Lisa Dunning, MFT

Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist Article - MySpace A Place For Friends At But For Many Teens A Place To Avoid

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Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist
Parent / Child Relationship Specialist

MySpace A Place For Friends at
But For Many Teens A Place To Avoid

Author Of Parenting Book
"Good Parents Bad Parenting"

Good Parents
Bad Parenting

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MySpace A Place For Friends At
But For Many Teens A Place To Avoid

For many teens, "MySpace A Place For Friends" at can be a positive experience. With parental approval and continuous parental monitoring many teens engage in healthy peer interaction. But I have discovered a group of teens that are actively using the Internet and "MySpace A Place For Friends" in a way that is causing more harm than good. The group to whom I am referring is the socially awkward teenagers. The socially awkward teenagers consist of those teens that feel vulnerable, out of place and judged in the real world. For these teens face-to-face communication proves to be difficult and very uncomfortable.

"MySpace A Place For Friends" At And The Socially Awkward Teenagers Sound Like The Perfect Match

MySpace A Place For Friends at Not Always Good For Teenagers

At first glance the internet and "MySpace A Place For Friends" sound like the perfect vehicle to help these awkward teenagers meet and interact with other teenagers. But as the popularity of the Internet and websites like have grown, many socially awkward teenagers are isolating themselves from the real world as they engage almost exclusively in artificial environments like

The Socially Awkward Teenager Can Be Anyone They Want To Be On "MySpace A Place For Friends" At

They can describe themselves as people they wish, or want, to be. They will often form fictitious relationships, which they feel are real and honest. Some have even established relationships where they have met their dates on In therapy sessions I have had teenagers talk about their boyfriend or girlfriend in tremendous detail, only to discover that there encounter was on the computer at their page.

Parents Need To Monitor Their Teenagers MySpace Activity
MySpace A Place For Friends at Parents Need To Monitor Their Teens

As the socially awkward teenager decreases their social activity and their MySpace activity increases, many adolescents can become depressed, withdrawn and even suicidal. Parents need to monitor their teenager's use of the Internet and "MySpace A Place For Friends". If your teenager already has a page, visit their page and talk with your teenager about anything that concerns you. Parents should approve their child's page before anything is put on the Internet. Adolescents might not like their parents monitoring their MySpace activity but it is a parent's responsibility to monitor their teenager's MySpace activities to be sure their teen is not engaging in anything that could jeopardize their safety.

Establish Rules About The Internet And The Use of Websites Like "MySpace A Place For Friends" At

"MySpace A Place For Friends" can be a good social outlet for adolescents if it is balanced with face-to-face socialization. If you discover that your teenager is spending too much time on the Internet and on websites like, establish rules that encourage your teenager to engage in more real world activities. If a teenager is involved in a healthy balance between real world and MySpace activities, then their MySpace interactions will generally be a healthy one as well.

Any of these articles by Lisa Dunning, Family Therapist may be re-published in hardcopy (magazines, newsletters or newspapers) or electronic format in websites, ezines or electronic newsletters provided the following resource box is included at the end of the article with a link to the URL

Lisa Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues, the author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart" and the host of her own radio show, "Life Support". She provides marriage, divorce and parenting phone sessions to clientele across the United States and Canada and provides expert parenting advice to newspaper & magazine columnists.  To learn more about Lisa Dunning visit her website at

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Copyright 2007, Lisa Dunning, MFT.
(MySpace A Place For Friends At But For Many Teens A Place To Avoid)