How much can you really tell about a person from a Myspace profile?

A friend of mine has just started dating a new woman. Since we don’t live near each other, he referred me to her Myspace page to see what she was like.

I’m afraid that I suspect that she’s kind of annoying and not too bright. First of all, she has a tooth-grindingly grating emo-rock radio song playing on her page. I freakin’ hate it when people have inane songs blasting on their pages. There’s also an overpoweringly fancy background scheme which is advertising that she owns a TransAm.

The next bothersome part was, she is in school to be an elementary school teacher, but she has multiple misspellings on her page (“hikeing,” “women” instead of “woman,” “ill” instead of “I’ll” and no correct use of apostrophes anywhere, scattershot capitalization, grammatical errors, stuff like that; it reads like it was written by a 15 year old). Is this just par for the course on Myspace or is it indicative of how she writes/spells IRL? As a teacher, I find that depressing and a little infuriating. She also has about 5 uses of “lol” on her page, which is the hallmark of a moron IME.

Tons of pictures of her, mostly the ones where you took a picture of yourself with your cell phone. About 20 of them. She was obviously trying to attract dudes with her profile, from the cutesy/pseudo-sexiness of some of them. I hate to say she’s also not all that cute, either. Some of her pictures, I wonder why she posted them, because they are not flattering at all.

So my friend wanted me to check out his new GF, all happy, and sadly now I have a negative impression of her. Am I likely to be way off base about her? How accurately do Myspace (or Facebook or whatever) profiles correlate with the personality of the person IRL? Have you ever met someone after seeing their Myspace profile? Did it match up?

Maybe I’m just too old for Myspace. This girl is 27, though, so she’s not some kid either. I hate to acquire a bias against a person I have never met based on a stupid online profile, but… I think I already have. Ah well. I hope she’s at least a nice, decent person, regardless. Hard to tell that from Myspace, I guess.

I think it is just par for the course on MySpace, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Most of the folks I know use Facebook, simply because it’s cleaner and more techie-oriented, but the general population still uses MySpace. And when a non-techie person goes to customize their MySpace page, they are probably doing it to look like other profiles they’ve seen (i.e hideous).

A lot of people who are otherwise very attentive to their spelling and punctuation completely break down when they are typing something online. That’s part of why the SDMB seems so weird to me compared to other forums, because all of us try to uphold the integrity of the English language. :stuck_out_tongue:

I still use ‘lol’ all the time in AIM and such, and I like to think that I’m not a moron. My college supposedly gave me pieces of paper certifying the fact that I’m NOT one, so I hope that isn’t true. :smiley:

So you don’t think her horrible spelling/grammar is actually indicative of her skill in these areas? I ask because, this woman is going to be a teacher, and if you are grading kids’ papers, you have to be able to correct just such errors. They are very elemetary school mistakes. If she’s been relying on Spell Check to doctor up all her papers for her teaching degree, she (and more importantly, her students) are going to be SOL when she has to teach them how to write correctly.

Oh, why? LOL is so… grating. It makes me cringe every time I see it. I understand it’s shorthand and excusable once in a while, but 5x on one page? For the love of god.

What I’m saying is that some people just plain don’t care enough to correct this stuff in an informal setting. It seems mind boggling to me, since I obsess over even things like improper grammar, but most people just don’t care in a casual situation.

I use ‘lol’ and ‘haha’ and an abundance of ":p"s, it’s just the way I type in a IM situation. It becomes a habit and then starts taking active mental effort to curtail my use of them. In a forum situation I always tend to proofread and edit my posts, so it’s not apparent here.

I think it is very telling… I bet her crappy MySpace page really does say a lot about her as a person IRL. If you know how to spell and use punctuation correctly, why would you post misspelled crap on the internet for everyone to see? You wouldn’t. And the trans-am background and trying-to-be-sexy photos are kind of trashy. If she wasn’t like that IRL, her page wouldn’t be like that.

Judging from my friends’ MySpace pages (a lot of them have MS pages), their pages definitely seem to consistently reflect who they are IRL.

