I really don’t remember ever doing a public service announcement, so here’s a first. If you’re a parent worried about what your child is doing on MySpace, go read the Wired “MySpace Cheet Sheet for Parents” which is based primarily on an interview with Danah Boyd, whose worked I linked here earlier. Here’s an excerpt:
How should I talk to them about MySpace?
Try not to get parental. Remember, MySpace isn’t a dirty secret, and your kids aren’t doing anything wrong just by being there. “If you do it in peer-level approach, rather than a condescending control approach, you’ll have much more success,” says Boyd.
Or, if you don’t feel like talking, you could always do this (posted on my Seton Hall class blog today):
Spector Pro AUTOMATICALLY takes hundreds of screen snapshots every hour, very much like a surveillance camera. With Spector, you will be able to see EVERY chat conversation, EVERY instant message, EVERY e-mail, EVERY web site visited and EVERY keystroke typed.
Example: You are at work and your child is home from school. She receives an email from John at 3:00 PM. Within seconds, you receive a COPY of that email sent to your email address. A few minutes later, she replies to John’s email. Within seconds, you receive a COPY of what she sent to John.
Whew…what a relief. And here I thought I was actually going to have to teach my kids how to be safe and ethical online.
UPDATE: By the way, the sidebar with the Cheet Sheet is well worth the read. Here’s the money quote:
“Maybe the MySpace medium is another channel where we can be working with our students,” says Fenger. To that end, he’s forming a student-teacher committee to explore positive uses of MySpace. “The reason I think a lot of schools don’t go this way is it takes staff, it takes resources. It takes faculty time and it takes students’ time.”