MySpace invitation opens a whole new world

MySpace invitation opens a whole new world

Updated 5/11/2006 7:25 PM ET



E-mail Craig Wilson at cwilson@usatoday.com

Never one to turn down an invitation, I was
beyond delighted the other morning when I was scrolling down through my
e-mail and saw this heading: You Have Been Invited to Join a MySpace
Group!

Me? Fifty-six-year-old me? Someone wants me in their MySpace group of friends?

Will miracles never cease?

MySpace.com ("A place for friends" is its
slogan) is all the buzz these days. I can’t go to a dinner party or
chat with colleagues without a tale about the hip networking website
coming up.

All the stories are from the parents’ point of
view, of course, since none of their children would share their
My-Space shenanigans with me. Not in a million years.

But the parents do, and all the stories are the
same. There they were, raising a perfectly nice child when they
discover this perfectly nice child has her own little listing on
MySpace — complete with semi-provocative photos and stats, including
favorite color and favorite candy and God only knows what other
favorite.

One friend was shocked to see his 13-year-old
daughter on MySpace wearing an undersized bikini and oversized
sunglasses, a photo he found out later was taken on a family vacation
to Florida.

She also had taken a stage name. Let’s just say
it was a name you don’t want your teenage daughter to embrace, even if
it was "just a joke," as she said once her "act" was exposed.

My friend Bob was so surprised to find his
daughters’ photos on MySpace that he sat them down and had what’s
called the "Come to Jesus" talk.

And then he did the unthinkable.

He made up a profile of his own, with photo, and
posted it. His daughters were so mortified that he thinks it might have
done the job.

He suspects that his entry into the teenage
flirting fray has taken the lure out of meeting "boys" over the
Internet. I mean, what happens if the boy turns out to be Dad?

Gross.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to open my invite and see who wanted me to be his or her newest best friend in the MySpace world.

I hit the link. My heart sank. "Invalid Group ID. Try a Different ID."

I didn’t have a different ID. I didn’t have any ID. In fact, I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.

But I saw that I was actually on MySpace,
so I clicked "browse" and looked around, hoping against hope that I
wouldn’t see anyone I knew, although I will admit I looked for Bob.

Instead I saw Hope and Jelly Bean and a young lady who called herself "Anything But Normal."

And every last one of them was "Online now!" It
was Wednesday afternoon at 2. Aren’t these kids supposed to be in
school? Or at least hanging out at the mall?

Then again, there I was, a 56-year-old guy,
supposedly working, pathetically searching around for an invitation
that had somehow gotten lost.

Was it Hope who wanted me to join her list of friends? Jelly Bean, maybe? Or was it "Anything But Normal"?

I logged off. I have enough friends. I have Bob.

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