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"Myspace:" a word on the lips of nearly everyone these days. Catching the interest of countless individuals, spreading like a bad rash across the Internet, soaking up the free time of millions of people, it is now an epidemic, having overtaken more than half of this school.s population. Likened to an "addiction," Myspace may have more repercussions than originally believed.
On Myspace, users can post their name, age, birthday, pictures of themselves, what school they go to and even what they are interested in. But here's the rub: anyone with access to a computer has access to this information. Myspace is an extremely easy way to get information about people; it is probably the most useful tool a stalker could ask for. Tom himself, the creator of Myspace, is probably a first class stalker. Just look at him. Come on! He is creepy!
Are parents even aware that this information is free-floating on the World Wide Web? It seems parents are just now catching on to the Myspace phenomenon, with mixed feelings. What would happen if every parent read his or her child's Myspace?
Teachers, too, are beginning to join the hordes of Myspace users; it seems everyone is catching on. There have even been stories circulating of employers reading their prospective employees. profiles in order to assess their personalities. Is this misusing Myspace, a so-called "place for friends?" If a parent/teacher/employer read something on a "blog," and grounded/referred/fired someone for it, is that fair? Yes! If someone has the proverbial "juevos" to fling insults at one of his parents/teachers/employers on his Myspace, or post something inappropriate enough to evoke punishment, he deserves to be found out.
Users blog things that should be left in their diaries. There is a reason that diaries were hidden from the free world back before the Internet; those stories should remain private! What could possibly be gained by sharing one's deepest secrets or vengeful thoughts with the online world? Why would someone post how stupid her parents are, or how mean her teacher is, or how much she hates her boss? Apparently it is to win sympathy; sympathy is the main factor influencing the Myspace demographics. According to a recent poll, 62% of users want sympathy, 24% don't want sympathy, and 14% act like they don't want sympathy in order to gain sympathy. (Statistics fabricated by author)
Sites such as Myspace do have uses, such as networking with friends, new and old, but when it is used to "e-spy" on students or employees, it serves as no more than a tool to undermine. It cannot, however, be considered an invasion of privacy; it was the user himself or herself that knowingly posted it for the free world to see. The solution is to realize that the only things suitable to post online are what are suitable for anyone and everyone to see.