MySpace.com: Do you know what your kids are doing?

BloglogoMySpace.com might be the largest website in the history of the internet.  Several times I was introduced to MySpace.com by young adults I know.  So, I joined thinking it would be a great way to keep track of these friends and to network with people in town.  To my surprise, I have met people all over the country, just as I have in the blogging world.  If you have seen some of the profiles, you will see a variety of things–some being pretty offensive.  So, do parents really know what their kids are doing?  Is it safe for kids?

Here is what an ACLU guy says (not my favorite source, but listen).  The context of this quote is in response to a student who was removed from his school for putting on a parody site on myspace.com of the school’s principal.  The full article is found in Wired Magazines site here:  Scenes From the MySpace Backlash.

…"For them to punish the student by interfering with his schooling is really beyond the pale," says Pennsylvania ACLU legal director Vic Walczak. "At some point school districts need to wake up and understand that there are limits to their authority to punish students for out of school speech.… The principal can’t play parent when the student is doing something at home."

Indeed.  Parent’s need to be aware and know what their kids are up to.  Unlike what is suggested in Wired Magazines article, A MySpace Cheat Sheet for Parents, I think it is absolutely imperative that you know what your kids are putting out there on the internet.  Is your child’s home address on the site and phone number?  Is your child posing as an adult?  Good parenting would mean that you would hopefully have the relationship with your teen to talk over the dangers of putting personal information on a public website.  Kid’s may have savvy, but they are kids and sometimes lack judgment.  That is where us parents need to kick in.

Part of the warning here is not so much what your kids are seeing from others, but what they actually are putting on their sites.  Employers can look up this information, and they can get into trouble with school authorities if limits are pushed.  And, like I mentioned, personal information should not be put on the site of a minor for sure, but carefully for any of us.

Hey, how about setting up your own site mom or dad?  That way, you can get to know your kids and their friends.  Become savvy in the things your kids are interested in and give them freedom as you see them use better judgment.  By the way, my daughter, who is 12, asked for a website, but I said no.  But, I have found a way (being a geek and having .mac with Apples iLife ’06) to let her have a private site for her artwork to show to her friends.  So, I am trying to practice what I preach here.

What do you think about MySpace.com?  Is it safe for minors?  Dangerous?  Just a neutral meeting place?

My two sites are a music site at www.myspace.com/richkirkpatrick and a profile at www.myspace.com/reddingwrshpldr  ADD ME AS A FRIEND if you get a chance!

 

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

36 comments

  1. Hey Rich,Great post. Good heads up for parents. I’ve looked around on myspace a few times and have wondered some of the same things for parents, as I will someday when the boys are older… Thankfully, my three year old isn’t asking for a website just yet. 🙂

    Petak

  2. Hey Rich,Great post. Good heads up for parents. I’ve looked around on myspace a few times and have wondered some of the same things for parents, as I will someday when the boys are older… Thankfully, my three year old isn’t asking for a website just yet. 🙂

    Petak

  3. Hey Rich,Great post. Good heads up for parents. I’ve looked around on myspace a few times and have wondered some of the same things for parents, as I will someday when the boys are older… Thankfully, my three year old isn’t asking for a website just yet. 🙂

    Petak

  4. Hey Rich,Great post. Good heads up for parents. I’ve looked around on myspace a few times and have wondered some of the same things for parents, as I will someday when the boys are older… Thankfully, my three year old isn’t asking for a website just yet. 🙂

    Petak

  5. My space kills me. Its cool to do now. But its just porn. I know I know it’s just a place to chat with my friends, its a place to find my long lost buddies. Forget the excuses it makes me angry becaues our kids are going to be jacked. They are seeing and experiencing things to young. Its to hard to be a parent these days. Whats it going to be like in 10 years when mine are teens? Ummm I don’t like my space. It scares me.

