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Myspace

by Chevy


This is an article I wrote for parents who feel that their kids need to get off Myspace. I might have to post in parts considering how slow my computer is:

Concerning this Whole Myspace Thing...

Thanks to all of the negative attention the media has given Myspace, parents all over the United States are pulling their kids off Myspace daily.

A 15-year-old girl meets a guy on his "Myspace profile," and later on that week is naive enough to meet the idiot at his "friend's" party where she's taken in a basement humiliated, raped, choked, and finds out they he wasn't really 16...he was actually 23! Uh, well...you're a little too late, kid.

An outcast at school posts a "bulletin" for all of his "Myspace friends" to see that he's going to blow up the school tomorrow because he hates everyone and no one likes him there. And now everyone wants their kid to delete their Myspace account and never ever use anything like it again.

A high school student creates a "Myspace profile" and pretends to be his principal posting innappropiate things that his principal would never actually do. Of course this doesn't actually effect anything except well, someone's feelings for about a week or so, and of course, the principal's ever-so important Myspace reputation.

But why? Why is all this happening? Is this not just a brand new way for teens across America to communicate over the web?

No--that's foolishness. Of course not. Myspace is a internet community than can put your child in dangerous situations where they could wound up raped, arrested, gone missing, dead, or going on a road trip with a 45-year-old former hippie who was posing as a 17-year-old bassist with shaggy hair in a rock band in Michigan somewhere. So of course, naturally, every truly concerned mother and father wants their kid off the site.

But let's think back before there was a Myspace. Teens were being raped, running off with people twice their age, threatening to blow up schools, spreading rumors, and a million other things before there was ever a Myspace. Take a look at Columbine. You think those kids had Myspace profiles to give their little evil thoughts away before they went and shot up all those kids? I don't think so. They were probably just learning what "WWW" and "E-Mail" meant in their computer classes.

What I'm trying to say here is, Myspace is merely just a new tool for teens, and people in general to get out of hand. You can lock them up, beat them down, and give them 10 years--people are still going to break the rules. Even back in the 60s, kids were sending chain letters written in newspaper collages, sprinkling them in blood and scaring the crap out of the nerds at school that they didn't like. Teens were always prank calling, ding-dong-ditching, TP-ing, vandalizing, stalking, bullying, pestering, shooting, kidnapping, impersonating, murdering, raping, making fun of the principal, throwing rocks at window, and sneaking out the house long before the word "Myspace" was ever slurred from Tom (it's creator)'s lips.

So, what were we doing back then to punish these little beasts for their actions? Why of course, we made them delete their Myspace accounts...I mean, come on, don't you remember your Grandma telling you stories about being banned from Myspace after she snuck out with that crazy boy Billy Turner who she barely even knew? Of course not (I hope not).

Needless to say, regardless what the media is putting out there for us to hear and see, Myspace is not the issue. It's the people on it. There's nothing wrong with a certain county's school system...it's those rebellious children sitting at their desks, and their parents who are too occupied for whatever reason to raise them properly. There's nothing wrong with America. There might be something wrong with what's going on at one of those desks somewhere in D.C., but the grass hasn't started growing pink with black and white striped flowers and the water still comes out the faucet pretty clear to me.

Now I'm not one to mash all things together, but believe it or not, everyone on Myspace is not this really spooky guy with a beer belly and a passion for innocent 14-year-old girls who jabber on and on about their love for Orlando Bloom and hot pink locked in somewhere between a million "LOLZ" and other annoying internet lingo on their Myspace pages. But everyone's not that innocent little 14-year-old girl either. Joining Myspace, and various other similar websites is a risk and I do believe that these sites are lurking with predators just waiting for the right moment for the door to open, to slip into the innocent minds of these boys and girls. You can easily find a couple of pictures of some random kid, create a Myspace page telling your fellow Myspace friends about how you think Napolean Dynamite and skateboarding rules, and anything else you think kids are into these days.

Everyday kids are falling for these phoney Myspacers, and sometimes even falling in love with these fake teenagers, getting curious, and wanting to actually meet these people they met on Myspace in person. Of course, these kids aren't telling their parents about this, nor really thinking that this person might not be who they say they are. Not every time something happens, but there have been many cases where something has happened. However, here are three of the ways to prevent this from happening to you, or your child.

