Not All MySpace Teens Privacy Dimwits

from the where-is-Doctor-Spock dept

Many of the stories discussing social networking sites and sexual predators paint the sites in a negative light, portraying teenagers as doe-eyed automatons without a whit of common sense. A new study shows that teenagers are actually pretty wise about what kind of information they're sharing online. The study shows that the vast majority of teenagers don't show their full name, and 40% keep their profiles private unless you're on their friends list. Of the remaining public profiles, just 1% offered an e-mail address. What's more, researchers found that kids gain confidence as well as valuable writing, networking and HTML skills while using the sites. As it stands, it's not clear if the warnings and scary reports are to thank for careful kids, or whether they were being careful all along, and nobody bothered to study them. Many parents have been eager to focus on the negative aspects of social networking sites -- even going so far as to blame MySpace for sexual predators. In the end of course it comes down to quality parenting -- informed kids not only reduce their risk of problems online regardless of the technology used, they know what to do when problems do occur. While there are kids who still stick forks in electrical sockets, we don't blame the electrical sockets -- we ask why the parents weren't paying attention to what their kids were doing.

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  1. identicon
    Janelle, 5 Jan 2007 @ 6:09pm

    I think the risks of using MySpace are pretty low; it depends on the individuals, both the best and the worst (which unfortunately, society mostly focuses on). Anyone with enough common sense to know not to meet strangers or post pictures of themselves half naked to attract those strangers should do just fine on the site. Then again, some teenagers (myself being one, so I may credibly observe my peers) lack the self respect they should have, and make us all look like unintelligible and lacking in integrity.

    I think the whole issue is that so many of us hear about only the bad things happening involving MySpace on the news so we are driven and biased to believe that the website is a bad thing. Also, come on now! GRAMMAR and SPELLING wars are just sinking to the lowest of the low. Why can't people think simply? As long as you know that you're intelligent enough to write formally when it is necessary, and informally if you so feel, why does it matter what everyone else is doing? Are your friends that unintelligent? People need to try minding their own business and stop judging others. So what if dey typ lyk diz nd dont seem 2 hav any sense of intelligence. That's their problem, isn't it? Can you really do anything about it besides uselessly dwell over it?

    Society, and the general tendency of others to involve themselves in the business of people whom they know nothing about, irritates me. I say, if someone's going to be stupid, let them be stupid. The kids that are dumb enough to go meet strangers and the parents that are so unattentive to what their children are doing seem to me that they deserve what they get. And as for the general intelligence of today's teenagers being lower, that may be true, but I think it depends on the location as well. However being 16 years old I feel that when people are only directed to see the bad qualities of our age group, it makes all of us teenagers, including the ones with good sense, look like naive, ignorant prey for sexual predators; when there are many MySpace users of my age that are overlooked that do have the intelligence to maintain a healthy lifestyle both academically and on MySpace, if that makes any sense. Most adults don't use MySpace as vigorously as many teens do, so I don't see why they should judge us with their points of view when we see things from ours, and on an intelligent level, see it as something harmless and not as bad as those that get into trouble and end up the news make it seem to be.

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