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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.

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162 Comments

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in Friends:
"jordand08" wrote:Thank you.You're welcome. :)
reply about 4 hours
donteatcarrots
talk to the person you're closest too. yes, you said you don't get close with people, but there's probably one person who you speak to more often than others- talk to that person.
reply about 6 hours
donteatcarrots
donteatcarrots posted in Friends:
Don't worry too much- it's only your first relationship- but I'd sit down with him at one point, and discuss what makes you uncomfortable, eg; if you know what I mean...
reply about 6 hours
donteatcarrots
donteatcarrots posted in Friends:
Probably sound a little stereotypical, but the majority of boys don't really act like that... Ask him :p
reply about 6 hours
kittenkid
First: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T KILL YOUSELF! When you get past this you'll be glad. Well, this is just my opinion, but I think you should first find someone, anyone, even if you don't trust them, if there're your parents talk to them about it. I bet a bunch of people have already told you this but there're right. Before you walk up to them, write down what you're going to say and then think of a few questions they might ask and write down the answers to them. Remember to tell them that it might take you a minute to think of an answer. Before you answer, think of the exact words you will say  before you say anything, and think in your mind about it. Think about wether it is a lie or not before you say it. If it gets out of you mouth before you realize it is a lie, don't be afraid to say so and just say the truth. Also, just try to find something you like to do that will take your mind off everything. If you really can't think of anything, try just practicing saying your feelings to yourself, or a pillow or something.  Hope this helps!
reply about 8 hours

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