1. Don't make it a habit of "getting to know" people online you have never actually met. Not everyone is out to get you, but there are some that are. His profile might say that he's a sixteen-year-old that goes to Thompson High, and you know what? He could fairly well be, but don't take that risk of going out there and meeting the guy at the local movie theatre. This is how those stories began that you see on the news. Like I said earlier, shy away from those profiles of people you don't know...just stick with chatting with your real-life friends. They're cool enough. However, if you just feel like you're in dying love with this guy or girl, take someone with you to meet them. In fact, take one of your parents or someone with some kind of authority with you to meet this mystery guy.

2. Steer away from giving out personal information--be very vague when it comes to these things. Your full name, address, phone number, name of your school, church, place of business, neighborhood, and even favorite hangout place can easily give you away. Contrary to popular beliefe, your picture is not the solely thing that gives you away. So what if someone you see on Myspace sees you at the mall? You can see someone in another school's yearbook, and see them at the mall, too. However, on many occasions, I have browsed Myspace profiles bombarded with practically everything except their social security number, making it extremely easy to hunt this person down. Most of the time, these people are not trying to draw attention to themselves, merely just giving their real-life friends easy access to something they might need, but in actuality they're just setting themselves up for danger.

3. Quit trying to look and sound seductive in your profile. Now even though Myspace has a no-nudity policy which is strictly enforced, Myspace is still packed with young girls...even 12 and 13 years old, up to grown woman taking pictures in skirts short enough to be belts, breasts popping at of picture like bombs or something, with that "Here I come, PlayBoy!" look in their eyes, and sadly, some of the guys are doing it, too. Personally, I think this is one of the major downfalls of the Myspace community, and the entire world as a whole. Everyone trying to look beautiful on the outside that's only temporary, but just getting uglier by the minute on the inside, which is what lasts forever. But that's another story.

Overall, Myspace is not the first, and it sure won't be last thing that comes around for people to get into, meet people, listen to music, talk to existing friends, pretend to be someone else, and cause some trouble. My great-grandkids will probably communicate with their friends by a device in their pupil. So therefore, it would be pointless to try to and get rid of Myspace or make every kid delete their account to leave the child molestor impersonators to flirt with each other, because they think they're talking to "other kids." Getting rid of the problem is not fixing it. If 6,000 mothers were to march up to the Myspace Headquarters in California and beat the place down with their megaphones and umbrellas, the WoobiePage Headquarters would open up in New York, and now everyone's kids are joining that, and you know what? Destroying Myspace would have been totally pointless. So off they go across the U.S.A. to go and attack WoobiePage building! I don't think so...

(continued)


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Wed May 10, 2006 7:51 pm
Empress Kat wrote a review...



MySpace is a waste of time. But as a recent HS graduate, it's a freekin great way to keep in touch. I would have never talked to many of my buddies after they split for college, but now we still get together when we're all in town. I don't meet people there, I just use it to keep in touch. I don't need a zilion "friends". Myspace does have it's uses, some people just take it WAY too seriously.




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Fri May 05, 2006 3:57 pm
Chevy says...



Nate: Thank you so much for the critiquing, I'm really influenced to edit it now. And the thing about the football players...well, I guess I should take it out because, it does happen often here...I'm serious. But it's not universal, and of course if I put it online, Georgians aren't going to be the only people reading it.

Triggerfinger: I'm not sure where you live, but Myspace is slowly just becoming a tradition for teenagers in America, at least. It's not just a place to chat with people and show off your pictures. You can listen to music, let people know about certain events, and so on. Also, if you're a musician, it's a great way to promote your career...that's mostly what I use it for and well, I've gotten gigs because of it. You'd be suprised, though...what the benefits of Myspace are. I mean, come on...you can BLOCK people you don't like talking to! Can't do that with the telephone...




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Thu May 04, 2006 6:13 pm
Swires says...



I arnt a fan of myspace purely because I would sooner create my own website, good,clean code. MySpace just isnt original and I couldnt care less about joining it.




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Thu May 04, 2006 5:43 pm
triggerfingerxx wrote a review...



Myspace is stupid. You know why? becuase its constant communication with everyone and everything. I mean, don't these people get sick of eachother? Plus, its a way to put up a front and show other people how you want to be presented. Personally, its a waste of a time and highly addicted. People can find evetter things to do.




