Formspring – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Formspring is a question and answer website, its like having your own little interview where you can ask anyone anything. You set up your own profile page and people can ask you questions. Users can ask questions anonymously if they like. You can link your account to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.
Its been over a year now since Formspring started, and its been very popular indeed. Here are my thoughts on the site.
The Good
If used properly this site can be fun. People can ask you whatever questions they like and you can choose whether to answer them or not.  For instance if you like a person, and want to get to know them better but are too shy or just don’t want it known yet, this can be very handy.  
Other people can then read all of the questions and answers, so its like reading an interview, which can be very interesting, and/or funny with thoughtful or fascinating questions.
The Bad
Unfortunately not everyone asks the right questions.  I’ve seen people (teenagers) being bullied with questions or  degrading statements or insults about the person which are not even questions.
Things like…
I hate you
You are fat and ugly
Maria your bestfriend told me……. 

Obviously most of these hateful “questions” are anonymous.  This seems just another way cyber bullies can get to you, but hidden this time. There have been lots of reports in the news of Formspring being blamed for suicides.
Also people sometimes pretend to be someone else, trying to blame another person for the spiteful remarks which can be very confusing and upsetting to the Formspring user.
Even if the person doesn’t answer the horrible or unreasonable questions, they have still read them and know that someone wrote them, it is hurtful.
The Ugly
Some questions are just downright disgusting,  it is outrageous some of the nasty things that I have read on peoples Formspring accounts, purely again because they can be anonymous.  I’m not sure why people allow this to be seen on their Formspring maybe because they are trying to catch the person out, they don’t care or at first they think it is fun.
Shocking and bad language is rife, I’m not just talking about swear words. I mean indecent, sexual, crude, meant to be funny questions.   Mostly people do not answer these types of questions or they just put a condescending remark, but I can just imagine what type of questions people are receiving if they are posting most of them. 
Its a great place for perverts to ask girls all the creepy gross questions they like. And even if they are not answered they probably get excitement just due to the fact the question was read.
I personally don’t like Formspring, I know some that do.  The more I see of it, the less I want to get involved with it. If you want to ask me questions ask them anywhere else but there. As usual it is our kids, our teenagers that I worry about, we (adults) are generally hardened to any rubbish that we read (although some are not) but our teenagers are learning though this.
I’d like to see someone design one similar without the ability to be anonymous, unless there is one out there already?
I’m using this as a summary as I couldn’t put it any better myself.
What these teens and many others don’t know is that all questions and answers are indexed. A job candidate that uses Formspring has made his or her reputation, opinions, background, and other information available publicly to employers willing Google them. Though it’s hard to keep up with social media activity, parents should warn their children of these risks.

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