  6. My space kills me. Its cool to do now. But its just porn. I know I know it’s just a place to chat with my friends, its a place to find my long lost buddies. Forget the excuses it makes me angry becaues our kids are going to be jacked. They are seeing and experiencing things to young. Its to hard to be a parent these days. Whats it going to be like in 10 years when mine are teens? Ummm I don’t like my space. It scares me.

  7. My space kills me. Its cool to do now. But its just porn. I know I know it’s just a place to chat with my friends, its a place to find my long lost buddies. Forget the excuses it makes me angry becaues our kids are going to be jacked. They are seeing and experiencing things to young. Its to hard to be a parent these days. Whats it going to be like in 10 years when mine are teens? Ummm I don’t like my space. It scares me.

  8. My space kills me. Its cool to do now. But its just porn. I know I know it’s just a place to chat with my friends, its a place to find my long lost buddies. Forget the excuses it makes me angry becaues our kids are going to be jacked. They are seeing and experiencing things to young. Its to hard to be a parent these days. Whats it going to be like in 10 years when mine are teens? Ummm I don’t like my space. It scares me.

  9. Great comments in here, Rich. My oldest son is pretty tech-savvy, but so far I haven’t had to deal with him wanting to do MySpace. I’ve told him that anything in his email or where he goes online is fair game for me to see. The important thing is that the computer is in the living room and I’m aware of what’s going on in his online life.

  10. Great comments in here, Rich. My oldest son is pretty tech-savvy, but so far I haven’t had to deal with him wanting to do MySpace. I’ve told him that anything in his email or where he goes online is fair game for me to see. The important thing is that the computer is in the living room and I’m aware of what’s going on in his online life.

  11. Great comments in here, Rich. My oldest son is pretty tech-savvy, but so far I haven’t had to deal with him wanting to do MySpace. I’ve told him that anything in his email or where he goes online is fair game for me to see. The important thing is that the computer is in the living room and I’m aware of what’s going on in his online life.

  12. Great comments in here, Rich. My oldest son is pretty tech-savvy, but so far I haven’t had to deal with him wanting to do MySpace. I’ve told him that anything in his email or where he goes online is fair game for me to see. The important thing is that the computer is in the living room and I’m aware of what’s going on in his online life.

  13. Myspace has it dangers, a lot of them to be sure. But if the user is discerning and smart then they can avoid the dangers and use the space for their own purposes, be them just fun or for good or whatever. We as Christians cannot shrink away from myspace, especially youth workers and parents, this thing is a pop-culture phenomenon, but we do need to watch what our kids may be doing. Good thoughts Rich.

  14. Myspace has it dangers, a lot of them to be sure. But if the user is discerning and smart then they can avoid the dangers and use the space for their own purposes, be them just fun or for good or whatever. We as Christians cannot shrink away from myspace, especially youth workers and parents, this thing is a pop-culture phenomenon, but we do need to watch what our kids may be doing. Good thoughts Rich.

  15. Myspace has it dangers, a lot of them to be sure. But if the user is discerning and smart then they can avoid the dangers and use the space for their own purposes, be them just fun or for good or whatever. We as Christians cannot shrink away from myspace, especially youth workers and parents, this thing is a pop-culture phenomenon, but we do need to watch what our kids may be doing. Good thoughts Rich.

  16. Myspace has it dangers, a lot of them to be sure. But if the user is discerning and smart then they can avoid the dangers and use the space for their own purposes, be them just fun or for good or whatever. We as Christians cannot shrink away from myspace, especially youth workers and parents, this thing is a pop-culture phenomenon, but we do need to watch what our kids may be doing. Good thoughts Rich.

  17. Rich,
    Awesome post. There is always a flipside to everything…what is good has a downside and vice-versa. I have no problem with Christians on myspace. What concerns me more is all the predators out there….and I’m also concerned about the discrepancy of people live’s in how they present themselves in person, and how they do it in cyberworld. Does that make sense? We often live and act differently online than we do other places and that can present problems. As a guy, I have to be careful how I navigate. There is a lot of nudity and salacious photos, etc., online. This had led to conversations in my college ministry where I have seen myspace as a starting point that leads to some more dangerous stuff pornographically. So we have to take the good with the bad at times, but also be wise and discerning, and help protect minors, etc.

