February 2, 2006 -- Posted at 4:00 p.m. CST
JONESBORO -- More than 40 million people are hooked!
Men and women---young and old are addicted to Myspace.com.
Described as a virtual community, for some, Myspace.com is a web site for meeting and mingling, and for others it's an online diary.
Despite what it's used for--one thing is for sure, it's a cyber playground for all ages.
As you click from page to page on Myspace.com one characteristic they all share is that they are all noticeably different.
Some are filled with lines and lines of the deepest, most intimate thoughts and feelings written for the eyes of a stranger hoping to reach the heart of someone else who feels the same.
Paul Rhoads is a Psychology Professor at Williams Baptist College.
"I have had students tell me, who were very shy, that say I have said things on my blog that I have never said to anyone because no one would have listened....no one would have cared. I know I am throwing them out into the Internet and there may be know one out there listening....probably isn't, but at least I have said it----even if it's I had Cheerios for breakfast," said Rhoads.
It's often referred to as a cyber community with more than 42 million residents.
People share intimate details of their lives, post pictures, and at times use Myspace.com, and web sites like it, as a therapeutic outlet.
"There's something called the stranger on the train theory. It happens in airports or on trains. What happens is you start pouring your heart out to this person and you will never see them again, but it is just this great feeling," said Rhoads.
That feeling aside, why are we, as a society, so interested in the in's and out's of a stranger's life?
"I can compare myself, and we do. We are also fascinated by these things we find a little bit titillating. We think my gosh there's somebody out there that actually has this kind of pet. They let this pig run around in their house and people say I would never do that but.....wow," said Rhoads.
17-year-old Jessie Hurt has a page on Myspace .com, but isn't looking for that "wow" factor.
"You can customize your page, and they have sites for different lay-outs and different ways to make your page look. So you can kinda show your personality through the way you do that," said Hurt.
Jessie is careful about who she adds to her friends network.
She says she does know people using Myspace.com as a diary, but her thoughts, she says, aren't for the eyes and ears of a stranger.
"Though this person isn't my friend, they can read your blog entries and I don't really want 42 million other people knowing what is going on everyday of my life," said Hurt.
Jeramy Pappas is a student at ASU, and another savvy Myspace.com loyal.
"I just think people are interested in what other people do and the way other people live their lives. Maybe it's just a voyeuristic thing people get into and enjoy," said Pappas.
He uses the site as an extension to e-mail or instant messenger. Letting others on Myspace.com know he shares their same interests, but Pappas does agree dangers lurk as the pages change.
"They might not know the dangers of somebody else knowing a full name, even what city you live in. They can track you down," said Pappas.
With reality shows holding steady as favorites in prime time and now, the ability to establish relationships with people anywhere in the world via the Internet----what is the next "big thing" connecting strangers from coast to coast.
"Oh I don't even want to guess that. Instant messaging is part of it. I couldn't predict the next thing, but I didn't see the blogs coming at all," said Rhoads.
The creators of Myspace.com are certainly making it's presence felt becoming the world's seventh most popular English language web site.