Myspace more in danger of becoming extinct than being a moral problemPosted: September 23, 2011
I can recall a time back in 8th grade when I would catch my mother peeking behind my back to check on who I was talking to on my Myspace profile. There were stories popping up about sex predators getting young girls to meet them, and concern grew greatly (see this archived article for more info http://tiny.cc/3y086 ).
I looked at 15 plus Myspace pages to see if these suspicions are still valid today. I did random searches by typing in partial celebrity/popular character names like “Ron Weas” and “Marylin M” and found that most times when I clicked a name to look at a profile it was private, maybe a sign that people are getting smarter about what they put online and who they show it to. When I was able to access profiles, I noticed that many had no information on it, as if someone had decided to make a Myspace profile, forgot about it, and left it as a mere imprint of themselves with no personality. Other profiles showed that peoples last log-ins were weeks, even months ago. One profile’s last comment had been posted over a year ago.
As far as perverts go, there were a few profiles that were sketchy. One man, age 51, had a friends list that was entirely female (most younger than him), but looked basically normal. A woman had a profile that was private, but her picture was of her behind. The most questionable profile I saw was a man’s profile, whose friend list was entirely female, many of whom were nude. He also had pictures he uploaded that he had taken of the backside of a girl, and pictures of other girls who didn’t seem to know they were in the spotlight.
I’m not going to say Myspace isn’t a place for predators, because people like those I’ve just listed are out there. But I don’t think we can assume Myspace is the only place predators lurk. When we put our information out there, or go out of our way to talk to strangers, and even MEET with them, we can’t believe it’s okay to have our guard down. There are strange people on the site, but there are also some very seemingly normal people, too.
And I don’t think blaming the site is the answer. I went on Myspace when I was younger, and I had the sense not to talk to strangers, and definitely not to meet up with them. I think parents who let their children use these sites need to keep watch. It may have been annoying, but knowing my mother would come in on occasion made me think about who I was talking to.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think Myspace needs to be seen as a strong threat. Not enough people access it like they used to. Compare the weekly or monthly log-ins on Myspace to the daily (sometimes several times in a day) log-ins onto Facebook and Twitter- it’s not the popular site it was about eight to ten years ago. Myspace in today’s world is taking up more web space than anything else.