One of the latest crazes among media types out there is to expound on the wickedness of the social networking juggernaut, Myspace. The authors of the Myspace site have had the audacity to provide people the opportunity to communicate in an almost unprecedented manner, and in such a way that people find it enjoyable. What nerve!
My best guess is that Myspace wasn't written to facilitate hostility and name-calling over the internet. But even if that somehow may have been the original intent, that isn't the expressed purpose of it. Like any tool, it can be used both responsibly and irresponsibly. At its best, it is a fantastic tool for establishing and maintaining contact in an easy and casual way, with friends and acquaintances all over the world. The site has over 100,000,000 users now, and that places it within the realm of what I call, "the real world."
The real world has good people and bad people. When you're out walking in the real world, you put your wallet in your pocket, and pay attention to it. You often say hello to people you pass, but in a guarded, reserved way. The real world can be dangerous and upsetting. Some kids in Texas just got sued by an upset assistant principal for using Myspace to call her a lesbian in a public forum. What I like about this case is that it isn't the technology that's being demonized, but the kids themselves. It's a great example of someone seeing through the enabling technology, to the perpetrators of the offense, and taking action against the offenders themselves(and their parents).
The real world can be great too, moreso than the bad, I've found. With that in mind, I see no reason to attack Myspace, as it's just a window out into the real world, where bad people can do bad things to you. You just have to be careful. I'm careful when I'm using a big knife to cut meat, as it can quite easily cut off any and all of my fingers, but it also cuts meat into manageable pieces too. A knife is a tool to be used responsibly. So is Myspace.