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
    Chris, 5 Jan 2007 @ 6:48pm

    A waste of Time

    Being a teenager myself, I do use myspace, however I see it as a waste of time. I use myspace as a way of talking to friends from my old school and putting up funny pictures (really they are more random than funny). I do not spend a lot of time on myspace, in fact I only spend about 30 minutes on myspace a month (shocking, I know). People seem to blame everything on myspace (I have had teachers blame low grades on myspace, when in reality kids went on myspace so they could have a break because of all the homework we had[and have] to do). I see their point but I blame them, when you overwhelm a kid (a person who, because of their age, has so much energy and needs to do something to expend some of it) we become fidgety (that is the best way I can describe it). I know that after school I need to go home and run a mile just so I can sit down and do my homework, otherwise I will be off the wall and unable to concentrate.
    Anyhow, I am glad to see that people have finally seen that myspace is not as bad a they made (or is it still make?) it out to be. I just wish that people would stop looking at one side of the issue at hand.

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