Wednesday, April 23, 2008


MySpace.....What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear that name? To my mind, comes an overwhelming amount of negative thoughts, which is unfortunate. MySpace is a place where people can stay connected with friends and family. However, like all good things in our world, MySpace was abused and transformed into a website full of gossip, cursing, false impressions (people pretending to be someone they are not, i.e. men seeking teenage girls), and risqué photos. In addition, any individual, no matter what age, has the ability to obtain a MySpace page if they have access to the Internet. This leads me to comment on the dangers of teenagers and MySpace.

On March 30, 2008, 16 year-old, Victoria Lindsay, was attacked and brutally beaten by six teenage girls, whom are all fellow classmates, in Lakeland, Florida. In addition to the six girls, two 18 year-old males were acting as lookouts outside the house in which the beating took place. This attack was in response to slurs and insults the victim had allegedly posted about them on MySpace. First of all, gossip is a destructive sin in which both parties involved will most likely suffer terrible consequences. “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 NIV) “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks to much.” (Proverbs 20:19 NIV) Unfortunately, we are all aware that teenagers gossip, somewhat of which is due to their level of immaturity. What I find difficult to understand is why teens will post insulting comments on MySpace about others, when they know that there is a definite possibility that those that they comment on will read it! Are they completely oblivious to the consequences of their actions or do they desperately seek a dramatic confrontation? What can be done to prevent events like the attack on Victoria Lindsay from reoccurring?

First and foremost, parents need to take action by being aware of and having access to their child's MySpace page. If your teen is opposed to you invading their privacy, then they simply should not be allowed to have a MySpace account. In other words, rules must be established for your child's protection. Besides having access to your teen's account, you should have a MySpace page. Crazy, right? It is not necessary to communicate with anyone on MySpace, but you will be able to better monitor your child's actions. You will also learn the dangers of MySpace by simply having an account. For example, random people that you do not know will want to add you as a friend and communicate with you. This can obviously become very dangerous, very quickly. Many people give false impressions on the Internet, as we all know. You will also want to make your teen aware that you are watching their MySpace activity frequently. Otherwise, they will be more likely to take part in the negative aspects of MySpace because they believe that you are not viewing their activity daily.

Just to clear the air, I have a MySpace of my own. My sole purpose of having a MySpace is to keep in touch with friends and family, which is exactly what it should be intended for. Parents, please be responsible and don't always trust your teen(s), regardless of how mature you think they might be. They are still at a very influential stage in their life and they are confronted with peer pressure every single day!


Jacob said...

Parents parenting their children? I don't know if we're ready for such a radical innovation...

MikeDana said...

We need to keep reminding the Teens (and their Parents, and the rest of us for that matter) that all of the "social networking" sites, regardless of how you intend to use them, are Public, and should be treated as such.

Sitting at your computer in the "privacy" of your home (or wherever), it's all too easy to forget just how very big that potential audience is, and while the vast majority of the folks you'll encounter are not "Bad Guys", it only takes one to do some very serious harm!

Coffee Snob said...


For more on MySpace, Facebook, and a variety of other technological matters, get a copy of our "Every Square Inch" broadcast from March 29. Quite a good interview, if I may say so.

And thanks for joining the team!

Coffee Snob