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What is Your Child Doing on Myspace? Why You Should Know

Does your child have a Myspace page (are you sure)? Do you know what is on that page? Do you check their Myspace profile regularly? Or just here and there? Have you taken the time to sit down and look at what your child is posting on Myspace? My space is just like Instagram where you can connect with a stranger and get followers for Instagram and increase your popularity online. Considering all this it is really important that you pay attention to the online activity of your child. 

This is not about trust. This is not about maturity. This is about a parent being responsible and knowing what their child is doing, via a medium that they provide. Myspace requires a person to be at least 14 years old to sign up. But they do not require proof of age; they take your word for it. Social networking sites usually do not require proof of age because most people would simply find another place, rather than provide that proof. So responsibility for being truthful lies with the person signing up. My space is just like 

Some parents are aware their children have Myspace accounts and think its harmless fun. Many parents don’t bother to check and see what their children post on Myspace, as is evident from so many teen profiles being filled with suggestive photos and sexual comments. The Myspace network is not a babysitter and cannot be expected to screen every comment and every photo. That’s where the parent comes in. Parents must get involved in their child’s online activities.

I have a private Myspace profile to keep in touch with friends. Recently a friend’s 16-year-old daughter added to me. I accepted her as my friend feeling that her Myspace would be monitored heavily by her parents. When I viewed her profile I saw her entire name and most of her address posted. Her cell phone number and normal schedule were listed for the world to see as well. I won’t even bother with the suggestive photos and sexual comments. I was very surprised that her parents, people I know would be shocked to the core seeing these things, have no idea what she is doing online. I viewed her friend’s list and found several ‘friends’ profiles that were for children under 14. The ages were listed anywhere from 16 to 69 and most were not set to private; which means I could view profiles, pictures and comments freely.

It’s not just about making sure your 13-year-old daughter doesn’t post semi-nude photos on Myspace, or that she’s leaving sexually charged comments, or even that she’s revealing her address. It’s also about talking to that same 13 years old and showing her how dangerous the internet can be. Morals aside, the world is a dangerous place and cyberspace is a part of the world we now live in. The recent suicide of a young woman because of bullying on Myspace is the tip of the ice burg. Stalking, threats, and harassment are becoming more common online. Children need parents to monitor them, set limits and teach skills to deal with these things.

Myspace can be a great thing. A convenient place to keep in touch with friends and family in this new cyber age and a great place to share photos and videos of special events in your life. And it’s free!

Responsible parents protect their kids from harm and teach them to avoid dangers.

Myspace and other social networking sites need parents to continue that responsibility and monitor their children. Talk to your child. Review their online activities often. Create your own Myspace and add your child! Get online and do what your child does. The more you know the easier it will be to talk to your child and the easier it will be to see what needs to monitored constantly.

Some things to protect you and your child right away on Myspace: Make your profile private. Require people to know your name or email address before they can request to add you as a friend. Hide your online status, so no one will know when you’re on your Myspace page. And NEVER post your real name, address or phone number. Ever.

Jaime
Jaime London is a writer, contributor, editor and a photographer. He started his career as an editorial assistant in a publishing company in Chicago in 2009.