MySpace is an interesting thing. I know for sure that the developers of MySpace must be driving around in Lamborghinis while wearing clothes that cost well over $1,000 dollars per item. I give the developers credit: MySpace is a fantastic concept. People from all over the world can meet one another in ‘cyber-space’, and learn more abut each other and their cultures. Better yet, you can find long lost friends that you haven’t heard from in years using the MySpace browse tool. MySpace is wonderful. But it can also be a wonderful tool for online predators. I’m not a mother yet, but this is a scary thought. Sometimes when I browse through MySpace, I see pictures of young girls that are wearing next to nothing. I see pictures of girls putting themselves in compromising positions, in an attempt to look sexy and alluring. But if that person’s MySpace is not private, problems could happen. Especially if that particular person was dumb enough to put all his/her personal information on there, such as the school they are currently attending, the clubs they have participated in, and even their home addresses. One time, I saw that a woman put party information on a blog (journal entry) on her MySpace, but that blog contained not only the details of the party, but the exact location of where the party was to be held…which ended up being in her own home. And this blog, much less MySpace itself, wasn’t even private! Tell me, is this a good idea? Especially after she had pictures on there with half her breasts exposed? This type of thing could arouse any disgusting pervert, enough to have him traveling to that location just to catch a glimpse of the sexy female.
And, you know, this type of thing angers me. It really, truly does. I can see why there’s such a big deal on why MySpace is a bad thing. I can understand. The truth is this: MySpace isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s the people, the kids, the stupid ones, who make MySpace a thing of the devil. The kids are the ones disclosing their private information. The kids are the ones posting pictures of themselves in sexy positions. It’s not the parent’s fault, no matter what we say. If you think about it reasonably, parents these days are working more. It’s not just the dad that works while the mom stays home. No. Children these days can outsmart their parents. They know how to hide things, lie about everything, and look like angels in the end. It’s a skill that’s being mastered every day by children and teens everywhere. You can go ahead and blame the parents, but that would be a pathetic waste of words because it can’t possibly be their fault if the children know more than they do. And of course, that’s a very sad fact.
MySpace gives parents a reason to spy and monitor their activities. Not only can the children and teenagers put themselves at risk, but they put the parents at risk as well. And what’s funny is this: People under-estimate the intelligence of children, but at the same time, they over-estimate it as well. Parents think they may know more since they have lived more, but in this tech-savvy world with these tech-savvy kids, that once-fact can not be proven in this MySpace era. The parents always want to believe the best from their children, and the parents wouldn’t even consider that their children know so much as to figure out HTML code for MySpace. If I were a parent, I would definitely subject my children to being monitored online. Granted, you can’t protect your children from all the dangers in the world, but you sure can minimize negative effects from being projected into your children from your own home. It’s really depressing that children have the intelligence to figure out HTML code for MySpace, but don’t have the brain cells to tell them that posting sexual pictures of themselves or revealing personal information online is bad. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
But if your child does have a MySpace, its best that you make sure that it is private, and that the only way that someone can add your child as a friend is by knowing his/her last name and/or email. There are options for this under your child’s MySpace page, under the Privacy sector. This option can greatly minimize the risk of your child being exposed to a predator. I believe that I’m so paranoid about this subject because a long time ago I watched a Law and Order episode that showed a girl typing to someone on the computer and agreeing to meet with them. Later on, you saw the girl’s body in a dumpster, and you automatically knew that the meeting went terribly wrong. Even though the show itself was fictional, the situation itself was very real. That image of the girl’s body in the dumpster stayed engraved in my mind for eternity. I never want that to be my daughter or son.
So if you ever feel guilty about spying on your children’s activities, try to assuage that feeling by telling yourself that’s it’s for the good of your children. Knowing what they are doing, what sites they are visiting, and where they are going is essential to keeping a healthy home. Knowing these things enable you to cut the roots of a problem that may continue to grow the longer you ignore it. As much as you don’t want to believe this, children are not to be trusted completely these days. If your daughter tells you that she’s going out to her best friend’s house, she may easily be going to a place where an online predator disguised as a handsome boy agreed to meet with her on a date.
While MySpace may be a great tool for meeting up and communicating with friends and family, it can also be a tool for online predators to trick, stalk, and hurt your loved ones. By being more aware of what your children are doing, you can tackle the problem from the root and steer your child to safer waters. Otherwise, turning a blind eye can lead to terrible problems in the family, and even rape or death of you or your child.