Thursday, January 26, 2006

is myspace evil, or is it those damn kids?

Some homeschool moms have discovered Myspace and got freaked out by it. Some of the kids they found talked dirty, discussed drinking and drug use at parties, have "friends" with booty pictures. Some of them found personal information that could lead a pervert straight to their innocent daughters.
Is Myspace evil? Myspace is nothing more than any number of websites that were designed for the intended purpose of adult socialization. One could argue that it's no different, basically, than Blogger or even HomeschoolBlogger. The main difference is the open nature of Myspace in that it doesn't specifically cater to any single demographic or group and is newer, fancier, full of music and pictures and yes, booty.
I will admit that the shot of panties, booty and a little bit of a plaid skirt is a nice diversion. These pictures are racey, but the site does work to keep actual nudity out. A lot of the booty shots can take one directly to a link to a site off of Myspace where one can see even more. I've also found that the wrong word in a Google search can bring some unintended viewing.
Due to the open nature of Myspace, one is always a click or two away from a picture of booty. One is never more than a click away from something personally questionable at any time the computer is online.
Is there evil at Myspace? Well, I'd personally say that any evil is in the horrible pages you people's kids are putting up. The evil is in all those annoying glitter letters and the Fallout Boy song that starts playing when I click the link. And if you want, you can set your child's Myspace profile to members only, and no one not on their friends list can get in.
Myspace has groups of all sorts, people of all sorts, pictures of all sorts. After joining, members are invited to customize their profile page, to seek out "friends," join groups (basically boards, kinda like at Yahoo) upload pictures, blog. Everyone typically has an avatar, many people opting to use an actual picture of themselves or a family picture. These images are sort of your face at Myspace and can be just about any image you choose to upload to the site.
Friends, in Myspace terms, is a really loose term. On my page you might learn that, in addition to my wife, my friends include the Reverend Horton Heat, Rosie Flores, Fatlip, The Debonaires, and even more bands that I don't really know. As well you will find friends that I've known for years, some close by and some hundreds of miles away. It's a neat way to find people with similar interests, to listen to music and read some really varied blogs. You can use a variety of searches to find actual friends who may also be on Myspace.
I have no good segue to my next issue. I'm astounded at parents "learning" shocking things about their kids. If your children are on Myspace, are friends with booty picture people, like to attend parties with drinking and drugs, how are you not already aware of this? How has your family gotten to a point where you are hiding things from each other? Do you ever look past the booty pictures at the child and figure out the initial motivation? Do your kids just like being sneaky and hiding things?
I sincerely hope that I and my wife and our children can always be open and honest with each other. I hope we can always be close enough to share our interests and our hopes and our fears and our problems.
If you want, visit Myspace and see for yourself. Go to my profile if you want to. You can see the homeschooling groups there while your visiting. It's free! Why not?


COD said...

The teenboppers posing half naked on Myspace are the same girls that have already slept with the entire football team. There is nothing new happening here - it's just that the isolationist homeschooler wing is finding it harder to stay isolated in a connected world.

Nothing to see hear, move on.

And since you aren't afraid of Myspace - check out these guys.

Ron R said...

It was TV in my day.

Almost Lazarus said...

When I feel particularily mean (many days of the month, not just when I'm PMS'ing) I will anonymously send myspace profiles to the parents of said profiles, just to freak them out. My small town is full of sanctimonious idiots who think their children are perfect. I only wish I could see their faces when they look at the myspace page little perfect johnny or melissa wrote.

It's almost as good as when I see johnny or missy in the police blotter of our local paper.