It seems that Myspace is in trouble yet again. This time parents are suing them because their children were assaulted by someone they met on Myspace. The parents are claiming that Myspace was negligent,fradulent, etc…. click here.
Myspace is no more dangerous that Blogger or WordPress or Moveabletype, nor any one of the millions of forums that are online.
As with any online activity, caution is the best approach. You never give your real name, you don’t post your address, phone number or immediate location. The most identifying thing about you should be the part of the country and if the city is large enough, maybe that.
Also as in life, parents should bloody well know who their kid is hanging out with. I’m sorry, a 15, 16,17 or even 18 year old is not “world wise” enough(on the most part) to have really good judge of character.
So, the next thought, is where were the parents? Why were they not checking their underage humans online activities? Why didn’t they have access to their accounts? It’s relatively simple to say “if your on line, I get all the passwords, if not…forget it!” Why weren’t they checking their cellphone records.
I personally check the “underage person” that is on my account. I check it regularly, like clockwork. I’m immediately aware if a strange number appears on her account. I can even tell you where her phone is at all times!
Now, it’s not that I don’t trust her….it’s the rest of the world that bothers me. She is a responsibility that I chose and one that I take great care in doing my part to protect her.
People have forgotten that a baby/toddler/child/teenager is not something that you have, play with a bit and then let it figure it out. You are responsible for creating yet another adult that you will have to interact with at some point. You are responsible for it’s morals, it’s judgement and it’s character. It’s not like getting a puppy which you can pretty much leave to it’s own devices after a few weeks or so. It’s a huge committment and it seems that quite few people haven’t gotten that memo.
Now, as far as the underage person that I’m associated with. She doesn’t blink without someone knowing it. She is currently a the stage of “testing her boundaries”, but she has a very level head on her shoulders and she seems to have discovered the part of “learning from other’s mistakes”. Not that she is perfect, by any means, but overall, she is definitely a fine product. Her parents have done a fabulous job with her, she will be an adult that anyone would want to interact with.
So, if my “underage person’s” parents can let their child onto MySpace and not run into problems, why couldn’t the parents of those other girls? What have my friends done that is so different? Could it be that my friends are actually responsible parents and have chosen to take an interest in their daughter’s online activites.
I might add that the “underage person” finds all the attention to her activities a bit bothersome. Oh well, once she has learned the basics and gotten a good foundation on character judgement..she will be as a free as a bird and can go surf the internet at will. Until then, she will just have to get used to the fact that people love her a lot and want to help keep her safe.