MySpace has become one of, if not the most popular place for teens and tweens to socialize these days. Forget about going to the mall or hanging out at the ice cream parlor. MySpace has its users addicted. There are millions of teenagers (among others) that use MySpace daily and have learned the tricks of the trade. The scariest part about MySpace is that kids are learning how to get around all the safety measure that parent set. They have actually come up with a way for your children to hide friends on MySpace. So even if you’re trying to keep a close watch on their activities on MySpace they could have friends that you don’t even know about; as parents that can be very scary.
In one simple search on Google under “how to hide friends on MySpace” it brought up ten plus pages of how you or your child can copy and paste codes to their MySpace page so that they can hide friends. Web sites such as PimpWebpage.com have full tutorials on how to hide friends on your MySpace page teaching the easiest and most convenient ways to do it. My simple copying and pasting information onto their profile page they can hide anyone they want to.
What’s so dangerous about hiding friends?
Most parents will agree that it’s hard to keep track of every friend your child has on their MySpace page, but when you find out about hidden friends things become a little more stressful. There are several dangers to kids hiding friends and you have to wonder why they are doing it in the first place. The biggest danger of your child hiding friends on their page is that you and your child may not really know who the “friend” is. There have been several cases on websites like Facebook and MySpace where the person on the other end of the page isn’t who they really say they are.
Although we hate to see cases that are extreme, there are people out there that will prey on innocent teens looking for friendship. It’s dangerous to the parent and to the child if they are trying to hide friends. Another big danger is that things can escalate much further than the teen feels comfortable, but doesn’t know how to deal with. Let’s face it, teens aren’t the smartest kids out there and some will give personal information that can endanger them and their family members, not to mention financial catastrophes.
What can you do as a parent?
It’s impossible to know what your child is doing twenty four hours a day (though some may try) you can try and gain some control over their MySpace use. Here are some suggestions on how to stay partially in control:
• Be honest with your child. Give them a little credit. If you suspect that they have friends that they are hiding on their page then ask them about it.
• Talk about the danger in hiding friends and the importance of knowing who they’re talking with. Make sure they understand how important it is to only add friends that they physically know; not ones they have just met online or in some chat room.
• Set up an account where you can be connected with their account. Have them add you as a friend on their list so you can check in every so often.
• If you’re really worried about it then be the “mean guy” and close their account.
There’s no way for you to stop your kids from learning how to hide friends on MySpace, but you can keep the communication lines open so they are honest with you about it. That may be the best way to handle this type of situation.