I’m not really an active MySpace user, so I guess I could be way off-base on my assessment. I tend to assume there is a large disparity between people’s online image and their in-person one, but maybe that just isn’t true. :frowning:

I don’t want to make it sound like the pictures are trashy. They’re just cutesy making eyes at the camera types, or drunken candids with her friends. A lot of them seem posed to look “hot.” Poor thing.

She really does have a TransAm, I guess. The payment on it is so high it affects her living situation (she lives with a married couple in a room of their house). I can’t say knowing that fact has helped my impression of her any.

A good buddy of mine from high school uses “lol” and other such crap in chat, but is perfectly capable of writing well. He’s getting his PhD in astrophysics and writes fantasy novels as a hobby. He’s far from dumb.

I think that without a community like the SDMB that so clearly diapproves of poor punctuation and netspeak, most people think of chat and social networking sites as having lower standards of language than other forms of writing. I don’t know why otherwise intelligent people are willing to sound like idiots, but it’s fairly common, and I’ve learned not to hold it against them too much.

As far as lol goes, there’s two main uses I’ve seem. One acceptable, and one annoying as all get out.

Acceptable: use of lol in conversation to indicate somethings funny in conversation. For example, pretty much any time lol is used in this message board.
“did you see this youtube video?”
“lol, that’s hilarious”

Annoying: Use of lol in response to something that you said, like “I got soooo wasted last night. lol” Kind of a placeholder for nervous laughter or something. Pretty much any time lol is used in a Craiglist ad, it is this version. I suspect any lol’s on a myspace page is this second type, and therefore reflects poorly on her character, lol.

But if you can spell and punctuate and use proper grammar naturally, wouldn’t you? I mean, if you know how to use apostrophes, you’d go ahead and use them in your Myspace profile. I’m kind of assuming that she doesn’t have a strong working knowledge of these things, and her Myspace profile reflects that. This wouldn’t bother me so much if she wasn’t also touting how she’s going to become a teacher soon. Grrr. As if our profession doesn’t have enough image problems.

I don’t know if you read my post about my son’s teacher, but apparently, spelling and grammar are simply not important anymore in elemntary school teachers. He got a paper back yesterday on which his second grade teacher (who has been teaching for at least 10 years) wrote “keep practing!” Yep, “practing” but that’s just par for the course with this woman, she corrected a sentence he wrote “Theyr late for skule” to read “Thier late for school.”

As for the OP – you would garner that I am a huge spiderman fan with a very strange (eclectic, I hate that word) base of musical taste, and not a whole lot more. I don’t think Myspace is indicative of what a person is actually like, based on the large number of fat chicks I know with Playboy Bunny themed profiles. Meh, it’s teh intarwebs, don’t read too much into it.

No, I missed that thread, but if I were you, I’d have freaked out about that. It’s just not acceptable. And that feeling is part of my reaction to this woman’s profile. I know some people are perfectly intelligent but can’t spell worth a damn. I am just not sure those people should become educators who have to instruct young children in how to read and write.

You may be right. It was a combination of the hawt pix, the LOLs, the bad spelling/grammar, the bragging about the muscle car I know she can’t afford, the lame music, and the overall cheesiness of her profile that made me think, “God, if I ever meet this girl, I’m going to be grinding my teeth into nubs.” Maybe I’m wrong about that… but I doubt it.

Eh, it is ok to type with perfect poise somewhere like here, but myspace is a cesspool of frat boys, annoying high school kiddies, sorostitutes and other undesirables. I have a page there too, and it is there that I met my fiance. I don’t go there much these days.

I would wager many of these people do it on purpose. It is uncool to type well in such a situation, and by being so anal about spelling you can be spotted out as a poseur pretty quick. Kids are all about informal, quick and short. Lolz, how wuz ur day? They expect to hear something similar, not: “Oh, my day was fabulous! I’m all a twitter at my new knitting needles, and my giant grandma underwear came in the mail today, thank you for asking”

Yawn… boring. You know.

