In the course of all our corresponding, the phenomena has been a recurring theme.  Everyone, so it would seem, has a myspace page.  It somehow made our paltry little website/blog seem so last year.  Everywhere I turned, dykes and queers and homos alike were talking about it. 

So I decided to give it a try.  And let me just say that I have never in my life felt so creepy and icky as I have while using  Its like entering a creepy world where young people and their no-so-young admirers mingle freely.  It IS entering a world ripe for child molesters and perverts.  After awhile, the photos of everyone over age 30 began to look sinister. 

For me, there was nothing cool or amusing about it.  It is a space for young people.  And people who are sort of stuck in that place of wanting to hang when they are 47 years old and really should be focused on securing gainful employment and moving out of mom's basement.  Not waiting to be taken seriously as an author/singer/mime. 

Harsh?  Perhaps, but the majority of your closest friends should not be the same age as your hypothetical children.

I know I'm old because most of it was annoying--- listing 75 songs as their "fav" and describe in too much detail why they hate certain authors.  The language is a shorthand that is slightly less confusing than Esperanto.

And then there is this "friends" thing.  Apparently, you connect your profile to the profiles of your actual friends.  But then you troll for new friends ... randomly asking people to be your friend.  They can accept or reject you.  So some people end up with 895 friends.  Seems harmless, right? So I asked the 3 people I have actually met in person to be my friend.  Fine.  Then I asked someone I sort of know who never responded.  So I begin to wonder ... is she sick?  Does she not want to be my friend?  What does this mean for when I see her in real life?  Am I not cool enough to be her friend?  Why am I overthinking this?  And on and on and on down into the void euphemistically referred to as a junior high flashback. 

Thankfully, Ledcat slapped me back to my grown up productive citizen life and I quickly realized that I don't need to go online to be rejected --- there's an entire world filled with nasty homophobes just lining up to reject me.  Thankfully, there's also a long list of real time people who will come over and hang on our deck with us while the computer sits idle in the attic.

But there's a deeper component to the ick factor.  People post all sorts of amazingly intimate details of their lives.  Young people, posting about their vulnerabilities and foibles.  Mixing sincere vulnuerability with tarty flirtatiousness.  And again I just felt like I was violating them to read it.  And I'm talking about young adults --- 23 and 29 year olds -- not kids.  Even if you eliminate the molesters, its still ripe for creeps to take advantage.

The social worker in me was just flipping out.  If 2 out of every 3 women is sexually assaulted in real life, I wonder what the statistic is?  If they cannot come up with age verification process, it should just not exist. 

I can see the advantages when you are young or poor.  Lots of bells and whistles built in to a free service.  But when you get to the point that posting a photo of your drunken ass self might actually cause problems for your career or law school application or whatever ... take down the site.  Not just the photo.  Take down your site and go outside for some fresh air.  Maybe take a second job so you can afford the $250 for a real domain and webhosting service if you have something critical to promote. 

And if you have something to promote, linking to photos of 398 other people who aren't going to buy it is not the most productive use of your PR time and energies. 

So that's my judgmental bit about  25 and under, cool.  When you edge closer to 30 ...creepy.