I know that MySpace.com has become a very popular thing with students these days and quite honestly I don’t get the excitement about it. It is cool to have your own personal web space and all, but it has become such a fad that teenagers will ask one another for their MySpace I.D. instead of each others phone numbers, email addresses or AOL IM names. Very odd!
I was talking with some friends of mine, who are pastor’s to students, about it and one of them was saying that she didn’t get it and I said that neither did I. But all I know is that it is where they are and I want to be were they are. If we, as pastor’s, do not go to where our people our then how can we expect to reach them? Jesus came down from Heaven so that He could be where we are and identify with us. He knew that it was the most effective way of touching our lives.
But one of the problems with MySpace is that there is a lot of crap out there. I recently got an invite to be someone’s friend and when I went to their MySpace to see who they were, I saw that one of their friends was a famous porn star and I had no idea who this person was anyway! So needless to say I declined their invite. But what bothers me even more is when I stumbled upon a teenagers MySpace and this girl had a pic of their belly with the caption, “keep it in your pants boys”. I was floored! Not that I am naive or dumb enough to think that they don’t think or do those things, because I know I did when I was their age. But it just shocked me that this stuff is allowed! I know a couple of teenagers that are 15, but their ages are listed at 100. No accountability is being provided there. And I know it is hard for the creators of MySpace to do that.
So that is why a few days ago I decided that I would see if I could start a revolution, by challenging people to clean up their MySpace. Some of this was also generated by going on and seeing some of my old students MySpace’s and some of the bulletins that I would get from them. It really broke my heart in many ways.
A few of them have had their parent’s completely shut down their MySpace’s and I am not too surprised by these parent’s reactions because they tend to over-react with things like this. So their solution has been to make their teens completely delete their pictures and pretty much any information, and then also to forbid them from the internet. Cause you know that is the solution instead of sitting down with them and talking about it. It is always so much better to over-react and cause them to want to rebel, not to mention the wedge that you will drive between you and them.
The idea is to guide and instruct them to make better choices, but instead somehow most Christians feel that it is better to just have them not be able to make any at all. And I just do not get that mind set. I have seen too many people whose lives where sheltered like that, go hog wild the minute they turn 18 and go to college or move out. The worst people at my Bible college where the people who were either pastor’s kids, went to Christian schools or were home schooled. Why is that? Because they were the ones that were the most sheltered and never had a chance to learn how to make better choices.
I have no idea how to end this because I am so frustrated with this whole thing and wish parent’s would learn to get it. We can be so fearful that our kids are going to make the same stupid choices that we did as teens that we shelter them so much that all we do is delay that. As fallen people our choosers are broken and the it needs to be fixed, so how can it be fixed if they are never allowed to choose?
I know that I probably will get blasted by parent’s that may read this, but I am hoping that we can generate some good dialogue over this. So feel free to comment and start that dialogue!