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Thu May 04, 2006 5:32 pm
Nate wrote a review...



There are some fragments and run-ons, but nothing too bad. I mostly had a problem with the exagerated examples. You started off fine, with examples of a persistent boy calling a girl, then escalated into TPing. But then it gets really bad when you start talking about football jocks raping the freshman. Does that happen? Yes. Does it happen often? Not even close. A better example would be hazing, and then only something like shaving off all the hair of freshman is common. Keep the examples pertinent and easily relatable. The second part of the article just got way too ridiculous.

You also need to balance out your article. There's not just two options here: MySpace or no MySpace. There's also the option of parental supervision. You do allude to that, but you don't make any explicit mention of it and certainly do not go into indepth. In addition to that, you gotta shorten the article. A persausive essay such as this should be short; 500 words is usually a good amount. Right now, this is almost 2000 words long.

However, you do bring up many good points. You pointed out that MySpace is really no different than a thousand other things out there, and that in many ways, it's actually safer. You should also go more into detail on how abuse of MySpace is actually few and far between and that more often than not, abuse of the site is a result of improper parental supervision. What you need to do, though, is take those good points and condense them.




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Thu May 04, 2006 3:50 pm
Chevy says...



Thanks, Fontroy...you're right, I should try to get it in a newspaper. But I seriously have to work on it..I didn't realize how many errors such as run-on sentences and misspelled words I had in it. But heck, not so bad for 3:30 in the morning, eh (that's when I wrote it)?




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Thu May 04, 2006 10:06 am
deleted6 says...



That is so true Chevy so true and i barely use myspace, find it a waste of time to tell the truth. Rather spend more time talking to Elizabeth than on that. Shoudl post this in the local paper and in the school it so helpful.




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Thu May 04, 2006 2:04 am
Chevy says...



(continued)
So just think about it before you make your kid get off Myspace as soon as you see or hear of a problem. Think about what your father did when that annoying boy kept calling you everyday. He didn't go outside and burn down the whole neighborhood's phone-lines down. He fixed the problem rather it was calling the kid's mom or getting the police. Think about what you did when there was a note tossed in your locker that read "Meet me behind the school at 4 PM SHARP." Think about what you did when the popular girls TP-ed your house. Think about what you did when there was a rumor posted in the school paper about you. And you know what? Think about what happened when the football team raped the freshmen. In all these situations, there was no Myspace-deleting involved. See the parellel here? Well, even if you don't, in all of these situations, the problems were fixed and not gotten rid of, okay? You still went to back to school even after you got that weird note. Your parents didn't hire someone to cut down every tree in the yard to prevent TP-ing. The school paper was not cancelled because your feelings got hurt. Your brother who played ice-hockey didn't have to become a eunich because of what the football players did just because that's the kind of thing "jocks" do.
So don't make your kid get off Myspace because they got a weird message or because of what some kid did on the news. You don't need a computer to get in trouble. So you take it away, and they'll go to Facebook. Take that away? They'll go to Xanga... Hi5... Tagged... Purevolume... LiveJournal...WoobiePage. There are a million websites out there who could easily take the place of Myspace.
If you feel a little uncomfortable about what your kid might be doing on Myspace, tell your kids to set their profile to private and block the idiot. Trust me, they'll know exactly what you're talking about.
Once again, don't take your kids off Myspace. Don't take your kids out of school. Don't take them away from their friends. Don't take your kids away from the media. Don't take your kids away from life. There is no kind of way you can just avoid the bad things in life. You just have to pay attention they're lives and be a grown-up and monitor them, until they're mature enough to handle things on their own. And please, don't just ask them about their Myspace. Ask them what they're doing on life, what bands they're listening to, what's happening on American Idol, who they're talking to, the kid they have a crush on, has something strange been happening or is just there something they want to talk about. Parents and kids have to interact. Everyday we see all kinds of things happening because kids don't feel like they're being loved or like they can be trusted, and vice versa, even. Show some authority, and don't let it begin with getting rid of Myspace.

-Morgan H., 16, an active Myspace user, is a highschool senior, and singer/songwriter in the Atlanta, Georgia area where she plans to study music and music preformance, and possibly psychology, in hopes that she can reach out to teenagers in a way that they will listen.





What praise is more valuable than the praise of an intelligent servant?
— Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice