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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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

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

kittenmeeoows posted in Friends:
im about to move to the biggest school in the  state from like the smallest what do i do will i fit in 
reply about 3 hours
fake_smiles posted in Friends:
Okay so basically I used to go to this school and I met some of the people who I wish to be life long friends with. Problem: All of them go to a different school Problem: I go to a dumb boarding school and only get to spend 1 day and a half with them when i come back on fridays before I leave to go to school on Sundays. I really hate this school too. My sister graduated high school from here and my other sister is in her last year here. After this year I'm going to be all alone at this school. I'll have to be going here for the next seven years since its a middle and high school and I'm only in middle school. Plus my sisters are the best students there. Every time I tell people I'm the sister of Stephanie and Siri,they automatically have high expectations of me. But mainly,I just want to know how to keep in touch with my best friends. We can't even have phones at school so I can't talk to them during the week. [s:sm3/1jw0]
reply about 4 hours
diamondgoogoo posted in Style:
Be who you are and a good person. Because popularity doesn't matter. Just be happy with what you got
reply about 6 hours
I understand how hard this must be. Because I should probably take this advice too.. I would try and focus on school lessons and ignore others. Don't be afraid to join a club! If you go to one that interests you then you might meet someone with common interests. I hope you get through this.
reply about 7 hours
Uh Hello?
reply about 8 hours

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