It’s My Space or Not!

I have a series of blogs I want to write, but today, I detoured to humbly put something on the table for us to think about. I’ve worked with youth for quite some time. Currently, I am on break, and I am getting a different perspective on our church youth group. While I know that in many of their lives I have a say, I now feel limited to what I can comment or how to approach them without stepping on leadership roles. Anyways, about 2 years ago, there was a negative trend in our church where some of our youth were writing explicit and unacceptable comments on this fast growing popular My Space page. The comments were on gruesome sexual implications. Some of these youth were active in ministry. I had no idea what My Space was all about. So, I decided to open up an account and checked some of these pages. WOW, was I in for a surprise. Some profiles ran from flirtatious sexist comments to even explicit sexual preferences! The thing is that about two weeks after I opened the account, our youth began to master the geek-jargon-options of blocking and making their pages private. These issues were addressed in a general parent-youth meeting as we encouraged parents to be actively involved in their child’s internet activities. When the issues were addressed privately and directly with one of the parents, the parent responded that she agreed with her daughter’s pedagogy on privacy: It is HER space and no one else’s! She added that she did not want to violate her daughter’s space. Hello? Children are in desperate need of boundaries. Boundaries teach them to be responsible citizens of society and communal relationships. It also shows the child that they are loved. You [the parent] love them enough to risk not being liked at the moment, risk being called the evil one, being called outdated, making time to set effective boundaries, and taking the road less traveled which is actively engaging in your child’s upbringing. So, who takes the responsibility for what our teens are viewing, texting, talking, exploring, and being exposed to when surfing the web? Is it that My Space site is the real problem because the page allows such activities ? Or is it the parents fault? Or is it the user? Today, I logged into my account and read a young man’s profile. All I could think is what’s up with all the garbage on his page. Though they might be portraying a faux identity, young people do not understand that these pages say so much more of who they are and what they believe in than what they actually profess with their lips. I was saddened to see one of our “good’ youth boys invest his precious time in making himself “look cool” for others. How much of this do the parents know? I ask again the question: Is is My Space or Not?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tlc4women
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 16:59:32

    Parents don’t know and don’t care to know. It’s easier to live the lie than to deal with the truth. The fact is most of these parents have so many problems of their own that they don’t have the time nor the energy to focus on their children.

    Sometimes it’s discouraging. I feel like this generation is being left behind without the rapture.

    Reply

  2. Simply Me
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 19:47:42

    It is true… most kids are not watched by their parents. They have the liberty to do what ever they please online. Little to the parents know that it is a strong tool for communication; therefore allowing underage dating and etc. Parents should be more aware and concerned in their childs activities..

    Reply

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