Is MySpace the New Pot?

In the December 31 column “On Blogs” by Troy McFCullough in the
Baltimore Sun
“’07 may be year bloggers break free of all the hype.”

Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow, is quoted by the Associated Press about blogs:

“A lot of people have been in and out of this thing. …Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put on stage and asked to say it.”

Then this morning, according to ResourceShelf, which is “.. where dedicated librarians and researchers share the results of their directed (and occasionally quirky) web searches for resources and information.” (If you aren’t actually a librarian, you might have NOT idea about the kinds of quirky things these pros can dig up. How about the “Atlas to Plucked Instruments”? Wait, I digress…)

The ResourceShelf reported this morning:

More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites, according to a new national survey of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Past President Bill Clinton may made the most famous denial of his association with marijuana in March of ’92 when he said simply, “I didn’t inhale.” But he certainly was neither the first nor the last to get poked because may — or may not — have dabbled in drugs. The more accessible the forbidden is the more people will try them. (n.b. I am NOT encouraging or condoning drug use or experimentation. I am mother, for cryin’ out loud!)

Today, checking on a candidate’s past drug use is as common as checking on the attitudes and dalliances of his youth. It’s part of the business of politics. Tomorrow, it will be checking them on the internet or in the archives of ancient online BulletinBoards, UserGroups, MySpace,YouTube and other such on line social networks.

In my opinion parents today go way over board by teaching children to fear strangers. We all need healthy respect for that with which we have no experience. We don’t (please tell me you don’t) send money to Nigerians who send emails offering us millions of dollars for our help. We don’t eat food we find in the street.

We can be polite if someone asks for directions. But we don’t get in the car with them to take them to their destination. Respect vs. fear.

I am not making a statement about drugs here. Don’t suppose I am. Don’t infer it. I am not talking about drugs.

However, I am talking respect.

We must not fear MySpace or the internet. We must be careful; we must it wisely. Because in the end, the ether is absolutely NOT PRIVATE. And your mother WILL find out what you did here.

Happy New Year.
Watch what you say!