Are you on MySpace?
By Alexis Lear
December 15, 2006 | MySpace, your space, our space,
We've all heard about it, seen it, looked at a picture
on it, had it, wrote a message to someone on it, or
have been completely and utterly obsessed with it.
a social networking database that has taken the world
by storm. With 106 million members ranging from age
14 and up, and with 230,000 people joining every day,
MySpace will probably be around for a while. MySpace
was founded in July 2003 by Tom Anderson, the current
president and CEO, Chris DeWolfe, and small team of
In July 2005 Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation bought
the company for $580 million.
So for all of you lost souls out there who have been
fortunate enough to not have been sucked in to MySpace-mania
yet, you might be wondering what this Web site has to
MySpace will let you request and accept friendships
with other people registered on the Web site. It will
also allow you to design and personalize your very own
MySpace page, leave messages for your friends, rank
your friends by placing them in your Top Friends, post
pictures, and many other things of the like. So all
of this can be fun, entertaining, and something to do
while surfing the internet, but what is so addictive
about this Web site that 106 million people feel a need
"I check my MySpace page at least every day, OK, probably
more," said Alison Schofield, a senior majoring in public
relations. Schofield is only one of thousands of Utah
State students that have a MySpace page.
"I like to see what my friends are up to and if anyone
has left me messages," she said.
MySpace is also known for being a popular dating network.
Most users post their pictures on their page and oftentimes
write a little about themselves. This can be great,
easy, and accessible if you are looking for another
Leo with blonde hair, blue eyes, who loves to snowboard
as much as you do, but it is also great for the 60 year-old
men who want to meet and talk with high school students
who don't know any better.
On Sept. 29, Fox News reported about a "17-year-old
Cape Cod boy he met on MySpace.com sent a text message
to his family back home claiming he was being held against
his will on the man's west Georgia farm."
Another story featured at CBSNews.com said "In New
Jersey, Majalie Cajuste is grieving the murder of her
daughter Judy. The 14-year-old reportedly told friends
she met a man in his 20s through MySpace.com."
These are just two examples of the dangers that can
come from MySpace and the display of personal information
on the internet.
So yes, the stories we all hear about online predators
and how dangerous MySpace is are true; but when proper
precautions are taken MySpace can be deemed simply as
another communication fad of the decade.
"I keep in touch with all of my friends that I studied
abroad with," said Kelly Kamnikar, a junior at North
Dakota University. "I can't afford to talk on the phone
with them all the time, and it's so much easier than
emailing," she said.
MySpace can be used for other good things as well.
MySpace has over 300 humanitarian groups--everything
from fundraising for Hurricane Katrina victims to help
to stop the genocide in Africa.
I have been threatened, bribed, and pleaded with to
join MySpace by many of my friends. I don't say this
to gloat, or to make it seem like I have that many friends
who think I'm so cool that they would do anything to
get me to join MySpace. I only say it to prove that
MySpace can be more than just a place to meet people,
show your crazy party pictures of you bonging a beer
from last weekend, or a place for creeps to go and check
out hot 13 year-olds.
When used appropriately and moderately, MySpace can
be a great way to talk to friends and stay in touch
with people you don't see everyday. I only abstain from
joining because I do not need another addiction or social
outlet in my life. I already have a hard enough time
not texting someone for an hour while I write this article.
Who's space it is, and whatever you do with it, let
me offer a word of advice; don't be dumb.
Don't post your phone number on your page, or your
address, or the fact that you never lock your front
door. Don't post pictures of yourself in your skimpiest
halter top wearing your favorite booty shorts hoping
some cute guy will see your picture and want to date
you. But mostly, don't waste your life away on MySpace.
Use it as a tool, as a way of communication, and even
as a way of meeting people; but don't use it as a way
to live your life. Because in 30 years when MySpace
is a distant memory joining the ranks of slap bracelets,
pogs, and Tamagotchi as fads you claimed you were 'never
a part of'; you will regret the fact that you have lost
contact with all your college friends because they deleted
their MySpace accounts and moved on. MySpace now, but
maybe give your friends a call on a telephone once in
a while, remember those? They'll appreciate it, and
you won't even have to log on to the internet to do