Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm starting a club...Wanna join?

Its been awhile since I've gotten on my soapbox, but upon reading the news today, I'm motivated to express my not-so-in-demand opinion. So here goes...

I've decided to start a club. People Against Poor Judgement On My Space. PAPJOMS. Hmmm....That doesn't really have a ring to it. Well........something like that. Wanna join?

Now, before you get your hackles up, I'm not against My Space itself. I'm against "Poor Judgement" on My Space. In my experience, this happens to include almost the vast majority of My Space accounts that I have surfed, but let's just say thats a coincidence. And My Space is not the only one of these venues--there are others that are equally as obnoxious. So please include those as well under the heading that I am terming as "My Space".

Here are my gripes:
1) My Space is providing an easy venue for VAST amounts of poor judgement to surface. I've seen two news stories in the past two weeks involving sex offenders using My Space as a method with which to meet their victims. Both of these instances went so far as to actually result in the victims meeting these criminals and crimes being committed. All of the involved victims were below the age of 18, and apparently, using My Space without parental supervision or guidance. (Not to say that the parents would have been any smarter than the kids.....)

2) My Space is the host of a whole lot of photos, text, etc. being posted with NO thought to the PERMANENCY of internet record. Gone are the days when a note was passed around a high school english class stating who has a crush on whom, who got drunk at what party, what girls are using birth control, or whatever that week's rumor may be--when the note died, so did the permanent written record. Today, these messages are posted on My Space. To be accessed forever and ever. Its bad enough that our teens are engaging in as many adult activities as they are, but to have them posted publicly on My Space? Yikes!

3) And this is where I really start to feel the gripe--Our college and adult users that are exhibiting as poor of judgement (or more so) than our teens. Photos of obscene gestures at the camera, photos of obvious drinking binges, photos of all kinds of things that 30 years from now you don't want your boss/grandchildren/world to witness. Come on, people!! Where is your self-respect? Where is your class? For heaven's sakes, play! Enjoy life! Have fun in whatever manner you desire, and live with the consequences! But don't allow it to be posted on the internet!!!

Consider the permanent societal impacts of My Space. Are our heads-of-state going to be attempting to confirm a Supreme Court Justice in 30 years and My Space photos from a fraternity party suddenly surface? How many sex offenders are out there surfing for their next victim right this minute? How many of us have a moment or two (from which we learned a lesson) and prefer that it would stay a very private lesson and not posted on the internet?

In closing, I'm going to submit the perfect example--I had two close high school friends that briefly dated an upper classman. That upper classman is now a politician. He is highly respected in his field of work, as he should be, for the adult that he has become. I could tell a few stories about him from our younger days. But thats all they are......stories. No My Space posting. No photos from my cell phone that I downloaded to the internet. Just fond stories of silly high school days. As it should be. He has nothing to fear......

If he had been born 20 years later, that may not have been the case, and a scandal could be waiting to break at any time. Despite his hard work. Despite his excellent track record in his job. Despite the responsible adult that he is today. Despite the good he is doing in legislature getting some important bills passed that will benefit our society.

So........If you are a My Space user, and if you perhaps have a photo or two posted somewhere, and if perhaps there are obscene gestures made at the camera, or other immature postings....Enjoy them. Because you might just live to regret the poor judgement you used the day you posted them.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I don't even encourage my kids to use the computer because I figure they'll pick up on it soon enough without encouragement from me. My 8yo has one in her room, but she hardly ever uses it. The interest just isn't there. I just don't push the issue because I figure, I didn't have a computer when I was a kid, yet I'm plenty addicted enough! So far, the plan is to just have one computer for all three kids in a common area (once our basement is finished it'll go out of my daughter's room) so I can kinda-sorta monitor what they're doing. Oh yeah, and they won't be allowed out of the house after the age of 14.