Teens, Parents, and MySpace.com
If you are teen who wants to join MySpace.com, or a parent who has concerns about letting your teen become a member of MySpace, you first need to know what it is. According to Wikipedia (1), MySpace.com is a social networking website that currently reports just over a million members. MySpace (2) makers say that the website is a place where members can create private communities to share photos, journals and interests with friends, family, classmates, business acquaintances and anyone else they wish to communicate with.
Safety with MySpace
Online predators are nothing new. Whenever a teenager or child is allowed to communicate with adults (or adults posing as teens/children) during chats, emails, or Instant Messages, a potentially dangerous situation could arise if an online predator pursues them. Rules about internet use (including time used, place used, and websites visited) should be set in each household and be different for each age group. Also, talking with teens or children about the dangers of online predators helps them to make smart choices when the opportunity to communicate with others arises.
MySpace (2) takes precautions to protect the youth who are registered with them. MySpace requires users to be at least 14. Profiles of teens ages 14 to 15 are private (non-accessible to other users). Users who are 16 or over have the option to restrict their profiles, as well as the option of allowing certain personal data to be restricted to people other than those on their friends list. If the youth is under 18, their full profile and the abilty for others message them is restricted to their MySpace friends only.
Fun With MySpace
If used correctly, MySpace can be a fun place for teens and parents. MySpace has a lot to offer everyone. Users can submit films, watch films, talk about films. They can do the same with music, books, videos, comedy, movies, and classifieds. Recently, MySpace started offering MySpaceIM to users as well. After talking about the dangers of online predators with your teen, you can easily set up an account together.
How to Use MySpace
After creating a member login consisting of email address and password, MySpace (2) is easy to use.
- First, sign up and create a profile of yourself (hobbies, interests, pics). You can also specify who who’d like to meet (age range, sex, local).
- Second, you can invite your friends to join your personal network.
- Third, you can view the connections you create between your friend and their friends.
Problems with MySpace
If problems should arise with MySpace, several options are available to teens and their parents. Under the FAQ (2) page of MySpace, teens and parents can find solutions to most of their problems. Problems are addressed such as what to do if you’re being bugged, harassed, or threatened. The site recommends trying to ignore the harasser first, and if that doesn’t work to remove them from your list, erase any messages that come in from them, and block the sender. The site recommends calling law enforcement immediately if someone is harassing you.
MySpace Safety Sources
- Wikipedia [online]
- MySpace [online]