Myspace: Why Not?

March 24, 2008
By Jessica Tolentino, San Diego, CA

To many people, mainly parents, MySpace is an easy way for pedophiles to track down innocent and gullible kids and “meet” them face to face. This is a false idea that people have about this website. MySpace is simply an easy way for people of all ages to communicate with friends and to express themselves through online journals, or “blogs”. MySpace is a safe way to interact with people through the internet.

There are already several different ways that people communicate through the internet, for example, e-mails. Like MySpace, people are able to communicate with others around the world. E-mails allow any person with access to the internet to have a conversation with anyone whose e-mail they can find, saying whatever they feel like saying. With MySpace, it is completely different. In order to have a conversation with someone, you have to know them somehow. This is determined by if they are in your friends list or not. All of MySpace’s users are in control of who is approved or denied as their friend. The website doesn’t decide who you talk to or have as a friend, you do. It is out of the website’s hands if its users don’t have a good judgment of people. If you or your child doesn’t have good judgment, you should not have a MySpace or allow your child to have one.
In MySpace’s Privacy Policy, it clearly warns people- “Please be aware that whenever you voluntarily post public information to Journals, WebLogs, Message Boards, Classifieds or any other Public Forums, that information can be accessed by the public and can in turn be used by those people to send you unsolicited communications.” The problem is that people don’t usually want to read through pages and pages of rules and safety guidelines. They find it unimportant and time consuming. If more people would pay attention to warnings like this, they would be better prepared when faced with communication with people that they did not know. There are several good safety tips on the site that people and parents can read to make sure problems don’t occur with MySpace and with the people who use them.

Even though people who have MySpaces rarely are faced with problems, they are still occurring. I could understand why people aren’t very happy with MySpace. There have been few cases where safety has been an issue with children. Usually, the case is that kids talk to people who they shouldn’t be talking to. Those people have tried to contact these gullible kids and meet them outside of the virtual world. Sometimes, these people try to harm these kids, and some have succeeded. Some people use MySpace for inappropriate reasons, but site managers are frequently searching through MySpace profiles and restricting the people who misuse their MySpace in any unreasonable manner.

There are no reasons why major problems should be occurring due to MySpace if the appropriate precautions are taken. Parents who know that their child has a MySpace should not have a problem as long as they are involved in their children’s lives, monitor their children’s’ MySpaces and who they talk to, and are educating them about the dangers that come with associating with strangers. As parents, you have a responsibility to protect your children from those dangers. In a lot of situations, kids don’t tell their parents they have a MySpace. This is not a good situation because those kids may be socializing with people they shouldn’t be. The best thing you can do is to make sure you teach them about what people to avoid, and how to know to avoid them. MySpace does have tips for parents to keep their kids safe.

MySpace has tried hard to keep it’s users as safe as they possibly can. In the end, the only way to keep people 100% safe is by following the warnings and if your child has a MySpace, make sure they are educated and are aware of their decisions. People shouldn’t be against MySpace, but should support the growth of communication and the world internet. They should also try to educate people and try to get the people who misuse MySpace found to have some sort of punishment inflicted upon them. As long as you are responsible, MySpace would be a great site for you to communicate with friends and have freedom to express your self.

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