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
    One of Many, 11 May 2007 @ 3:27pm

    It is a matter of opinion

    I do think it is truly amazing how upset people are getting over myspace lately. I do not see anyone becoming so upset over friendster, Xanga, or live journal. It seems that of the people who are so againts myspace, most of you seem concerned with it only because of the large ammount of people that have acess to it, am I right? I have read all of the posts above and I would like to adress several things.
    The first thing I would like to discuss is the controversey of whether or not Myspace teaches children good writing skills. While I do agree that most users do not use good writing skills while on the site it is not the job of Myspace to teach your children well developed grammar skills. This is, essentially, one of the many things they should be learning in school. However, I know that I myself am very into creative writing and I do like to explore different techniques. Myspace does give me this oppertunity and I do enjoy writing my about me and re-writing every once in a while. Many people do spend a good ammount of time editing their about me and it truly can help to improve, not teach, good writing.
    Also, it seems that many people think that Myspace does not teach children HTML or CSS and this may be true for many of them, however, what about those of us who make our own layouts? There are many people who do this, and no I am not discussing of plugging the information into a profile creator, I am talking about making a DIV Overlay layout or something to that extwent. Myspace gives people the oppertunity to explore, and use their imagination.
    I do believe it is not Myspace's responsibilty, but rather both the parent and the child's to see that children are safe when they are online. Parent should talk to their kids about what they should and should not be doing. I am by law, a child, and that is about as much as I can say without disclosing my age. I am a younger teen as well. Although we may act like we do not listen when parents talk to us we do hear you, understand that you care, and many times even listen to the things you say.
    Finally, I do not see why so many people make such a big fuss about Myspace. Do you mind that your children have IM? Is it not just another form of communitcation like Myspace? One with an age limit of 13, the ability to make your sn private and let only people on your buddy list im you, and an oppertunity to converse with sexual predators if you do not have enough common sense to be careful whom you talk to and what information you disclose? You can creat an AIM profile, such as with Buddy4u.com, and you can easily post pictures on their... so please tell me why IM is not getting attacked as well. If anything myspace is better because if you need to, not suggsting you do because it is an invasion of privacy, parents can easily hack their children's myspace and view their messages, thus finding out who their children are talking to. Gone about the right way Myspace can be a wonderful thing.

    If you read all of that, thank you, it is nice to know that some people are interested in others opinions. However, by posting this I am not asking for shitty remarks back or anything like that, I simply thought I would share my oppinion with the people who would like to hear it. That is what a forum is for. Please remember that there is a big difference between constructive critisism/stating your oppinon and being a wise ass who thinks he/she knows it all.

    I would know, I used to be that person.

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