Monitoring Your Teen's MySpace Account

Question

How can I keep track of my child's MySpace profile?

Answer

This question was answered on September 22, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It's natural for parents to want to know what's going on in their teen's MySpace world But what's the best way to do this? You ask your teen to provide you with the password to her MySpace account She obliges, but then she feels like her MySpace account is no longer really her own One reaction is to change the password to lock you out Another common reaction is to create a secret MySpace account, while continuing to maintain the "official" account for viewing by parents Your teen will likely feel like you don't trust her or him, when you're really just concerned about keeping them safe.

The best way for a parent to keep tabs on a teen's use of MySpace is for the parent to get their own MySpace account and become their teen's MySpace friend When you do this, you're able to view everything that is publicly available on your teen's MySpace site, even if your teen has her account set to "private" (recommended to prevent unwanted contact from strangers) Since the site consists of information she feels comfortable broadcasting online to others, there's no reason she should object to you seeing her site as well But, importantly, she still maintains control of her own account, and responds to all friend requests, comment postings, etc.

As parents, we want our teens to learn how to interact with the world at large in a responsible manner To do this, teens need freedom MySpace is a fun place, full of jokes and laughter and teenage posing But potential dangers do lurk, and teens are frequently unaware of risk By having your own MySpace account and being your teen's MySpace friend, you can have an effective presence in your teen's virtual world If you see anything that looks awry, such as a new friend whose MySpace page looks a bit shady, you can bring that up in conversation and discuss why you don't approve of contact with that particular person.

Most importantly, by creating your own MySpace account and "friending" your teen, you establish your desire to be a part of this new "social networking" world, which has become so fundamental a means of interaction for today's teens and young adults Wherever they go, as they grow into adulthood, you'll be there for them.

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Author

Posted by Chad of Data Doctors on September 22, 2006