MySpace is MyMirror

Will Richardson wrote a good post today about the hysteria surrounding the use of MySpace for Bad Things.

First, he quoted Stephen Downes‘ idea that bad behavior by kids reflects the bad behavior of adults:

Is our best response, though, to kick the kids off MySpace? My first reaction seems to be that we are punishing the kids for the actions of the badly behaved adults.

After all, if a grown man came to a school playground and started swearing and drinking and making lewd remarks, we would react by removing the adult, not by preventing children from accessing the park.

Richardson agrees, and presents a compelling example of how so much of our media is negatively affecting our children, and that just may have something to do with violent responses online.

It drives me absolutely nuts that we passively condone the horrific violence and the objectification of women (among other things) that are all around us in the media, yet when kids act stupidly in response to that we are shocked. Take 30 seconds and look at this ad. I mean really look at it. (And then spend about 30 seconds looking at this page.) And then look at it through my 8-year-old daughter’s eyes and my 6-year-old son’s eyes. And then repeat those images about 500,000 times until they get old enough to put up a MySpace site and watch what happens.

There is often an absence of true critique in the mainstream media’s analysis of itself.  So MySpace becomes the villain, rather than the cultural forces that lead kids to do the things they do.  Conservative cultural elements tried to blame Marilyn Manson for Columbine; this is more of the same willful ignorance.

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