Kw-logo-smaller

Internet Friends

Recently a teen from Massachusetts was looking for friends online. Her bio said that she was lonely and looking for love. She arranged to meet someone that she met in a chat room. She was picked up from work, handcuffed, and tortured until she finally was able to call the police. Her friends described her as shy and timid. She had run away from home before saying that she felt lost.

It really makes you stop and think about situations we put ourselves in. You wouldn't get into a car with a stranger or let someone you didn't know into your house or apartment. Why then, do so many people let random individuals from the internet - who they have never even seen - into their lives?

If you are lonely or bored, surfin' the net can give you something to do. But you have to really be careful about certain things. Check these out.

  • Never use your real name.
  • Keep your profile simple, don't include your address or town.
  • Never give out your phone number.
  • If you feel scared or threatened, tell an adult or the police.
  • Don't ever arrange to meet someone you met online.
  • Use common sense in chat rooms or sites that you go to.
  • Always remember, anybody could be lying about anything.

Everyone gets lonely or bored now and then. It can seem like everyone else's life is so exciting. But before you use the internet to spice your life up, look around at what's available in your real world. Find a book to read, volunteer somewhere, take a walk, start a journal or clean your room (I know that's pushin' it.) Just do something that will help make you a better person in the long run.

Don't get me wrong. The internet is huge. You have access to information 24/7, you have access to people all day and night. Just remember that you have to be responsible and make good decisions online, just as you do offline.

Treat the people that you "meet" online like the strangers that they are. You really don't know them. Think about what it's like for you when you are meeting someone for the first time face to face. You might check out what they look like, see who they know... you get the picture. Online, it's hard to do, people may lie about what they look like, how old they are and where they live. Sure there are those stories of people meeting and falling in love or becoming best friends but there are even more horrifying tales like the teen from Massachusetts. Why take the chance?

Have fun and explore but be smart. Protect yourself from whack people. Use your common sense.

Related Stories:

 

162 Comments

latest videos

How-to-make-online-friends-poll

How do you know who is online?

  • Have a tab with the friends online and keep refreshing the page
  • Check whos online from the Who is Online Now on the boards
  • Look who is posting on the boards
  • Other

related stories

Micro_online-safety-crossword-micro
Think you know all about being safe online? We've created this Online Safety Crossword Puzzle to ...
Micro_a m
Attention all Cyberbullies! Put down your weapons! And that means your cellphone, your keyboard a...
Micro_online-safety-micro
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you post a photo or a comment online it’s not just your f...
Micro_no name-calling week_micro
It’s No Name-Calling Week (January 21 - 25, 2013)! What are you doing to participate in this impo...
All of you boys and girls come on here to make friends. But sometimes you become more than that. ...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

horroranimegirl
i need help.   i have really bad anxiety and im depressed all the time.   i dont have anyone that im close to.  its just hard for me to trust people      im really bad at comveying my feelings    id ask someone for help but as i said i dont really get close to anyone     i almost never talk and when i do i say few words and act happy    i also compulively lie so no one knows what im really feeling  i cant express my feelings        i dont have anyone that i trust and its really hard       i thought about killing myself but im afraid to die so i never do anything      since i cant ask anyone in real life im hoping that someone on here can help me           i dont have any interests and im depressed and its almost impossible for me to tell people about it      what do i do?
reply about 3 hours
-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in Friends:
It's normal to feel jealousy, and it's not really too bad a thing unless you let it get to you and cause problems. I get jealous as hell but I try to avoid letting it affect the way I hold a conversation, for example. 
reply about 3 hours
SydneyWavsYou
SydneyWavsYou posted in Friends:
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a week now (It's a week today ♥) and I've noticed how Jealous I get... I trust him, but I don't trust girls... Is that a bad thing? He's my first actual boyfriend so I'm not use to this. 
reply about 4 hours
shygirl03
shygirl03 posted in Friends:
So there's this guy in my class and he sits next to me. Correction he HAS to sit next to me, So my classroom as a table with 2 desks connected to make a huge desk but separated holders things to put our stuff in. So this guy is really the class clown of the class and he can be a jerk when he wants to be but sometimes can be a really nice guy. He likes to talk to me and he "Occasionally" Touches my hand or arm in a friendly way.. I think :3 but anyways he teases me ... A LOT but he sometimes insults me but when he sees my face not cracking into a smile. he instantly says sorry or didnt mean it like that kind of way and i smile. So does he like me? Or he just being a regular guy? 
reply about 5 hours
Mrawsomegamer
My best friend is autistic and mild to moderate on the spectrum. He has a daily routine and obviously keeps to it.  His sister who's 18 told me about his condition. And she spoke to me about how much help he needs around the house. My friend doesn't actually need all that much help, as his autism isn't that bad compared to others I know. He mainly suffers reading people's emotions, and having the confidence to make friends and talk aloud. But his sister did complain that he was always the needy one around the house when she was younger.  What you've got to understand is that autism affects people in different ways, no autistic person is the same, and so requires a different level of work and help towards them. Your brothers didn't ask for this. They were born like that. I know how it feels though, feeling left out. And feeling like your parents don't love you. They really do. They just don't have time to express that love, which is kinda sad really.  Maybe you could get involved in helping your brothers out. Depending on how old they are, you can educate them on reading emotions, and things like that. They're great life skills. Or simply just being there for them is something you can do. Autism itself is a pretty frustrating thing for the person who has it. My friend hates it, but tries to live with it as a gift. Just a little support can go a long way.
reply about 7 hours

play online games