Wednesday, April 05, 2006

myspace part 2

Hm. Since I started blogging, I've occasionally had phone calls from people about my blog. So far, these calls had been for purposes of someone writing an article about blogging, or something similarly research/blogging oriented.

Today I got a phone call from the gentleman who commented anonymously on my previous post about myspace. He did identify himself on his call, but since he chose to comment anonymously here I won't share his name. He, as you can gather from his comments, was quite upset that I would encourage people to use myspace, because some profiles listed on myspace have objectionable material.

I shared with him my view: I see myspace as another medium - another tool to use on the internet. It can be abused, of course, and misused. IMing has resulted in similar problems for some people, online journals like livejournal can be used in similar ways, chat rooms, etc., are all susceptible to abuse by some. But I don't think this means we need to abandon the medium, the tool, altogether, or condemn it, or discourage use outright, especially when the benefits of the tool or medium can be so positive. There are just under 60,000 groups on myspace, for example, that are about religion and faith and related topics. No, they aren't all Christian groups. But there are 60,000 groups of people on myspace who are using this tool to talk about what they do and don't believe.

The gentleman hung up, from my perception, frustrated that I wasn't persuaded by what he said. We disagree. I'm glad to say that I'd discourage abusing/misusing myspace, but I can't say that it shouldn't be used altogether. I don't know what else to say about it.

Where would you "draw the line"? When would you reject a tool/medium in itself rather than speak out against misuses of the tool, speak out against bad/harmful content? I still think having a pastoral presence is a better strategy. What do you think?
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