Thing 1

Kids these days. And their internets.

LilZ mentioned yesterday that a friend of his from school has a MySpace account. He didn’t point blank come out and ask for one, but he did ask about what MySpace is and how it compares to having a blog. I was pretty sure he was putting his feelers out to see how I felt about it amd whether or not it seemed worthwhile to ask for one. He opted not to ask but I’m not sure what I would say if he did. I mean, other than “HELL NO!” of course.

But seriously – we’ve talked about when it will be okay for him to have his own cell phone (when it makes MY life easier) but we’ve not discussed when he can have his own webpage. Parenting is very tricky in the internet age. You don’t want your kid ignorant of the internet because it’s a useful tool and you don’t want them being behind – but you also don’t want the freaks to have easy access to them via webpages or chatting. We also have to worry about the pr0n – we don’t want him having access to that – accidentally or otherwise. And finally? Those freaky “bloggers” I hear so much about. How do I make sure he’s not mingling with any of them? Damn freaks.

20 thoughts on “Kids these days. And their internets.”

  1. I stumbled across the Myspace page from a friends daughter (she just graduated high school, so a bit older than LilZ) and all I can say is DAYUM.

    It was like falling asleep and waking up to hear a conversation that the people in the room would never be having if they knew you were awake. I know they’re just teens, and all that, but I’m not ready to read about their party habits just yet.

  2. I said no to MySpace but I allow my almost 13-y-o to have a xanga account. I keep up with it daily but won’t comment unless she crosses a safety line.

  3. I’m years and years from having to worry about this, but I’m dreading having to explain to future children how I met my husband (in a telnet based chat site) and why they can’t do the same thing. I don’t think “We were 23, for pete’s sake!” is going to cut it.

  4. man, that’s a tough one. i just read, also, how some of these spaces are rampant for bullying among grade schoolers. on the other hand, i think i would let my boy have one and monitor it somewhat (who knows what will out there in 10 years, tho?). not sure how i would broach the privacy issue tho.

  5. Oh, no no no! No MySpace — not till he’s way older. We had a counselor speak to my son’s 8th grade class about all the horror stories associated with MySpace pages. The parents immediately had their kids remove the link from their pages.

  6. I read an article on the front page of the Atl Journal the other day about this and a local school is suing my space to have their names removed from their website. Apparently some of the kids give out their real name, phone number, address, school they are attending etc. My advice, teach LilZ the proper way to blog, such as you are doing, my space is totally not the correct way to do it and tell him how utterly horrific it is to give out that type of personal info. over the net and that obviously those kids parents don’t care, but you do. And when he wants to start his own blog in a year or two, make sure you have access to read everything on it. If and when my kids have one, I swear they’ll call me the blog n@zi.

  7. I originally had a My Space account and I want that thing gone, gone, gone but can’t figure out how to delete it all together. From what I’ve seen of My Space it’s like a club that I’m way too old to go to (am only 27). I would say no My Space. Just my opinion though.
    And OMG on what’s on your mind with the dance. He’s going to a dance! I can’t imagine how much you are freaking out about that. Good luck.

  8. And MySpace is so popular with kids but they have no idea what they are exposing themselves to since it is such predator heaven. My stepdaughters had accounts that I found and I told their mothers about them who had them remove them – I didn’t want to be the evil stepmother, but it’s just all too revealing for a 12 year old, in my opinion. And that place is full of skeevy perverts. it sucks because you want them to be able to enjoy the fun of having a homepage and express themselves, but it’s ridiculous what we have to protect them from. And scary. very very scary. Parenting sucks donkey butt sometimes.

  9. ooh, that is true. i’d be afraid because of those stories about kids who don’t have the sense to NOT PUT ANY PERSONAL INFO on the internet, like their addresses, etc. and then some weirdo finds them.

    not to freak you out or anything. 😉

    but seriously, how DO you figure out how to monitor that? i can’t imagine.

  10. I have a myspace account and so do a lot of my daughter’s (13 years old) friends. I really didn’t feel comfortable with her having a myspace, but we compromised and she has a yfly (www.yfly.com). It is specifically for children in 6th to 12th grade. This may be a good idea for Little Z too. It seems a little safer than MySpace, and one of the co-founders happens to be Nick Lachey.

  11. Even though we still have years until we need to deal with this, or maybe not. With the current tech advancement, who knows? But there is no way I will let my kids have a myspace acct. There are just too many horrible stories heard from my space incidents.

    Jenn, my husband and I met at a telnet based chat room years ago too (aka MOO). 🙂

  12. When he is old enough, My Space does have an option to make your page not public. You have to add friends in order for them to see it.

    My 18 year old that’s away at college has one. Spying on his My Space is the only way I know what he’s up to!

  13. okay, I know everyone has advised against it so far, but I don’t think you should totally rule it out. first of all, like ficklechick said, you could make his profile private. second, you could check his friend list regularly to make sure there’s no one you don’t know. third, if you had his account info you could read his messages as well as his comments. and finally, what better way to teach him about internet safety?

    besides, many people wouldn’t accept his friend request since he’s so young, so his friends are most likely to be all his age anyway.

  14. My kids (18 and 20) both use the internet excessively, including myspace. But we have keyloggers installed on their machines so at anytime and from anywhere we can log in and see every stroke they’ve made on their keyboards. We see all their passwords, chats, emails, every search term and webpage…everything.

    I love technology.

  15. I’ve had the internet since I was 13 and I was the only one who used it. I’m 21 now and I’m still the only one that uses it at my place. I think myspace is okay if his profile is set at private (I think it sets it as private automatically if you’re under 16 or so) and if you are allowed to read what he writes and monitor it. I guess. I really don’t know.

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