  18. Rich,
    Awesome post. There is always a flipside to everything…what is good has a downside and vice-versa. I have no problem with Christians on myspace. What concerns me more is all the predators out there….and I’m also concerned about the discrepancy of people live’s in how they present themselves in person, and how they do it in cyberworld. Does that make sense? We often live and act differently online than we do other places and that can present problems. As a guy, I have to be careful how I navigate. There is a lot of nudity and salacious photos, etc., online. This had led to conversations in my college ministry where I have seen myspace as a starting point that leads to some more dangerous stuff pornographically. So we have to take the good with the bad at times, but also be wise and discerning, and help protect minors, etc.

  19. Rich,
    Awesome post. There is always a flipside to everything…what is good has a downside and vice-versa. I have no problem with Christians on myspace. What concerns me more is all the predators out there….and I’m also concerned about the discrepancy of people live’s in how they present themselves in person, and how they do it in cyberworld. Does that make sense? We often live and act differently online than we do other places and that can present problems. As a guy, I have to be careful how I navigate. There is a lot of nudity and salacious photos, etc., online. This had led to conversations in my college ministry where I have seen myspace as a starting point that leads to some more dangerous stuff pornographically. So we have to take the good with the bad at times, but also be wise and discerning, and help protect minors, etc.

  20. Rich,
    Awesome post. There is always a flipside to everything…what is good has a downside and vice-versa. I have no problem with Christians on myspace. What concerns me more is all the predators out there….and I’m also concerned about the discrepancy of people live’s in how they present themselves in person, and how they do it in cyberworld. Does that make sense? We often live and act differently online than we do other places and that can present problems. As a guy, I have to be careful how I navigate. There is a lot of nudity and salacious photos, etc., online. This had led to conversations in my college ministry where I have seen myspace as a starting point that leads to some more dangerous stuff pornographically. So we have to take the good with the bad at times, but also be wise and discerning, and help protect minors, etc.

  21. Very good comments! My take on MySpace is really targeted towards adults since my kids are all to young to be involved in the internet yet. I personally do not have a MySpace account, but not because of lack of interest, but more lack of time. I go on there periodically and do searches for graphic designers and photographers to see what others in my feild are doing and to get fresh ideas. Being in the design field it’s important to keep on top of the latest trends and technology and MySpace is swarming with people very talented in these areas moreso than any other site I’ve come across. Now of course it does have some very serious downsides, but for adults in artistic fields, I think it’s a great place to connect and exchange ideas.

  22. Very good comments! My take on MySpace is really targeted towards adults since my kids are all to young to be involved in the internet yet. I personally do not have a MySpace account, but not because of lack of interest, but more lack of time. I go on there periodically and do searches for graphic designers and photographers to see what others in my feild are doing and to get fresh ideas. Being in the design field it’s important to keep on top of the latest trends and technology and MySpace is swarming with people very talented in these areas moreso than any other site I’ve come across. Now of course it does have some very serious downsides, but for adults in artistic fields, I think it’s a great place to connect and exchange ideas.

  23. Very good comments! My take on MySpace is really targeted towards adults since my kids are all to young to be involved in the internet yet. I personally do not have a MySpace account, but not because of lack of interest, but more lack of time. I go on there periodically and do searches for graphic designers and photographers to see what others in my feild are doing and to get fresh ideas. Being in the design field it’s important to keep on top of the latest trends and technology and MySpace is swarming with people very talented in these areas moreso than any other site I’ve come across. Now of course it does have some very serious downsides, but for adults in artistic fields, I think it’s a great place to connect and exchange ideas.

