My wife and I have recently been looking for a new babysitter for our children and in the process have discovered a convenient new research tool, MySpace. If you are hiring someone in college or high-school to watch your children, they are sure to have set up a profile page on this leading social networking site, which can help you learn a lot about them. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your perspective), the millennials (post Gen Y) don’t seem to really grasp the concept that they are creating a permanent record on the internet with these types of casual networking sites. My guess is that it will likely haunt them sometime in their future or in our case, the present.
I recently debated with a friend whether the stuff people say/do on their MySpace page should be held against them. I liken this argument to when someone says something under the influence of alcohol that they wouldn’t otherwise say. Those feelings were likely there all along, the person just never said it out loud before. However, those are probably things you are better off knowing about them.
Case in point, a babysitter that my wife recently found on Sitter City and really liked had a very nice profile talking about how she loved kids, pictures of her, her experience etc. However, when we looked her up on MySpace, under the Children? question in her profile she had listed “No and Don’t Want Them. Let’s just say that she was cut from the list at that point. There have also been other cases where we questioned the judgment of potential sitters based on what was on their MySpace page, eliminating them from consideration.
If your children our very young like ours, it will probably be a few years before you need to troll MySpace to make sure they are not putting themselves in danger. In the meantime, it’s a nice way to find out more about the people that you are going to trust to look over them unsupervised and who you expect to be a positive role model.