Monday, December 12, 2005

MySpace or Everybody's Space?

According to a recent BusinessWeek cover story, memebership at has nearly quadrupled since January of 2005 vaulting it to a total membership of more than 40 million. Many of those 40 million members are teenagers who are discovering a cyber world where they are the boss of their own "space."

For those of you not familiare with, it is a website where members can easily create their very own webpage filled with information all about themselves. The concept behind MySpace is wonderful and seems plenty innocent. However, the dangers of these virtual hangouts are becoming increasingly evident. In a cyber world where teenagers are in control, the information being shared on these webpages is often nothing short of shocking. These virtual hangouts have become places where teenagers can live out alternative lifestyles void of traditional social interaction and parental supervision. Teen webpages are often filled with personal information, photos (sometimes revealing or in poor taste), and even contact information.

In light of the plethra of personal information that teens are broadcasting to the world, some are suggesting that their "space" should be private and restricted from their parents. As absurd as it seems, some are questioning the validity of parents perusing their teens public webpages as an invasion of privacy and are comparing this to sneaking into a child's room and reading from a personal diary. However, I have a difficult time making the connection between a private diary tucked under a pillow or in a drawer and a webpage published on the worldwide web for all the world to see, it seems contradictory to classify a public domain as a private document.

Personal webpages are an amazing tool and are definitely a growing fad right now. The internet is shaping an entire generation and is giving teens access to social interaction that was previously unheard of. As a matter of fact, the internet makes this very blog possible. However, for all of the good that can be accomplished through the internet, parents are not relieved of the responsibility of raising their children and training them in all righteousness. Contrary to what popular media may suggest, parents not only have the right to browse the public webpages of their children, they have the God-given responsibility to protect them in all facets of life, virtual and realized. The internet presents a challenge for parents, but the challenge is one that must be met.

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