Okay so this morning I checked out to see if I had any messages on MySpace and there was a comment from my friend Carolinegray. It said “so the sun chronicle had a 3 page report about MySpace and how it gives pedifilers easier access to thier victims..they showed Attleboro profiles and right on the bottom’s is YOU!..i kid not!!”
My first thought was “great I am lumped into an article about slimy sexual predators and other worthless garbage of that same ilk”. Fantastic, what a great way to start the day. I missed the article yesterday because I didn’t snag my parent’s paper. (Why buy two since it gets read by everyone?) So all day I didn’t know exactly what the context of the article was or why my profile or picture appeared there. The Sun Chronicle did not contact me about my views of MySpace or anything like that. I am annoyed.
The article was about how sexual predators, weak useless wastes of space, are now using sites like MySpace to contact teenagers and lure them. The article goes on to talk about the ways that teens can protect themselves online, not giving out their information and the like.
I’ve been online heavily for 10 years. 1996 was the major year that I had serious internet access in college because I could get on our network from my dorm room. That was when I learned how to program HTML. And that is why my life took the direction that it did that year. But this rant is not about me per-say it is about the Internet and the latest fear/scare/panic problem of the week. This week it is MySpace. Many incidences recently had some tie to MySpace.
That nutjob in New Bedford that went into Puzzles Bar and attacked people with a hatchet and gun had a profile on MySpace. So because some whack job loser had a profile on MySpace and then committed an evil act then we must investigate what is happening on MySpace. So now in order to stir the pot with fear/scare and of course panic reporters find out other things that make the Internet a scary place.
You know what is scary, the lack of common sense that people have.
Teens posting scantily clad pictures on their profiles so people can ‘rate’ them on their hotness. Yeah, that isn’t inviting a sexual deviant to look twice at your profile. Kids, “Cover up!”
Don’t meet someone from MySpace or a dating service or anything like that, alone. There is safety in numbers. If you must meet someone online that you have never met before but have formed a ‘relationship’ with you still do not ‘know’ this person and you should take steps to protect yourself. Daytime, Public Place (Not your house), with friends (People that you trust and will stick with you and help you keep your head), let people know where you are going and when you are expected to be back, (I know, It is not ‘cool’ but tell your parents what you are doing). And if the vibe from someone ‘IRL, In Real Life’ is bad, leave.
Parents, have some clue how to use a computer and protect your child. Your child is a child until they are 18 years old. They live in your house and you provide for them. If you do not want them using certain websites than smarten up and get some software with parental controls. Learn how to use the computer and that software. Also put the computer in a central place in the house.
So, what did my MySpace profile have to do with this article? Absolutely nothing except the reporter Lauren Carter did a search for Attleboro on MySpace and took a screenshot of the first page of results. I just so happened to have been on that first page of results.
MySpace, can be a good place. I have discovered many great new musicians through it and it even got me reconnected with some old friends from back when I was a kid. It is another place that I post my Photo-A-Day so that I can get more people to see my pictures and it is nice to be able to contact friends and post messages. But me, I’m 31 years old, I have been on the Internet since 1995/1996. I’ve seen many forms of online communication. I’ve even used some of the dating services from back in the day. So what I am saying is that I have experience with what can be out there. Anything online that can be used for good can also be turned around by bad people to be something bad. Take care of yourself out there.
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