Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2116

The Llewellyn Journal

The Astrology of Social Networking Sites

This article was written by Lesley Francis
posted under Astrology

Where can you meet like-minded people from all over the world, market your music, book, or artwork; and, simultaneously get back in contact with old friends, share your newest pictures with family, and make plans for tonight without a single phone call? The answer is online. Facebook and Myspace, the most popular worldwide networking sites, are a modern phenomenon. These free, interpersonal Web sites are the most frequented hangouts on the Internet. With so many million subscribers and thousands of new users each day, it’s not possible to publish an accurate figure here! Registered users can, at no cost, message each other, market their work, share photos, and preview music. The two sites differ in appearance and some features, though both provide a social network and opportunity to stay updated with friends, join groups with common interests, and send and receive invitations to events.


A Uranus in Pisces Revolution
A venture into a MySpace or Facebook profile, complete with songs, photos, and whatever personal information one desires to share, is a trip into an individual’s world. The MySpace network gives space for self-expression with blogs, videos, and creative lay- outs to express individual tastes. Once you create a profile on either site, a collage of your interests, talents, experiences, and thoughts becomes available to anyone who wishes to “open the box.” From the practical, more straightforward nature of Facebook to the open format of MySpace, each sign of the zodiac can tailor the sites to suit his or her needs.

As far as astrological timing, it’s of interest that the sites debuted in 2003 and 2004, after Uranus moved direct in Pisces. The planet of technology and ruler of Aquarius, Uranus is also a higher octave of Mercury, the messenger and communicator. The role of Uranus is to shake things up, push for new methods, and expand global consciousness. In Pisces until 2010, Uranus will continue to impact music and the arts, self-expression, intimacy, fantasy, and secrets. Clearly, MySpace and Facebook are Uranus in Pisces breakthroughs, shattering the norm and changing the way we communicate and make friends! Online networkers expand their number of contacts by adding friends or family, and by inviting or accepting friends of these friends to create a larger network.

Uranus is computers, connections, and large groups, while Pisces is a personal and reflective sign. Combine these two, and you get individuals sharing feelings and experiences through their status updates, blogs, and bulletins to friends. From recalling a bad day to sharing poetry or song lyrics to honoring a loved one who passed on with video or photo tributes, Internet social sites have given us license to express and reveal in a way that was never possible before.

In the privacy of one’s own home computer, a profile is created for “friends” to view, and depending on one’s personal privacy settings, for anyone who may stumble on it to discover! Facebook and MySpace profiles are basically public journals and calendars made available through technology. And in the nature of Uranus, both have disrupted the status quo, created controversy, broken down communication barriers, and in some cases exacerbated the gap between generations accustomed or unaccustomed to the use of computer technology in everyday life. Let’s peer further into the history and astrology of the two outlets and project how each Sun Sign matches up to the features and personalities of MySpace and Facebook sites.


MySpace.com
MySpace, incarnated in July of 2003, exhibits the networking power of the Leo/Aquarius polarity with the creative nature of Pisces, the dominant astrological forces of that summer. Mercury, Jupiter, and the Sun toured Leo, and planets Mars and Uranus resided in Pisces all month long. Neptune was well into the degrees of Aquarius, across the zodiac from Leo planets, and directly opposite the planet of communication, Mercury, mid-month. The environment was ripe for an outlet like MySpace and the astrological timing was in place. A bit more history illustrates the growth of this interpersonal megalopolis.

MySpace.com was once an online storage and file-sharing firm that failed in 2001 due to lack of funds and poor service. Prior to that, the domain was home to a Web design firm. As Uranus moved into Pisces for a seven-year stay, MySpace as we now know it began. In July 2003, MySpace.com launched as the brainchild of Tom Anderson, a musician with a film degree. This Libra co-founded the site with business partners and he remains a visible part of the site as every MySpace user’s first “friend.” Born October 14, 1975, Tom grew up meeting friends and chatting online, and his vision was to create something better and more efficient than the networking sites he had frequented. Another mission of the new MySpace was to give musicians, artists, and bands an active online presence for networking and for communicating with a wide audience of potential fans. His idea filled a niche and it’s been wildly successful. MySpace Music now has its own division where bands, record labels, and promoters post news, information, and music for users to sample and post on their own sites. Meanwhile, as of this writing, MySpace has become the top social networking site in the world and is the fifth most popular English-language site of all.

