my teenagers are users of myspace. i also have a myspace, but solely for the purpose of policing my teenagers.
hey, i'm a mom who has limited ways of being hypervigilant. if my teenagers (their friends included) say something inappropriate in front of me, i am able to stop it immediately. if they or their friends are talking smack on their myspaces, i am able to message them. it's quite simple actually.
i am purposefully not giving a hotlink to myspace because i do not promote them in the very least. it seems to be *the* social network for teenagers, along with facebook, but i have serious concerns about the benefits of having one.
[as an aside, i attended a meeting of parents with the County Prosecutor's office when my daughter was finishing 7th grade. their studies have shown it seems it takes all of 10 minutes for a pedophile to learn almost exactly where you live -- save for the street, but that may not be all that difficult either. you see, your child may not be boasting about their hometown and may even put "alberta, canada" as their place of residence. however, their friends may not be a savvy and may boast about their home team, have pictures of themselves in front of their schools, et cetera. doesn't take long, and doesn't require a degree in rocket science.]
so i felt it had been quite a number of weeks since i ventured to my children's myspaces and what i discovered this weekend was a new application they had added called an "honesty box."
when you leave a comment on myspace in a person's comments box, you are required to be a myspace user, know the person personally (if you are added as a friend, that was one requirement i insisted upon), and have a profile. with this honesty box, you can be anonymous and leave all kinds of sweet, affirming comments for your friends (or children, as was my case).
so i told my daughter how beautiful she was and my son how amazing he was. everyone else would be just as kind, no?
my daughter showed me what some of the comments people have been leaving her were. for the most part, they were sweet and affirming. however, for the ones that were not? these kids just as malicious and hateful as anything i saw in the movie "mean girls." horrible.
it made my stomach turn. my daughter said she is unaffected by it ("i don't caaaaarrrreee, ma...") but i don't know how anyone can read something that is so evil and pointed and directed toward you as a person and not be!
we have discussed the necessity for having this on her myspace on and off over the weekend. she feels the positive comments have been "totally worth" the negative ones and that she doesn't want to remove it for that simple reason. i understand all about validation. i also know that someone's opinion of me, at 45, isn't going to make or break me, that i am not overly-concerned about anyone's opinion of me. i answer to One, first and foremost.
and while i am no psychologist, and maybe she has a thicker skin than her mama, i think the negative comments can be damaging, especially in the long run. you never forget when people are mean to you -- at least in my estimation.
Scripture tells us to be honest with ourselves -- in all actuality, i think it is best left to us and God -- hearing what other people's truths are about me doesn't necessarily mean it will align with what is really truth for me.
Romans 12:3 - "Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."