Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm not dead!

Really. I'm not. Life's been crazy, plus ever since I joined the little thing called myspace, I haven't been spending much productive time online!

But anyway, that reminds me of what I wanted to blog about. It may be a first for me, that is, a long post. So be patient.

Over the past few months I’ve heard a lot of discussion about the social website myspace.com, by law enforcement, citizens and all sorts of talking-head experts on TV. Problem is, most of those people, expert as they may be, probably have about as much idea about myspace as my Mom.

Actually, she probably knows more, since I helped her get one recently.

I’m not putting down law enforcement, but I would just like to clear some things up and offer my own, unprofessional list of how to stay safe in the myspace world. Remember, I am actually sixteen years old, and unlike most people talking these days, I actually have one.
So read on.

#1: This is very important - MAKE YOUR PROFILE PRIVATE. That’s right.
Why don’t you, right now, go ahead and type in my name (those of you who may know it^^) in the myspace search.
What did you find?

Since there aren’t many of me out there, I assume you found yourself at a page with my picture, age and hometown (which I changed to simply say my state's name, another thing)and a message telling you "This user must add you as a friend for you to see their profile."
While we’re on the subject, I should admit I’m not as safe as I can be, either. Did I mention one can put up a generic display pic (say, anime) change their age to 99 if they wish, and remove their real location altogether?
It’s really very easy to make your profile private and secure.
Now I know it’s hard to resist the urge to let perfect strangers read your phone number and browse what you think of your crush and where you had dinner last Friday, but come on people, you just have to give some things up.

#2: Don’t accept any random friend request just because you’re so excited to see the "New friend requests!!" link. I mean really. If it’s that important to get 101 friends, go add Kelly Clarkson. But make sure it’s really Kelly, and not "kellyfangurl1." See, these rules really are simple.

#3 is really a continuation of number one. You know that hot guy who says he’s in the army, just moved to your town, and wants to get to know you better? Get. Real.
The "deny friend request" button is very easy to press. Go on, try it.

#4: Myspace chat Personally, I just stay away from them - I mean, after awhile, watching convos like
"You’re a F***ing d**k!
No YOU are!
No YOU are!" gets a little old. But I digress.
Once, when within two minutes of wandering into a "News and politics" (yes News and Politics) room, and thirty two year-old "Boris" was complimenting my looks, I did something revolutionary. I exited. Yep. That red "X" up there in the corner is there for a reason. Use it.

Now, I could go on and on about my safety rules for myspace (I feel practically parental!), but most of you are either bored or lost, or maybe both.
In fact, chances are, if you’ve gotten this far, you’re too old to have any clue what I’m talking about. So I have a suggestion: get a myspace.
It’s really easy to do, and no, you don’t have to add your kids, just get one. Try learning a bit about it before you talk about it.

And to all you people who have myspaces, just take this morsel of wonderful advice. Use your brain. It’s surprisingly easy. Just use it.

See? Who knew I was a self-help guru? ^_^