Uses and Effects of MySpace among Christian Teens and Young Adult

Michael S. Jeffress


In 2008, MySpace was one of the worlds top Internet destinations. Behind only Google and Yahoo in Internet traffic in America, it was the most popular social networking site (SNS) with some 300,000 profiles being added daily. Although MySpace would soon be supplanted in the SNS world by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, it still has over 50 million unique users each month and over 300,000 video views monthly. Research performed during the period of its height in popularity is still valuable not only for historical perspective, but also for what it teaches about the habits of SNS users today. This study of the uses and effects of MySpace among Christian teens and young adults (n = 242), computes four composite variables: a Positive Effects Variable (PEV), a Negative Effects Variable (NEV), an Expressing Faith Variable (EFV), and a Friends and Family Variable (FFV), in order to consider interaction effects among various categories such as, age, gender, church attendance frequency, MySpace use experience and frequency, number of MySpace friends, etc. The results provide important insights for those who wish to maintain and promote a group identity through SNS platforms.


MySpace, SNS, Social Networking Site, Computer Mediated Communication, Religion, Group Identity

Full Text:



Albanesius, C. (2009, June 16). “More Americans go to Facebook than Myspace.” Retrieved from,2817,2348822,00.asp

Bagozzi, R. P., Dholakia, U. M., Klein Pearo, L. R. (2007). Antecedents and consequences of online social interactions. Media Psychology 9(1), 77-114.

Bargh, J., & McKenna, K. (2004). The Internet and social life. Annual Review of Psychology, 55(1), 573-90.

Bargh, J., McKenna, K., & Fitzsimons, G. (2002). Can you see the real me? Activation and expression of the “true self” on the Internet. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 33-48.

Bryant, J. A., Sanders-Jackson, A., & Smallwood, A. M. K. (2006). Iming, text messaging, and adolescent social networks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 11(2), 577-92.

Dwyer, C. (2007). Digital relationships in the ‘MySpace’ generation: Results from a qualitative study. Proceedings of the 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

Dwyer, C., Hiltz, S. R., & Passerini, K. (2007). Trust and privacy concern within social networking sites: A comparison of Facebook and MySpace. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems. Retrieved from

Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social capital and college students; use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-68.

Ferguson, A. J. (2005). Fostering e-mail security awareness: The West Point carronade. Educause Quarterly 28(1), 54-57. Retrieved from EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazine/39910.

Gennaro, C., & Dutton, W. (2007, October). Reconfiguring Friendships: Social relationships and the Internet. Information, Communication & Society, 10(5), 591-618.

Gillette, F. (2011, June 22). The rise and inglorious fall of MySpace. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved from

Goodings, L., Locke, A., & Brown, S. (2007). Social networking technology: place and identity in mediated communities. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 17(6), 463-476.

Gordon, Jane. (2006, February 26). MySpace draws a questionable crowd. The New

York Times, pg. 14CN1.

Gross, E., Juvonen, J., & Gable, S. (2002). Internet Use and Well-Being in Adolescence. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 75-90.

Haythornthwaite, C. (2005, June). Social networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication & Society, 8(2), 125-147.

Haythornthwaite, C. (2002). Strong weak and latent ties and the impact of new media. The Information Society, 18(5), 385-401.

Haythornthwaite, C. (2003). Supporting distributed relationships: Social networks of relations and media use in two classes of Internet-based learners.. Electronic Journal of Communication, 13(1), n. p.

Haythornthwaite, C. (2004). The social world(s) of the web. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. 39, 311-46.

Haythornthwaite, C., Kazmer, M. M., Robins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 6(1), n. p.

Howard, P. E. N., Rainie, L., & Jones, S. (2001). Days and nights on the Internet: The impact of a diffusing technology. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 383-404.

Jagatic, T., Johnson, N., Jakobsson, M., & Menczer, F. (2007, October). SOCIAL PHISHING. Communications of the ACM, 50(10), 94-100.

Kavanaugh, A. L., Patterson, S. J. (2001). The Impact of Community Computer Networks on Social Capital and Community Involvement. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 496-509.

Kavanaugh, A. Carroll, J. M., Rosson, M. B., Zin, T. T., & Reese, D. D. (2005).

Community networks: Where offline communities meet online. Journal of Comptuer-Mediated Communication, 10(4), n. p.

Kelsey, C. (2007). Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence. New York: Marlowe & Company.

Kendall, P. (2007). Connected: Christian Parenting in an Age of IM and Myspace. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.

Kendall, L. (2002). Hanging out in the virtual pub: Masculinities and relationships online. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kendall, P. (2007). Rewired: Youth Ministry in an Age of IM and Myspace. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.

Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American Psychologist, 53(9), 1017-31.

Kraut, R., Kiesler, S., Boneva, B., Cummings, J., Helgeson, V., & Crawford, A. (2002). Internet Paradox Revisited. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 49-74.

Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2007a) Social networking websites and teens: An overview. Washington: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from

Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2007b). How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace. Washington: Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Retreived from pdfs/PIP_ Teens_Privacy_SNS_Report_Final.pdf.

Levy, S. (2007a, May 28). Are MySpace users now spacing out? Newsweek, May 28, 2007, pg. 26.

LaRose, R, Eastin, M. S., & Gregg, J. (2001). Reformulating the Internet paradox: social cognitive explanations of Internet use and depression. Journal of Online Behavior, 1(2), n. p. Retrieved from v1n1/paradox.html.

McKenna, K., Green, A., & Gleason, M. (2002, January). Relationship formation on the Internet: What’s the big attraction?. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 9-31.

Morgan, C. & Cotton, S. R. (2003). The relationship between Internet activities and depressive symptoms in a sample of college freshmen. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 6(2), 133-41.

Morrison, K. (2015, January 23). Is MySpace making a comeback? SocialTimes. Retrieved from http:/

Nie, N. H. (2001). Sociability, interpersonal relations & the Internet: Reconciling conflicting findings. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 420-35.

Noguchi, Y. (2006, October 29) In Teens' web world, mySpace Is So Last Year–Social Sites Find Fickle Audience. The Washington Post, p. A1.

Piatt, C., & Piatt, A. (2007). Myspace to sacred space: God for a new generation. St. Louis: Chalice Press.

Rahn, Dave (2006, November). Outreach notebook: Invading Myspace. Group, 33(1), 36-37.

Ridings, C. M., & Gefen D (2004). Virtual community attraction: Why people hang out online. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 10 (1), n. p.

Stone, B. (2007, June 27). MySpace, chasing YouTube, upgrades its offerings. The New York Times, pg. C1. Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database.

Tynes, Brendesha M. (2007). Internet safety gone wild?: Sacrificing the educational and psychosocial benefits of online social environments. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(6), 575-84.

Valkenburg, P. M., & Peter, J. (2007). Online Communication and adolescent well-being: Testing the stimulation versus the displacement hypothesis. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1169-1182.

Valkenburg, P. M., Peter, J., & Schouten, A. (2006). Friend Networking Sites and Their Relationship to Adolescents' Well-Being and Social Self-Esteem. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(5), 584-90.

Wellman, B., Haase, A. Q., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2001). Does the Internet Increase, Decrease, or Supplement Social Capital? Social Networks, Participation, and Community Commitment. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 436-55.

Wellman, B. & Haythornwaite, C. (Eds.). (2002). The Internet in everyday life. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wildermuth, S. M., & Vogl-Bauer, S. (2007). We met on the net: Exploring the perceptions of online romantic relationship participants. Southern Communication Journal, 72(3), 211-27. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Journal of Media Critiques [JMC]