Yet Another Great Reason to Hate MySpace


In an effort to delay doing my taxes, I’ve been reading on-line quite a bit. I was pleased to get my subscription notice that Dom Coccaro published something at Associated Content.

Dom’s story revolves around changing his MySpace profile on a lark. Here is his opening paragraph:

Like most 23-year-olds, I have a MySpace page. Like most MySpace users, I frequently change my profile out of boredom. It was this state of roving restlessness that moved me to change my display name to Zac Efron. My friends found it to be amusing, so I went the extra mile and slapped a picture of Smiley Tween (not to be confused with Sweeney Todd) on my page. Little did I know that I would soon become Zac Efron in the eyes of his adoring fans.

I encourage you to read the whole story. The results of Dom’s little joke should really open your eyes. Parents, I’m looking at you. You’re not paying attention to what your children are doing on the internet. Maybe you’re not paying attention to them at all. I don’t know. What I do know is, if anyone one but Dom had tried this, there might be some kid’s body in a ditch right now.

Dom admits the whole thing scared him, “The scariest thing that I learned from this experiment is how little effort it takes to be a predator.” Where are you parents? You are supposed to be preparing these rug-rats for life. Turning your curtain-climbers loose on the net is not good parenting. I can only imagine the parents of these kids are probably hold up in the other room, updating their own MySpace page, flirting with their bodiless friends, and bouncing between 10 instant message windows.

What kind of adults will these little idiots grow into? I doubt they will reach adulthood with any decent social skills or common sense. The term “common sense” will go the way of the Dodo bird when it is no longer common. How long until the human race abandons verbal communication? How long until we can only communicate via keyboard? How long has it been since you had a shower? Get off the net and talk to your kids, you drooling, MySpace-addicted lemmings.

Safty first

If you want to see what happens to kids who spend too much time on the net, check this out.  Here is a sociopath in the making.

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8 Comments

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  1. This scared me too. Some excellent links and ones I returned to read again and again, as well as your original post (above). . I am truly appreciative for the heads up. I wish schools would make this required reading for teens and send home copies – and/or links of other cautionary articles – to parents. The latest real experience struck close to home, when a teen at my son’s school got into the car of a “friend” he met on the Internet. This friend was some middle-aged guy and the teen was lucky to get home alive and reportedly unhurt. Who knows what really happened in the hour when his panicky parents worried and wondered why he didn’t come home or call them after school?

    I also wonder, having been a teen: how many of us never broke those rules our parents set? How many of us never tested them? How many of us were truly lucky to survive adolescence or knew others who weren’t so lucky?

    Just as I wish I truly understood why teens are drawn to drinking and smoking, I probably don’t completely grasp why teens are drawn to My Space, in spite of parental discussions and computer protection (they can always find access at friends’ homes).

    Sorry for the long comment but I take your post on this very seriously and I truly wonder how much control parents have, short of having an ankle bracelet on a teen and never letting him or her out of the house. After all the discussions, parents have to hope and pray that their teens heed parental warnings often enough to put the odds on their side and figure out that the people on My Space are often strangers, unless they happen to be kids they know in real life…and even then… internet life can take some strange and scary detours.

  2. This is just really sad and really scary. As you know, I am a mother of many and there is no way my kids would be on MySpace to begin with, let alone long enough to be sending friend requests and messages to “Zac Efron”.

    I have a special internet browser installed and I have it set so that no websites, except the ones I hand approve will even open. Most websites are blocked. Basically, unless I personally add it under the parent password, a website cannot be visited. Not only that, but I still watch them online.

    Where are all these “parents”?

  3. I wonder how many of his fans were cops, pretending to be girls.

  4. I agree with you Mommy….I have three pre-teen daughters who I no longer allow on MySpace. I monitor everything they do on the computer. It made me angry to find that one of my girls was able to alter her profile in computer class at school. Even when we watch them at home there is a way they will find to get around things. I am seriously considering home schooling like you do next year.
    Barefoot, I am having my girls read this article. Thankyou for posting it.

  5. Sorry for the double post. I did not think the first one took.

  6. Well written, Barefoot. My girls are still preschoolers, but my husband and I are already concerned about all the Internet (and other) dangers out there and how we’ll protect them. The sad thing is, by the time my girls are teenagers or tweens, they’ll be something new and different to worry about.

  7. Dom wrote a great article. It’s scary how all he did was change his name and photo, he wasn’t pro-active in soliciting friends. Hope parents wake up to this.

  8. I have to admit that although I found that appalling, this isn’t new. When *I* was 12 (which was ’98?), I used to go into wrestling chatrooms and talk to guys who claimed they were ‘wrestlers’. I pulled the same crap as they did, even gave out my phone number one time.

    Thankfully, much has changed. My stupidity hasn’t changed much, though.

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