The internet paved the way for scene culture early on. Websites such as MySpace, where scene-inspiring singer, model, and makeup artist Jeffree Star first self-released his music, and YouTube were among the first to offer an online place for scene culture to thrive. Scene culture, while pulling a lot of fashion inspiration from 1980s and 1990s punk, grunge, goth, and emo subcultures, is very modern in its music. Though some scene affiliated bands are of a metal persuasion, the majority of scene music concentrates on electronic sounds and synthesizers. This type of music is often produced by a solitary musician using one or multiple electronic instruments such as a keyboard. This type of music is easily recorded in a home sound studio and uploaded to internet sites. Therefore, sites such as YouTube make the scene culture more accessible online.
While sites like MySpace opened the door for the musicians and musical genres associated with scene, that isn’t all it did for the scene culture. “Scene queens” became quite popular during MySpace’s heyday. Some of these scene queens gained so much attention and such a large fan base, that a gossip site was created just to dish their particular brand of trash-gab. When MySpace popularity was taken over by the newer social media entities, the scene queen popularity did not translate, leaving the scene groups to find new avenues for attention and connection. Scene queen fame was short-lived and not very lucrative. However, it did jump start an online cultural trend which still exists today.
Scene youth may get their fix of musical interaction easily enough through the more popular websites but they don’t go there for their social fix. Nor do they tend to frequent the mainstream social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Scene kids are looking for a different type of interaction, one that helps to validate their self-inflicted solitude and brooding social rebellion. These youth are more likely to frequent a scene kid website such as Scenekids.com, a social networking site similar to Facebook which is set up specifically with the scene kid in mind. Youth can create a profile, make friends and message with other users just like other, more popular social media networks. However, Scenekids.com and other similar websites truly cater to the scene kid proclivities. The site is scene-themed with the colors and graphics which are popular with scene youth and most include a forum or message board where users share their thoughts and feelings. Some even include a space for posting poems, songs, and artwork as well.
Youth who are part of the scene culture tend not to be the most popular kids in school, whether by circumstance or design, and therefore are often seeking peer interaction through what they see as safer channels such as the internet. These young people are emotionally driven and are often very creative individuals. Websites for scene kids can not only provide a place for safe peer interaction but some also facilitate a means of self-expression and creative exploration. These websites, these little safe havens within the vast internet, can sometimes be the only refuge some teens have throughout the day. The scene culture draws inspiration heavily from trends of the 1980s and 1990s eras which are often highlighted on the internet because of the introduction of publicly accessible digital media devices just a few years earlier. Since the scene cultural trends continue to grow and entice young people, websites which support that culture will continue to pop up.
Every young person is looking for one thing: acceptance. In today’s society, it is just as important for teenagers to find acceptance online as it is in life outside of the internet. Cyber bullying only has power because youth are looking for cyber acceptance. The best way to find acceptance is by connecting with people who are also looking for acceptance of the same kind. This creates an online need for sites which allow young people to meet peers who are uniquely similar to themselves, who share their feelings and beliefs to some extent. Websites that create a welcoming and supportive environment for scene kids who see themselves as isolated and misunderstood are crucial in having an internet that is emotionally safe for young people.