MyCyc

Website review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
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Teens voice their angst -- and offer support to others.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

Because this is an open forum for teens to post messages and blogs, there are posts that deal with some heavy issues. Some posts include discussions on suicidal thoughts, abuse, self-injury, and depression. The discussion pages allow teens to give each other advice.

Violence

Some posts include references to abuse.

Sex

Although for the most part there is generally no explicit sexual discussions, many blogs focus on some aspect of teen relationships. Many of the bloggers describe themselves as being in middle school and discuss breaking up with boys, dating, kissing, and "relationship issues." Some posts include references to having sex.

Language

Because there is very little that is edited from these blogs, there is profanity. Words like s--t, f--k, and whore can all be found in posts. However the profanity is not rampant and usually there is only one or two expletives in a blog.

Consumerism

No ads, no sponsors.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One blog discusses a friend's death due to a drug overdose and another mentions the use of Oxycontin. Writers openly discuss the use of drugs and alcohol. Most of the posts that discuss drug use include information on the consequences and don't make the drug use sound appealing.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a straightforward blogging site for teens, free of the social networking dimension of sites like MySpace. Although the site says it's specifically for teens from 13 to 19, anyone has the ability to register and create a blog. Blogs mostly center on adolescent relationship dramas and social angst. Also, don't confuse this site with another one calling itself a teen blog -- that's a porn site.

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What's it about?

The tagline for MYCYC.COM is "where your thoughts are set free." The site lets teens blog about anything and everything, as well as offer each other advice in the discussion forums. There is a registration process in order to blog, but no personal contact information is revealed in a user's profile. Users can add a picture of themselves if they wish. Many teens use this site as a virtual confessional and because they can remain anonymous, they have the ability to discuss very private things like self-injury and suicidal thoughts. Although there isn't much explicit sexual talk, the site, which consists primarily of females, shows teens taking their romantic relationships very seriously.

Is it any good?

For teens looking for a place to purge their emotions, vent about dating, and share their writing with an online teen audience, MyCyc.com offers a welcoming forum. Although this site is still in its infancy, and user-submitted content isn't as voluminous as it is on other teen sites, MyCyc.com does give teens a place to blog without the upkeep and pressure associated with some social networking circles. With comments like "I hate myself, all I want is to be skinny and be able to get a boyfriend" this is also a good place for parents to get a glimpse into the psychological world of teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why teens feel the need to post blogs about very personal information. Do you think it helps someone to reveal depression, bad relationships, heartbreak and agony to online readers? Do you think it helps teens to read that other teens are going through tough times? Why aren't there more light-hearted topics? After reading some of the blogs on this site, do you think the media accurately portrays what teen life is like?

Website details

  • Genre: Blogging
  • Pricing structure: Free

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