MySpace: Parents' Dilemma – the New "Sex Ed"

If you’re age 14-24, you’re already on MySpace.com.  If you’re over 40, you have no idea what 50 million plus young people are doing on a site with more traffic than even giant Google. 

For parents, teaching your children about acceptable online behavior is the new Sex Ed of the 21st century — and to make it worse, we parents have never gone through this experience ourselves!

In later posts, I’ll try to reconcile the fact that social networking sites provide unprecedented positive opportunities to link people together, while at the same time unintentionally facilitating child predators, oversexualization of young people and outright dumb behavior (think MTV’s Jackass by amateurs).  What a minefield.

On the positive side are arguments that young people have always created fora to establish their identities and aren’t really doing anything new.  See an article by Danah Boyd, an Internet researcher:  “Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace”

On the negative side are reports of “cyberstalking” and child predators seeking out and meeting unwitting young people.  This is leading to a growing awareness (panic?) in the mainstream media, for example this 11 PM News item on KNBC in Los Angeles February 27:  MySpace Investigation

In the meantime, here is a resource available for parents and children:  WiredSafety.org

Stay tuned….

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4 Responses to MySpace: Parents' Dilemma – the New "Sex Ed"

  1. Ted says:

    Kind of over dramatic, doesn’t seem like this blog leans too left.

  2. Ken Hayes says:

    Thanks for commenting, Ted. I’m not sure yet if drama is warranted – after having lived many years in Europe, I would consider myself quite socially liberal and fiscally conservative, a “classic liberal”. But, I’m also the father of two pre-teen kids. Since I’m in the advertising business and understand the volume, reach and persistence of web content, I am concerned, until I can figure out how to deal with it.

  3. Pingback: Ken Hayes » Blog Archive » The Internet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  4. littlemoney says:

    Although I agree that myspace can become a medium for pedophiles and the like, I think that you can still educate your child even without having experienced blogging on myspace. 🙂

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