Thursday, June 08, 2006

The My Space Debate

So there's this discussion going on between myself, my coworkers, and my friends. It's in regards to blogging, particularly on "myspace". The more and more I see and hear about my space, the more I am concerned about the state of teenagers right now. I definitely think having a place to air your thoughts and feelings is great... the problem is when this becomes someone's primary form of communication. And when the communication is also full of inapporpriate, sometimes pornographic photos.

Here's a conversation I had with one of the kids at the group home where I work.
Me: We are not going to allow my space to be used anymore during your internet time.
Teen: But I won't be able to talk to my brother.
Me: Doesn't your brother have access to a phone?
Teen: Yes, but he doesn't like talking on the phone.
Me: Well, there are plenty of other options to communicate with people outside of my space. I'm sure you'll find a way.

It's amazing to me that some teens now think that this "blogging" world is the only way to have relationships. Note, I am using broad generalizations here. I recognize that not everyone who uses my space is living in a bubble with no other communication. However, it is concerning to me because I was a teen not so long ago, and I remember the ease of having very open conversations using "IM" and email. Now, that is changing more to the "my space" world.

Well I guess I am undecided on this issue. At the group home, we finally decided to just stop allowing them to use my space because so much of it was inappropriate. However, I do think that there is some benefit to this type of interaction when it is used appropriately. Any thoughts? Post a comment.


Katie said...

heh, i tried to post the other night, and the posting server was down! :P i thought, "hm, maybe that wasn't an accident." haha, anyway. just a few thoughts...
~ i think there is too much of a tendency in my generation to hide behind virtual conversation. not all teens do this, but some of them don't know how to do eye contact even! :P (extreme example that i've only seen a few cases of)
~ personal sites are all right as long as you are very very careful of what information you give out. i mean, honestly... people who give out towns and full names are totally asking for trouble.

Ally said...

I think prohibiting teens' use of myspace is a great idea. As an adult, I've received solicitations from men and I've viewed a lot of inappropriate photos. I cannot believe the photos women post of themselves. Some are borderline porn, and nothing good can come from people seeing that. Since a myspace profile contains so much personal information and a photo it seems like a more likely target for predators too. IMing seems like a better option, although obviously face to face conversations are better.