To Critics of MySpace: leave the kids alone!!!

To Critics of MySpace: leave the kids alone!!!

Summary: I'm sick and tired of the criticism of the content on and since posting about it on my SVW blog, I wanted to bring it to you too, to see what you think.


I'm sick and tired of the criticism of the content on and since posting about it on my SVW blog, I wanted to bring it to you too, to see what you think.

I peeked in on MySpace more than a year ago and I was very impressed with the writing, the tone that teenagers could set with very few words. I found some great writing and I found some writing that could only be described as Joyceian in its form and ambition.

I was super impressed. Yes, I didn't understand a lot of it--but I'm not the target audience. Let the kids express themselves in the manner and way they want to.

We are lucky that they feel able to express themselves in such a public way that we can occasionally look at it. They could lock it up and share it only among themselves.

I wonder what they would say if they read our ramblings about Web 2.0, and online business models, and Google this, that and the other?

Here is Scott Karp: Ticking time bomb.

Here is Nick Carr.

Here is some wisdom from a Lebanese writer K. Gibran:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Topic: Social Enterprise

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  • Yeah, where else you gonna get photos of...

    naked 13 year olds?
    • RE: To Critics of MySpace: leave the kids alone!!!

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  • Some issues

    ?Your children are not your children.?

    My children will are their own individual beings, but they will always be my children and I am always their parent.

    "You may give them your love but not your thoughts"

    Who the hell says I can't give them my thoughts. When I want to tell them hitting people is wrong, I'll say it and following those thoughts is not optional. Yes I agree that you can't force your children to have the same religion or ideology on you and it usually doesn't work even if you try, but there is nothing wrong with raising your children as you see fit (within society's norm).

    ?You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you?

    Same argument as above. If I taught my children to be honest and some morals, would that be wrong by you? If we take the above statement to it?s logical conclusion, we really shouldn?t be teaching our children any morals.
    • Even sounds bad on paper

      I'd ignore KG. Sounded good to me when I was a prisoner at the UCB re-education camp, but once you escape, the real world tends to point you in the right direction.
    • Some thoughts...

      I think you're taking the kid's thoughts way too literally.

      "Your children are not your children" is referring to ownership. He is telling parents they do not own their children as they can own a dog or a computer. You are a parent and the child is certainly your child, but a child is never your property and should never be treated as such.

      "You may give them your love but not your thoughts" is an interesting statement. Truthfully, you can never "give" someone your thoughts. You can tell them your thoughts and even try to enforce them, but it is always up to the other individual to decide for themselves whether or not your thought coincides with their mentality (or even to listen to them in the first place).

      >>we really shouldn?t be teaching our children any morals<<

      Only the very beginning steps (think of small, baby steps) of morality can be learned. For example, a child chooses not to hit because when he hits someone, he is punished. This is not a moral decision, although it is a step in the right direction. True morality is only accomplished when the child is able to reason out why hitting is bad, and chooses not to hit someone because he believes it to be an immoral action. The worst answer a child can receive is the oft repeated "Because I said so."
    • It is not that complicated...

      George, Gibran is saying that you should not think of your children as being a "mini-me" they are their own persons and have their own thoughts.
      We can only offer them our thoughts but we cannot make them like us--because the world changes and they will reflect those changes.

      He points out that we cannot understand their world because they live in the future world. That is why we cannot understand the new generations, and that has been the case for many generations...

      Just because we don't understand the generational differences, as in MySpace and its cultures, doesn't mean that they don't have validity or purpose.
  • MySpace is such garbage

    I have been a member of MySpace since not too long after it started. I started using it regularly about a year ago. It is, bar none, the worst website I have ever had to interface with, maybe excepting Oracle's website. The only reason why I use it is because I know too many people who use it exclusively. Let me enumerate it's numerous flaws:

    * Site design is atrocious. Too many buttons, too many links, too many steps to do common tasks.

    * Messaging is behind a wall. I like to preserve email forever. MySpace doesn't let me do that, all of my messages stay trapped in their system. You can't even undelete a message that you deleted by accident. Even within the non-user pages, navigation changes radically throughout the site.

    * Users can modify their own pages via CSS. First of all, look at the way it happens, it is a TOTAL hack, users embed an entirely new style sheet somewhere within one of the user-editable fields, which are all <td> tags. This makes me sick on a technical level. On a usability levels, nearly every user has turned their page into a useless pile of garbage. I'm not even going to think to hard about the pages with a half dozen media player applications that lock up my computer for 30 seconds to five minutes at a time.

    * Their servers stink. It seems like half the links you click and forms you submit result in a technical error of some type. More disturbingly, hitting refresh over and over actually makes it work.

    And for all of the Web 2.0 folks out there... MySpace is sickeningly popular, despite supported absolutely ZERO Web 2.0, open APIs, AJAX, etc. functionality! Despite all of its flaws! Why? Because it gives the users the freedom to be whatever they want to be, regardless of anything else.

    MySpace proves 50% of ZDNet bloggers wrong, by its very success.

    Justin James
  • You are totally missing the point.

    The point here isn't intruding on the lives of our children, its fulfilling our responsibilities as parents to educate and protect our children until they are old enough and responsible enough to do so on their own. From my persoective, the issue with MySpace isn't its existance, but the manner in which its used by preditors to gain access to children, which they would otherwise have a (hopefully) much harder time finding. If you think your kid is responsible enough to be smart about what they put there, then fine. But parents need to be very aware IMHO of what their kids do on sites like this.
  • Plato would've been proud

    It's come full circle (again). The new is teaching the old even as the the old becomes the new. ....funny thing life is.
  • Parents need to educate...

    ..their children about what could happen on sites, like "not taking candy" from strangers when i was a wee lad. They still let me out and wander the inner city streets of London for hours at a time when I was as young as 8yrs old...Nowadays, parents watch their kids like hawks and will insist on driving them around the corner to their friends house for "safety." Lets teach our kids and repet and repeat the dangers out there but let's not monitor them, let's not spy on them, lets trust they will make the right decisions. Because we are not there anyway much of the time, they are making decisions and they are making the right ones. We shouldn't be "Big Brother" to our kids, we should be parents that means we teach, and teach by example.