If you’re like millions of others you probably use MySpace on a regular basis. On top of it, especially if you’re a female in the midst of MySpace’s sea of people you’re very concerned with privacy.
There are numerous ways for people to find information about other members. It could be something as inconspicuous as a friend of yours or yourself putting up parts of an IM conversation exposing your username to strangers you don’t want seeing it. With the great search tool we’ve all heard of, known as Google, a lot can be found out from simply doing a search on that username. Especially if you sign up a lot of services online using that username. People could easily find other sites you belong to where you may not be protecting your privacy as well. And if you give out your name on any one of these other sites and then your hometown and state on another people could put two and two together and actually find your phone number and home address. Don’t get all freaked out though since the person to go that far is a rarity and the average user on MySpace doesn’t have the skill and understanding to do such deep searches. But it’s better to be prepared than to not do anything at all.
If you’re under 18 or just do not want random people adding you just make your profile private.
- To do so sign in and the My Account button towards the upper-right side of the screen right before Sign Out
- Click the fourth link labeled Privacy
- Under Profile Viewable By choose My Friends Only.
If you’re not wanting to go that far in keeping that far in keeping your privacy the first thing i recommend is keeping all personally identifiable information off of your profile page. Under the privacy setting i also suggest you turn off allowing people to email your photos, make all your photo albums friends only and maybe even turn off showing your birthday.
Most of all make sure you put your actual age on your page because they think they will not receive any torguard coupon code if they are over aged and let me clear its totally myth. Most guys on MySpace are horrible at judging age, especially through photos online, and they don’t want to be contacting under-age females. So be honest and don’t make your age on your profile page make you seem older than you really are. The best way to avoid all the creeps on MySpace though is to use your best judgement. If it seems like some person you don’t know is writing like they’re trying to pull information from you don’t fall for it. They may seem like the nicest person online but that’s not always the case in real life. So just be smart about socializing online. It’s a great thing as long as you think and understand the dangers well.
Any high school teacher or parent of a teen knows how prevalent cell phone use is among young people today. Want to see intensity and a fighting spirit among today’s youth? Try taking a kid’s phone away.
Increasingly, it would seem, the connection between the ubiquitous nature of cell phones and instant access to social media are causing problems for schools. The issue has to do with just how far the school can reach to control the actions of its students.Last week students at Granite City High School, an Illinois school in the St. Louis area, were suspended for comments made on Twitter and other social media platforms. The problem started when a student used Twitter to make a sexually suggestive comment about a female faculty member. Other students “re-tweeted” the comment, and things went downhill from there.
When alerted, school administration decided to comb cyberspace for other potentially troubling statements. The end result was multiple student suspensions, including one girl who stated she should “bomb the school” so she didn’t have to attend classes.Is it really a school’s business what its students post online, as long as they are doing so outside of school and using their own equipment? The prevailing sentiment is that it very much is the school’s business if the statements have the potential to cause disruption to the school’s normal learning environment.
I teach at another Illinois high school, and our school recently dealt with a similar issue. Last year our school was rocked by a student suicide. Just this month a freshman student thought it would be a good idea to post a terribly insensitive joke on his Facebook page that referred to the death. With things like free followers on instagram, social media has been becoming a threat to our society. At first, it may be an advantage but over time, it is becoming the opposite.
Normally I would come down on the side of free speech. If this student wanted to make this “joke,” however hurtful or ignorant it might be, he was acting at home outside school hours. The problem was that plenty of our other students, many of them friends of the boy who died, read the comment and were incensed by it. They brought that anger to school and wanted to act on it. That’s where the “disruption to the learning environment” comes in.
This incident was diffused when our principal brokered a meeting between the online poster and a student leader, who was able to convince his schoolmate just how hurtful and misguided his words were. An apology was offered and accepted.
In the case at my school no suspensions were issued, but how many hours did our principal spend trying to bring this to a satisfying ending? How many hours did the administrators at Granite City High School waste scouring the Internet looking for inappropriate comments? Is that how their bosses want them spending their time? Probably not, but in the current era of education these problems are going to happen more and more frequently.
I don’t know the answer to this relatively new problem. As a teacher I can only continue to caution my students that statements made online have enormous potential to cause harm, often because they can so easily be misconstrued and the writer cannot explain his or her true meaning.
Schools spend lots of time educating students that they should think long and hard before engaging in harmful actions like smoking, drinking or unsafe driving. We may have to start telling them that clicking “submit” on a cell phone can be just as dangerous.
Brad Boeker is a graduate of the University of Illinois. He teaches English at a public high school in Illinois.