Apr
2006

MySpace or yours?

After reading an article in Vanity Fair last month called “Will Success Spoil MySpace?” [who knew that Rupert Murdoch had purchased the company!?] and constantly hearing on the local news that schools are banning students from accessing MySpace from school computers, I began to wonder whether or not this will have an effect on my requiring college freshman to blog. I don’t ask them to write anything personal or even post their name on a profile [the Blog@USF server doesn’t even prompt one for that information], but it surprised me that so many of my students resisted talking about their computer usage in a paper on technological literacy and have not taken to blogging when they are all over Facebook and MySpace. They love/hate those sites and that fascinates me. I wish I could have been at the Blog SIG, but I am happy to see someone has responded to my comment on Clancy’s post. I have not explicity asked my students to explain this anomaly to me but hope that their critical readings of the Vanity Fair article will bring some insight to the table.

I’ve also asked them to consider the followin when composing their response:

Knowing that your instructor is a blogger and proponent of technological literary but does not have a MySpace account, would you say that she is missing out on something? In your response, use what you learned from the article as well as your experience with the site or lack thereof to make an argument for or against her joining the social-networking bandwagon.

I have a feeling I might join one day to see what the fuss is all about or just to be able to comment on friends’ MySpace blogs, but so far I am refusing.

After seeing Dateline tonight and its story on MySpace, I can only wonder what the effect will be to public writing assignments. I doubt these exposes will scare us away from blogging or social networking, for as my students will tell you, they only joined the sites to keep in touch with existing friends instead of make new ones, but you never know. Parents who read Internet Safety sites like this one might issue complaints about student required internet activity and that might lead to all sorts of new restrictions and possible violations to the First Amendment.

Who knows, but I think it is a interesting topic to discuss further.

EDITED to include this Newsweek article on how the cops are using MySpace.

7 thoughts on “MySpace or yours?

  1. There have been a lot of articles and TV stories lately about the dangers of MySpace. You’ve got all kinds of predators and stalkers on there, but no one normal above the age of 14 goes on MySpace. Anyway, that’s the impression I’ve gotten from what news media has to say.

    I have a MySpace account, and I got it because I was curious. I wanted to see what the big deal is. And you know what I found out: nothing. Being on MySpace only confirmed one thing for me: People are losing touch with reality on these social networking sites. When you click on profiles of people you like, people you don’t like, people you want to be like enough times, you start to believe that their lives are as good as the pictures they are posting.

    A couple of weeks ago I found out that this girl I went to undergrad with is moving back to Lakeland, where we went to school. She was a sorority girl, super involved in campus life and a public relations major. After graduation she moved back to Boynton Beach. She’s been there for the last two years working as a secretary. Anyway, she spends her whole workday on MySpace and decided she’s going to go back to Lakeland to live with some of her old sorority sisters. When asked about what kind of job she wants to get in Lakeland, she said, “One where I sit in a cubicle all day and they leave me alone so I can be on MySpace.”

    All this girl talks about is what pictures and music she’s going to post on her profile. I think MySpace is confusing people, and they’re starting to believe the grass is always greener on the other side.

    I’m glad I read this today, actually. Last night, I started interviewing people about MySpace for a short video story about why people use the thing.

    I’m asking six questions:
    How much time per week do you spend on MySpace?
    How important is MySpace in your daily routine?
    What other online communities are you a part of?
    What do you think people should embrace about MySpace?
    What should they avoid doing on the site?
    How long have you been on MySpace?

    If you can think of anything to add to that or change to make it work better, let me know.

    Finally I want to turn you on to something you might find kind of fascinating and intense.

    My Death Space

  2. Pingback: Baby name meaning and origin for Clancy

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