So everyone is freaking out over MySpace. “It’s dangerous.” “Kids are giving out too much information.” “There are pedophiles everywhere on it.” The news and parents are making it out to be the people who began MySpace’s fault. My theory?

It’s the parents. The parents are the ones who didn’t teach their kids how to be safe on the internet. The parents are the ones who don’t know what their kids are up to. The parents are the ones who are too busy to moniter what their children are doing.

It is not the fault of the people who started and work on MySpace. I have an account there and it’s been a great way of reconnecting with old friends from school and work. But like in most other areas of life, there’s a smart way and a dumb way to do it.

MySpace has tons of options to keep your profile more safe.

* Make your profile private so that only your “friends” can see it.
* Don’t friend people you don’t know.
* Don’t agree to meet people you don’t know and if you do, make it a group thing.
* Don’t put personal information on. Leave out the names of places and people.
* Remember that anyone can sound fun, cute and charming online.

Another complaint about MySpace is that it gives kids a place to exhibit “lewd, criminal or even just tasteless behavior”. I hate to break it to you but if your child is going to post half naked pictures or threaten someone, there are a lot more ways to do that than just MySpace.

MySpace is a great way to build community. I know it might sound kooky but real friendships and relationships are being built on this site. The internet can be a wonderful tool, when used properly.

So parents, take some responsibility. Talk to your kids are what is and is not ok on the internet. After you talk about it, enforce it. I’m not saying give your children no privacy and demand every detail but keep an eye on things. For starters, you could go create an account yourself and friend them. 🙂

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