Before we wasted every free second of our lives on Facebook (kind of like you're doing right now) we were obsessively tinkering with our Myspace profile page.
Say what you will about Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, or any other social media platform. They just don't measure up to the hours we spent answering surveys and watching Dane Cook videos on Myspace. And of course, Myspace had a secret weapon that made it much friendlier than any other site: Tom Anderson.
"Myspace Tom," as we remember him today, was one website's original founders. A lifelong computer geek, Tom's home was famously raided by the FBI after he hacked into the Chase Manhattan Bank security system.
Tom didn't serve any time for reenacting WarGames from his bedroom, because like Matthew Broderick's character in the movie he was just 14 when he pulled off the hack. Tom even had a cool hacker name (Lord Flathead) but he stayed on the straight-and-narrow after his first big run-in with the law.
Afterwards, Tom led an eclectic life. He studied English, Rhetoric, and Film, was the frontman for a band called Swank, and spent time living in Taiwan. When he returned to America, he worked his way up through a number of tech companies before creating Myspace in 2003. The website quickly stood out as a strong competitor for Friendster, because it was faster and more customizable.
But of course you already knew all that - he's your good friend after all - but what has Myspace Tom been doing since we all left the site years ago?
If you're feeling bad about abandoning Tom and his website for Facebook, don't be.
Tom himself left Myspace in 2009 after butting heads with the website's management. He had once been the company's president, then was relegated to being a "strategic adviser" after Myspace was sold to News Corp (the parent company of Fox) for $580 million. Myspace had succeeded by being the fun, free-spirited social media brand, and Tom didn't fit in with the new corporate culture.
“Before [the acquisition], I could do whatever I wanted," Tom said just before he left the company. "Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it's not stopping us."
Tom and the new owners were never able to work out their differences, and he left the company in 2009. Incredibly, Myspace thought they could replace Tom with a new account named Today on Myspace (that's T.O.M., in case you missed it). Presumably T.O.M. is still running on the site today, but who uses Myspace anymore?
Thankfully, Tom doesn't seem too bummed out by his replacement. His bio section on Instagram seems to sum up this stage of his career pretty well: "Former 1st friend, enjoying being retired. Phototaking has been my hobby for 4 years. New mission 2 help others & engage!"