There is one extremely big down side to becoming a successful business in the US and that is everyone starts taking “pot shots” at you. Just ask the creators of the most successful website, ever, for teenagers, “MySpace”. Over the past year, I have heard nothing but bad news about this website, which reportedly receives more daily traffic than search giant, Google. The latest bad news about “MySpace” involves a teenage girl who found a way to get from her US home all the way to “Jordan” in order to meet up with a much older man she met at this website.
The truth is that millions of young people visit “MySpace” on a daily basis to keep up with friends and to communicate with each other. In my opinion this website, which I don’t think I’ve ever visited, is a much better place for teens than hanging out on the streets after midnight. Kids have always found ways to get into trouble and the kids of today are no different than those of the past. This is normal, growing up, behavior because there is no way to find out who and what you are without testing the rules and boundaries set up by parents and authority figures.
As we adults grow older, I think many of the brain cells that remember how bad we once were as kids die off quickly. Without a doubt I did some terrible things, as a kid, that I’m embarrassed to even talk about today. Are the things that kids are doing on “MySpace” any worse than what young people did when I was a teenager? I guess the answers is yes and no, but the truth is that all kids are going to test boundaries and when they do that, it scares their parents no matter what generation they are from. I’ve often told friends that it is amazing any of us ever lived to become adults, but most of us did and turned out ok in the long run.
If some folks are successful in finding a way to control or shut down “MySpace” their kids will just find other places to hang out and more than likely those new places will be worse than an Internet connected computer in the safety of their own home. The biggest problem and issue here involves parents who are so caught up in their own lives that they don’t pay attention to what their kids are doing at school, with their friends or on the Internet. These absentee parents are not paying attention and when something like “MySpace” receives negative attention it is easier to blame them, rather than to take a long hard look in the mirror.
When looking at “MySpace” or any other type of activity kids of today get involved with, it is extremely important to think about what alternative will present itself if that activity was not available. Kids are going to find ways to test the boundaries and yes they are going to get into trouble, that’s what all kids do best. There is no way around this happening and it is just a normal part of a stressful life for parents. If you’re a parent think long and hard about whether you would prefer to have your child at home on a computer or hanging out with other kids late at night on the streets. Maybe neither of these options are acceptable, to you, but as a parent, I assure you that kids will find a way to congregate and there are much worse places for this to occur than at “MySpace”.
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