A New Hangout - Myspace
- By Sam George
- Published 07/14/2006
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
MySpace is a new cultural phenomenon of our times. I have found many coconuts in the world of Myspace. Two years ago, this online community website had only two million members. Now MySpace has exploded into a ‘popular hang out’ for kids. Currently, more than 90 million members from different walks of life populate this online world. Many of its most avid fans are none other than teenagers.
This peer networking ‘place’ also poses many dangers. There is plenty of profanity, obscenity, and explicit pictures. And kids divulge far too much personal information, which can put them in dangerous situations. For example, police in California and Connecticut are investigating crimes against girls under 16 committed by men they met on MySpace. See breakpoint commentary on pedophiles - Allure of Myspace.
The quest for identity and community is most pronounced during teen years and no wonder this site is so popular among teends. Pseudo names, wrong age, outright lying and faking goes on big time in the virtual world. They learn to handle multiple identities; might even loose social skills in real world. Biculturalism makes this struggles even more acute for coconuts. They are looking for others like them and trying to discover who they really are.
Find more basic information about MySpace, visit their FAQ and Safety Tips pages. A variety of other articles such as How Parents Can Use MySpace and Get Out of MySpace will help as well. For even more in-depth information, read MySpace 4 Parents: Learn How to Protect Your Child in MySpace. FBI has its own A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety.