Last Updated: May 08, 2022.
By now, most people are aware that the online landscape has changed since the 1990s and early/late 2000s.
Social media culture has changed right along with it, where platforms like Instagram and TikTok now have the most social influence, and the number of followers you have can impact the number sitting in your bank account.
Online platforms aren't just a space to communicate with your loved ones anymore, but rather a competition for who can grow the most, produce the most content, and reap the most benefits.
Yet, there was once a time on the internet when your followers didn’t make or break you. Sure, sometimes people liked to boast about how many friends they had on Facebook or MySpace, but everyone always felt welcomed and part of the overall culture.
This is especially the case on MySpace because everyone had Tom.
An Ode To Tom
Your technological age says a lot about you, and not just in the ways you use the internet but how acquainted you are with innovations like NFTs or the metaverse and how prepared you are to protect yourself from cybersecurity issues.
It also hints at your knowledge of the internet’s history. While you can take a quiz to find out the technological age that asks questions like ‘What platform did you last watch TV on?’, a dead giveaway of your age will always be, ‘Do you know Tom?’.
Tom Anderson was everyone’s first friend on MySpace back in the 2000s, and this marks a happier and simpler time on the internet.
There was no registration anxiety — Are people going to follow me? — since no matter who you were or how many people you knew in real life, you would have Tom, the CEO of MySpace, on your friend's list.
Having Tom as your friend on MySpace promoted a feeling of unity and community on the social networking platform since no one started differently than another, which can be the case today on platforms like Instagram due to the growing popularity of buying followers.
And while MySpace has faded into the background, and Tom Anderson has retired to Hawaii, the internet still has fond memories of seeing the tech entrepreneur on their friends’ list, even though they were one out of hundreds of millions.
Knowledge Is Power
It was a different time in the internet’s history, but knowing Tom says a lot about your technological age. It may sound silly, but internet usage among age groups does vary, and businesses would not be able to operate properly without knowing these differences.
For instance, you can’t create a marketing campaign for Baby Boomers on TikTok because they likely won’t see it. Likewise, you can’t ask Gen Z who Tom is because they will likely reply with ‘Holland’.
Like most things, age is just a number, and finding out your technological age is mostly for fun.
However, there are some real advantages of knowing it; this is especially the case when it comes to businesses creating growth plans and everyday individuals protecting themselves from online security issues.