel when I first used Myspace, though. I mean, look at this username of an old friend:. So pure.
Julie was her friend, so her username is about how much she loves her. No puns. No three-level-deep, irony-poisoned joke. No thought given to rolls eyes branding. God, those pictures.