Yeah, except this woman is 27 and working her way towards a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. She writes like a teenager. If you’re saying it’s an affectation, well, that’s pretty lame. It also doesn’t account for the cheesy TransAm thing, the LoLing, and the overall air of desperation and wannabe coolness this woman is projecting.

Ah well, may have to wait to meet her to be sure, god knows when that’ll be.

Probably. I’m not the best person to represent that generation. I am only 3 years older than that lady, but I guess I am behind the times. I don’t type out “how r u” when I IM, even on a cell phone text message (I type out the whole thing), but I thought I would give the thought experiment a try.

I would guess she is trying to hard to fit in. My Myspace page (that sounds weird) sticks out like a sore thumb, and I had to deliberately change it so it was “trendy” because my SO wanted it to have “personality” instead of look professional.

Wait, that last “lol”…is that the first kind or the second kind? Gah…it could be either…

I absolutely agree that a lot of people should never be allowed to go into teaching, but thy do and we suffer through the effects. The long and short of the issue with my son’s teacher is that while I can’t stand her, my son seems to like her ok, and second grade is mostly review of first grade, so I will monitor him and if he seems to be falling behind due to her idiocy, I will take measures to have her dealt with – until then, I keep my mouth shut.

As far as the myspace profile – the thing is, I have a high IQ, I am anal-retentive about grammar and spelling, and I can converse about more topics intelligently than I would admit to most people, but heck, I have a myspace page that’s pretty gooby. It’s a basic Spiderman 3 layout, but depending on my mood, it might have all kinds of stupid chit on it. Of course, my profile was set up more to track my daughter on the web, but I also have a lot of high school friends on there, etc. I am pretty sure my myspace profile doesn’t say an awful lot about the “real” me, even though I feel it does represent me pretty well – it’s just that the “real” me is so much more than can be put on a webpage, if you know what I am saying?

You may very well end up being right about this person, but in all honestly, people do things/say things/act a certain way on teh intarwebs that they don’t in their real life. I use a lot of 13375P34K online as well as all the LOL/ROFL/OMG stuff too – does that mean I do that in my professional emails? No. I see the web as kind of like a bar – most people would do things while in a bar drinking that they would never do at work – same thing on the web. I might tell you how much I loathe people here (and I do often) but you’d never know that if you called to order giftwrap from me – I get comments all the time about what a “people-person” I am. ROFLMAO! See my point? Give the girl a chance, she might just be enjoying her recently passed youth online.

If her MySpace page is truly like that and she’s licensed or pursuing licensure, tell her about this lawsuit in which a teaching candidate was denied the right to pursue a license based on a single photo on her MySpace page. At any event, a parent or employer can Google her, find that page, and make her professional life difficult.

I’m not saying that’ll definitely happen. But it’s not unreasonable to think that it could.


First, how can you Google someone’s Myspace page if their last name isn’t on there? I’m not sure how anyone finds these things unless they are directed to them by someone.

Second, there is no questionable content, like her drinking or anything. Some of the candids are from a bachelorette party, so I’m pretty sure they’re drunk, but no one is actually drinking or anything. The worst she is guilty of is being totally cheesy and wannabe, and a poor writer.

As for the writing, yeah, that could be a problem if a parent found her Myspace page full of typos. Is that really a risk? The lawsuit you cite casts doubt on whether it was the Myspace photo that caused the woman you mentioned to not get her license, or if she failed to complete student teaching.

In any case, I don’t know this girl, so I’m not going to say anything to her about it. That would be creepy, some random person warning you about your career via Myspace. I guess it’s her problem to possibly encounter.

Google a couple of words you know about them and the word “myspace.”

For instance, I googled my first name, one word from my profile, and the word myspace. My profile was the first hit. I tried someone else whose nickname (not full first name) I know (which is NOT the name of her profile) and the names of her cats. First hit was someone else’s profile, one of her friends. 10 seconds later, I was at her own profile.

It takes very little to find anyone. An interviewer could ask a few general “getting to know you” questions and find someone. It’s easy. You don’t need to know very much information on the person.