Blaming MySpace for Bad Parenting

Why do you think, is this guy missing the true issue at hand?  MySpace is merely a the convenient medium and largest network for this type of social behavior – be it good or bad.  Sure there are lots of slutty guys and girls posting sketchy photos of themselves – but is that really the fault or encouragement of the medium?  I think not.  Its a reflection of the person posting such photos, and what is clearly important (for better or worse) to themselves.

I have a MySpace account.  I do not have slutty photos of myself on it.

Why not?  Because I don’t want to.  I think its tacky and cheap.  I don’t wish for people to think of me in that way.  There are alot of people that use this type of social networking site in a way that even the most conversative watchdogs would think is acceptable moral behavior.
You can get rid of MySpace, but that won’t solve the problem.  If its not MySpace its Friendster or Xanga.  Again, they are not the problem – the “problem” this guy is truly worried about is the sluttiness of some of the young people he’s seen on the site.  He’s worried that young people may do things they regret later.  Isn’t that pretty much what being young is about?  Teenagers were doing stupid things that they regret long before MySpace or the internet in general.

I will say this – my only apprehension with such sites in the privacy and personal information stance.  If you are a parent, make sure your kid knows what is okay to share and what’s not.  Parents are supposed to do this – don’t shun this responsibility just because they are now using an online medium that they are more comfortable with than you.

Everyone’s parents tells them “Don’t talk to strangers.”  My mom drilled me when I was young not to get into a stranger’s car, or tell them where I live, etc.  Why not apply the same stance to the internet?

What is okay to share?  I’d say things like

  • general stories, blogs
  • first names
  • interests
  • activities

What might you want to avoid?  Really anything specific:

  • full name
  • address
  • SSN
  • you complete hourly whereabouts

Again, just use common sense.  Only share it if you are okay with a complete stranger, or rather many many complete strangers knowing it.  I think that’s how many bloggers (including myself) approach it.

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