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Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-10-2005, 10:08 AM   #1
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Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Perhaps you parents have heard of MySpace.com.

I've been vaguely aware of it for the last six months or so, mainly because our kid has been scanning yearbook photos like a demon and messing up "my" hard drive by saving them to random folders. She uploads the images to her MySpace.com account or helps our neighborhood gang upload them to their own accounts. (We tease her that she'd be rich if she charged each of them 25 cents for the tutoring.) The company itself recently was acquired by Murdock's News Corp and it made the cover of this week's Business Week. It looks pretty popular yet innocuous, in this case an online version of what's been going on in middle schools for decades.

So other kids have been flocking around the computer and our kid seems to enjoy her newfound guru status. She, like me, spends a lot of her time typing away at various sites that let her proffer an opinion. She's using an e-mail address that doesn't have identifying info, I've been assured that MySpace accounts can be made anonymous, she doesn't use her photo or school name or address, and she doesn't seem to be furtive about her actions (the computer is in the familyroom). Of course she wants to do her own thing but I haven't been worried or even very interested.

However other parents are making us wonder if we're too apathetic. In various conversations over the last couple months, someone inevitably starts spluttering about "catching" their teen on (insert mangled MySpace.com name here) and the group's outrage level rises off the charts. The parents don't know anything about the site except that they saw a four-letter word or a sex-related word or (*gasp*) scantily-clad bodies. That usually leads to a rant on "kids today" and "the internet", followed by the impression that these people probably lead a pretty sheltered existence. What's unusual is that this attitude is coming from just about all our parental acquaintances and not just the right-wing homeschooling survivalist fundamentalist Christians. I'm not too worried about our kid enhancing her vocabulary or drooling on the keyboard. However I guess I should be mildly concerned that some parental Luddite will appear on my doorstep inquiring why our kid is putting their kid online when every other neighborhood browser is blocking MySpace.com.

I'm not worried about what the kids can do to the computer itself. I use the the typical firewall/virus/spyware software and I routinely dig through the configuration/startup tables. I do lotsa backups. Verizon randomly changes our DSL IP address. I block most ads with a custom HOSTS file and I don't think our kid even realizes that they're blocked. We talk about online safety and things like Kim Komando's Kid's contract and she seems to get it, or about as much as a 13-year-old listens to any grownup (let alone parents). We don't read her mail but we do ask her to imagine how she'd feel if Grandma stumbled across her MySpace page.

I know there are a lot of scary stories out there, but has anyone encountered any particular problems with MySpace?

Maybe my daughter is really Unclemick... hey, UM, take out the trash!
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Hi Nords,
DH and I have been discussing the whole internet use by teens question in general and MySpace specifically for a couple of months.* We have a 16 year old who spends much time on the computer being a right-wing homeschooling survivalist fundamentalist Christians family we use the computer as learning tool. He does have a computer in his room but we decided as a family that the door needed to be open when he was on the computer. (Our house is 1300 sq feet, I can see his BR door from where I'm sitting at my computer in the DR) and that the computer needed to be off at 2300.

We've also regularly discussed the online ability of people to make up an identity.* That 16 yr old male or female you think you are talking to may be a 52 year old man with no hair, no teeth and no pants!* I have checked my sons home page and found it's pretty innocuous with a bit of puffing but he stupidly put is full name and hometown on there.*

I have gone back and forth on the idea of reading e-mail and may decide that's the way to go in the future.* I've tried to equate this with situations of my youth and can't.* We are treading new ground and my way of dealing with it is constantly evolving.

What are others' experiences with kids and the internet.

Judy
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 11:18 AM   #3
 
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Dunno enough about myspace.com to offer an opinion, but the local rag did feature an article on it the other day...
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Not long ago I was a chat host for a now defunked website. The site was linked to AOL which meant I had to go through not only the chatrooms training but AOLs training as well. I had chatted for a long time before that but I was pleasntly surprised at the amount and depth of training they gave to keep kids safe. Myself along with my other host companions were very quick to spot children that didn't belong in the room we were hosting (a sexuality chat) and would immediately eject them from the room. We were also trained to monitor each other, they took this very seriously.

The bottom line is make sure you know who your kids are conversing with on the internet, make sure it's in a family area in the house. Get your own spyware and logging software to monitor their travels on the internet. I know you're all for the childs privacy but there are just some areas you have to put your foot down. No last names, addresses, phone numbers, schools or any other identifying information. MySpace.com seems harmless enough but there are sick people out there ready to pounce.
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 02:32 PM   #5
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Quote:
That 16 yr old male or female you think you are talking to may be a 52 year old man with no hair, no teeth and no pants!
Hey, I'm only 51... :P
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tozz
Dunno enough about myspace.com to offer an opinion, but the local rag did feature an article on it the other day...
Ah, that explains why our kid claims to be 14.
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-11-2005, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

I've read my daughter's entire MySpace blog. It's pretty innocuous. Just like with anything else (e.g., phone, IM, etc) I guess it could be abused. If one does not have a good open relationship with their kid, then myspace is not going to make it worse or better. Besides ... it helps teach them about internet safety.


Of course, just tell your daughter about your MySpace account and blog. Let her know that all your friends participate as well. Then MySpace will look so uncool that it won't be a problem anymore.
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?
Old 12-27-2005, 10:33 PM   #8
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Re: Is "MySpace.com" the Antichrist?

I have a myspace account. I don't think it's any different then the rest of the 'net. Just talk to your kids about it like you would anything else.
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