Myspace, The Small World Phenomenon, and Kara Beth Borden
In Lititz, Pennsylvania, as many of us know, Kara Beth Borden was kidnapped on gunpoint by her 18 year old boyfriend, David Ludwig, also said to have murdered her parents... and I am also sure many of us have seen her xanga and myspace, and his xanga and myspace.
Kara Beth, in her Xanga, lists her interests as
- JESUS!! church,my youth group,other youth groups, family,friends,my doggie,KIDS,babysitting,soccer, bball,football,talking on the phone,food,eating, taking pictures,cooking,guitar,the beach,camp, taking walks,riding my bike,just being outside, having partys OH YEAH BABY,going to partys, making new friends,helping out,music,DDR!!CANDY,PUSHPOPS.shopping hugging...
David Ludwig lists interests like getting in trouble, pulling stupid pranks, and having soft air gun wars. He is also an experienced hunter (some photgraphs can be seen in his Picture Trail).
In a statement by Kara Beth's best friend, Stephanie Mannon, 16, Kara Beth and David had been seeing each other secretly because her parents didn't approve of the age difference.
Some reports say that Borden's parents were murdered after Ludwig and Borden were out all night together, as they were murdered early in the morning, and that Kara Beth may have been an accomplice, not a captor.
When I stumbled upon Ludwig's myspace, I realized I had seen his face before on absent wanderings through the site. The internet, and websites such as myspace and xanga, which are designed specifically to build networks, like those between David Ludwig and Kara Beth Borden, may increase crime rate. They create a new "Small World Phenomenon," and spread information quickly - and sometimes fatally.
Is it appropriate to ban students from myspace? A good question, especially in light of this new double murder... I think such an intereference with privacy would be met with outrage, but perhaps it is important merely for rules to be firmly set in households like those of Ludwig and Borden. If Ludwig had been kept under more monitoring, and had received positive reinforcement for good behavior, I wonder if he would have loved pranks and getting in trouble. Maybe two parents would not be dead and a young girl would not have been influenced to accomplice a murder.
Myspace or human nature? Influence or inherent evil?
It is important to note that much very critical political and social information is spread through networking sites like these... and that they shape language and future thought processes indefinitely.
Did Myspace and Xanga fuel or contribute to the Bordens' murder? Maybe. But in all likelihood, not sufficiently to pose a problem.
I think the most imporant message is one of caution: be careful whom you meet online.