MYSPACE – a fresh perspective **yAwN**

One part of two part focus on Myspace and Facebook!

Well I have tested both and have to say this, I canceled both accounts with very little reservations. Actually, I just lied. I had no reservations. Many family members had pending friend requests, were hitting me with Hillary or something entertaining. What happened to the days of sending a postcard, flowers or just stopping in for coffee or a beer? God, I am getting old…

 

Spending much of my day (and evenings) online, I doubt the social [level-basic]engineering “fun” of social networking sites will catch my fancy. Friendster, Friend finder, match.com (lol) simply are just not my bag. However, I will try to give an honest opinion of both here. Take it for what its worth.

 

MYSPACE.COM

 

Is this a place for kids under 18, absolutely not! I am going to go way out on a limb and probably offend the likes of Tom (whom I admire) who created Myspace, but this site is decadent, immoral and bordering on abuse when it comes to our children. To pitch this site as a kid-friendly, or teen, tween or young adult site borders on negligence. There, I said it. The mechanisms are simply NOT in place to protect children from the porn, the abusive and the pedophiles on Myspace.com. Prove me wrong.

 

I have not only discouraged my children, I have educated them about Myspace and then promptly blocked them using Myspace, utilizing strong, encrypted parental blocking software. So much for trust…

 

Not only are there wayward porn and problem areas, the Wild Wild West JavaScript and Flash that could tear holes in about anyone’s secure computer is begging to destroy one’s vulnerable computer. It’s just not an option for our family, we have learned to live without it.

 

  • One has to be careful posting photos or they become in the public domain – for all to see. There are countless pictures of parent’s children, gleefully posted on Myspace – much to my horror, I could not see a public display of my kids as, well, responsible.
  • Privacy feature still allows you to be found by strangers and the main photo is shown.
  • Minors are everywhere, shhh! They keep it a secret and MySpace does very little in the way of verification.
  • Having said that, sex offenders appear to be easier to find, if news shows are to be taken seriously.
  • Kids have actually killed themselves over cyber bulling on Myspace…

 

When I found out early on that my young son had created a Myspace page, I quickly immersed myself in the site, choking on the content and botched codes of templates. I hosed a computer, twice and while I can’t prove it, I am certain it was viral code.

 

The next day, I wrote Myspace telling them to cancel my son’s “minor” account. They sent me this lengthy, pre-formatted email about me taking a picture of a newspaper in front of my son’s Myspace page in order to cancel my account. LOFL. No. I think I went to their IP upline… It was canceled quickly.

 

Is it any wonder why Michael Barrett, the Fox Interactive Media (parent co. of Myspace) CRO called it quits after missing his projected revenues focus? Find a way to keep the community cohesive and that starts by limiting the rampage of the have all and be all that is currently Myspace.

 

Myspace Addiction

 

I can see where people can become addicted to the “Myspace phenomena”. Most people are introverts and by using a false shield of a computer, they can turn on and off the extrovert within without (for the most part) exposing themselves to ridicule. Excitement builds up with each chance to login and see who is interested, who is visiting or just who is online. Just the mere fact that a community exists is exciting for most people.

 

We are organizers and the ability to tout ones thoughts, desires and definitions of personalities online, who we are has a satisfying affect.

 

Am I better because I do not use Myspace? No. Are my children? Absolutely.

 

In fact, I have found another way to organize, express and become online – this blog. In one sense I criticize and in the other, I am guilty of my own criticisms.

 

Be careful online and enjoy.

 

Eyes wide open, I am

 

— Derek

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About the author: Derek

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