  24. Very good comments! My take on MySpace is really targeted towards adults since my kids are all to young to be involved in the internet yet. I personally do not have a MySpace account, but not because of lack of interest, but more lack of time. I go on there periodically and do searches for graphic designers and photographers to see what others in my feild are doing and to get fresh ideas. Being in the design field it’s important to keep on top of the latest trends and technology and MySpace is swarming with people very talented in these areas moreso than any other site I’ve come across. Now of course it does have some very serious downsides, but for adults in artistic fields, I think it’s a great place to connect and exchange ideas.

  25. Rich,I do not have a My Space account, but EVERYONE else I know does. It became an issue in the youth group I was helping out in when a few of the teens became inappropriate (by any individual’s standards for 14 years olds). This led to may problems, and jeopardized one girl’s safety on a number of occasions. The parents are busy and don’t know what their kids are doing (unless they approve of lascivious posts and photos, which I doubt). I don’t think My Space is bad in and of itself, but like a weapon it can be grossly misused. I do think parents can be more vigilant in devoting attention to their teens, but they are so often intimidated by their teen’s need for more personal space that they give up. So as adults, parents or not, I think we need to look at what they are doing. One youth leader considered getting a My Space account of her own so that she could inadvertantly check up on the youth group, but she didn’t want to seem like a spy. It’s a tough question: Is holding someone accountable meet its boundaries when it comes to the internet?

  26. Rich,I do not have a My Space account, but EVERYONE else I know does. It became an issue in the youth group I was helping out in when a few of the teens became inappropriate (by any individual’s standards for 14 years olds). This led to may problems, and jeopardized one girl’s safety on a number of occasions. The parents are busy and don’t know what their kids are doing (unless they approve of lascivious posts and photos, which I doubt). I don’t think My Space is bad in and of itself, but like a weapon it can be grossly misused. I do think parents can be more vigilant in devoting attention to their teens, but they are so often intimidated by their teen’s need for more personal space that they give up. So as adults, parents or not, I think we need to look at what they are doing. One youth leader considered getting a My Space account of her own so that she could inadvertantly check up on the youth group, but she didn’t want to seem like a spy. It’s a tough question: Is holding someone accountable meet its boundaries when it comes to the internet?

  27. Rich,I do not have a My Space account, but EVERYONE else I know does. It became an issue in the youth group I was helping out in when a few of the teens became inappropriate (by any individual’s standards for 14 years olds). This led to may problems, and jeopardized one girl’s safety on a number of occasions. The parents are busy and don’t know what their kids are doing (unless they approve of lascivious posts and photos, which I doubt). I don’t think My Space is bad in and of itself, but like a weapon it can be grossly misused. I do think parents can be more vigilant in devoting attention to their teens, but they are so often intimidated by their teen’s need for more personal space that they give up. So as adults, parents or not, I think we need to look at what they are doing. One youth leader considered getting a My Space account of her own so that she could inadvertantly check up on the youth group, but she didn’t want to seem like a spy. It’s a tough question: Is holding someone accountable meet its boundaries when it comes to the internet?

  28. Rich,I do not have a My Space account, but EVERYONE else I know does. It became an issue in the youth group I was helping out in when a few of the teens became inappropriate (by any individual’s standards for 14 years olds). This led to may problems, and jeopardized one girl’s safety on a number of occasions. The parents are busy and don’t know what their kids are doing (unless they approve of lascivious posts and photos, which I doubt). I don’t think My Space is bad in and of itself, but like a weapon it can be grossly misused. I do think parents can be more vigilant in devoting attention to their teens, but they are so often intimidated by their teen’s need for more personal space that they give up. So as adults, parents or not, I think we need to look at what they are doing. One youth leader considered getting a My Space account of her own so that she could inadvertantly check up on the youth group, but she didn’t want to seem like a spy. It’s a tough question: Is holding someone accountable meet its boundaries when it comes to the internet?

  29. It was great to see you again.I really enjoyed your 10 Venue tips. Thanks.

  30. It was great to see you again.I really enjoyed your 10 Venue tips. Thanks.

  31. It was great to see you again.I really enjoyed your 10 Venue tips. Thanks.

  32. It was great to see you again.I really enjoyed your 10 Venue tips. Thanks.

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