MySpace has a strong Leo chart. Jupiter and Mercury are extroverted and creative in Leo. Check out random profiles, and you’ll see that people go to great lengths to individualize their cyberspace homes in grand Leo style. Graphics, both borrowed and original, help illustrate the interests and personality of the user. From “Which Tarot Card Are You?” to “What Color is Your Heart?” you can find quizzes, surveys, celebrity photos, and other ways to “pimp” your site in a variety of online locations. MySpace has few technological or content restrictions, so basically if you can find it or design it, you can post most anything on your space.

The Leo “showbiz” personality is also part of the attraction to the site. MySpace users can add musicians, authors, athletes, teams, radio and television personalities, and other famous friends who have profiles. Interaction with a “star” can range from receiving general updates to bulletins or messages about secret, friends-only events to accessing their blogs or, in some cases, maintaining contact through personal comments and messages. A MySpace profile is practically a must now in the entertainment industry, and entertainers and artists benefit from the free and extensive promotion a site provides.

Like all good things, MySpace also has a dark underbelly. The site’s users are free to create their own fantasy worlds, which can include altering their ages or using false identities. For example, there are many sites where pranksters pose as famous people and seek legions of “friends” falsely. A common deception is the age change, where the young increase their age or older users opt to age down by entering false birth dates in the sign-up process. Whenever Neptune is involved, there’s a sense of illusion or fantasy present, and in the case of MySpace, Mercury opposed Neptune at the time of inception. Some of this fantasy is harmless, though other more destructive forms of misrepresentation have been cited. Neptune opposite Mercury is a warning to use communication wisely to avoid scandal, gossip, or danger. MySpace users are wise to protect themselves from poseurs, predators, or known detractors who could use information with harmful intent.

Though both sites have implemented privacy settings, Facebook users seem to be a more cautious bunch. If you browse for potential friends on both sites, you will find many more on MySpace whose profiles are easily viewed.


Facebook.com
Facebook shares the Aquarian community aspect, with the Sun just a few degrees from Neptune at its launch on February 4, 2004. The site was conceived by Mark Zuckerberg, a Taurus and one-time Harvard student, who designed it as a networking space for Harvard. Too popular to stay exclusive, the site soon spread to other Ivy League and Boston campuses. By September of 2006, Facebook was available to anyone over the age of thirteen who had a valid e-mail account. Often considered a more elite or intelligent networking site, Facebook has a more practical, streamlined system designed less for creative expression and more for instant connection. A notable astrological influence on the date of Facebook inception was Mercury in Capricorn, which may account for the down-to-earth feel of the site. Mercury in Capricorn is less showbiz and more business-like and concrete. Facebook focuses on what’s going on in the moment and is less about color, graphics, and personal style, reflecting a more Capricorn mentality.

Click on Facebook “Home” and you’ll find a news feed feature, a basic premise of the site, which keeps friends informed of their contacts’ updates, such as where they are currently, who they are now friends with, and what pages they have visited. This has sometimes been linked to cyberstalking; however, on Facebook, one can only add friends linked to work, school, or a social network, and privacy settings are available.

Subscribers can control what type of information is shared automatically and in turn prevent friends from seeing updates as desired. A Facebook profile, limited to professional or school network, with or without additional privacy settings, is less available to random browsers than one on MySpace. Still, with a strong Neptune influence, individuals need to use caution to avoid deception and distorted realities that could result from online interactions. College admissions officers and prospective employers now screen candidates’ profiles as well, and many agree that it’s best to post only what you’re willing to be judged upon, or to keep your profile closed to the public.

Many people enjoy keeping profiles on both sites, possibly with different frequency of use and often for different intents. Our Sun sign may very well factor into which site we feel most comfortable with or which best suits our use. Style, habits, and purposes all factor in to Sun signs online.

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From Llewellyn's 2010 Sun Sign Book. For a list of current calendars and almanacs, click here.


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