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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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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

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

FroggyBurton
FroggyBurton posted in Friends:
"drowning" wrote:I've met this predicament in the past myself. I still do. But, there's always little things you can do other than medications and doctors. Find others to talk too or even online services like imalive. They're lovely people to talk too; I had the pleasure of finding that out.Pull yourself to find little hobbies to do; even if it's not all the time and just sometimes. Try drawing, writing, reading. Exercise, even. Drink water, treat yourself. Walk more, keep your music updated. Rearrange things; move things. Keep your environment as up as you can. Get things done; make yourself feel accomplished. You don't always have to do big things and take different tests to make yourself feel better. It takes time; lots of it. I've dealt with depression and anxiety since I was 11; now I'm 17.And, you need to remember that it's okay to get sad and you're not always going to know what to do. But, that doesn't mean you won't figure it out. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be here today. I almost wasn't a few times. Now, I'm working on getting ready for college and I'm engaged. Things aren't going to always be great or perfect, even. But, that doesn't mean they won't be okay. I hope you the best of luck and I wish to tell you that you can come to me at any time.Honestly, it's just really hard for me to even wanna do something these days. Most of the things people wanna do, it involves having more people around to help you achieve it your goal(s). I do sketch, a lot. But all of my outcomes of my drawings end up being depressing and suicidal. I try doing things, but again, nothing seems to work. My family honestly would rather have me try for emancipation then want me to stay any longer. But the thing is, I can't do it in my state. I feel like I'm trapped here and there's no escape. I've been kicked out so many times. Slept underneath trees, etc. I don't have anybody, literally anybody to talk to anymore. It's lonely. It's great at times. But it's just really depressing when you look around in the hallways of your school and try to talk to someone, they just walk away from you...
reply about 2 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
I've met this predicament in the past myself. I still do. But, there's always little things you can do other than medications and doctors. Find others to talk too or even online services like imalive. They're lovely people to talk too; I had the pleasure of finding that out. Pull yourself to find little hobbies to do; even if it's not all the time and just sometimes. Try drawing, writing, reading. Exercise, even. Drink water, treat yourself. Walk more, keep your music updated. Rearrange things; move things. Keep your environment as up as you can. Get things done; make yourself feel accomplished. You don't always have to do big things and take different tests to make yourself feel better. It takes time; lots of it. I've dealt with depression and anxiety since I was 11; now I'm 17. And, you need to remember that it's okay to get sad and you're not always going to know what to do. But, that doesn't mean you won't figure it out. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be here today. I almost wasn't a few times. Now, I'm working on getting ready for college and I'm engaged. Things aren't going to always be great or perfect, even. But, that doesn't mean they won't be okay. I hope you the best of luck and I wish to tell you that you can come to me at any time.
reply about 10 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
If you need counseling, anti-depressants, and you're being abused verbally, mentally, and physically; you need to get immediate help. You are in an unhealthy environment and it shouldn't be normal to you. This isn't normal and it isn't okay. Call 911 and get yourself out of that household.
reply about 10 hours
FroggyBurton
FroggyBurton posted in Friends:
So, not too long ago, I tried talking to one of my best friends and I was severely depressed and just wanted to end my life. I really didn't know what to do and I felt like I was down on my knees. So, I messaged her and told her that I just really needed someone to talk to and that I haven't talked to her for almost a month and a half, or so. She instantly snapped on me and explained to me that I cannot rely on my friends for happiness, now, before I go any further, I don't rely on my friends for happiness. But it doesn't hurt to have somebody to talk to from time to time, right? Anyways, so, I told her that and she replied back saying that I'm just too much for her to handle and too depressing and then attacked me by calling me ugly names and involved my other friends into it and I lost them as well. I'm feeling horribly depressed even worse than I did that day (which was two days ago) and I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I don't have any friends anymore. I feel like I don't have anybody to talk to. People are probably going to read this and either think that I'm just asking for attention (which is not what I want) or that I do have friends to talk to and that they are always here for me. But nobody understands that nobody is ever really going to be there for you 24/7 and it sucks, honestly. I feel really isolated from everybody, which is why I search on social media for friends and they all fail. I'm seriously begging for some advice on how to handle my depression because it's getting way out of hand and I'm only fifteen years young, going on sixteen in April. I'm running out of options. I've talked to therapists, left and right but nothing worked. I've taken medications but nothing has changed. I just want to throw my hands up in the air and wave the white flag...
reply about 14 hours
FroggyBurton
"IlikeGUYS20" wrote:Dear dish-it,I think I am bi! For the past few years I have been attracted to boys and girls. I think I am bi. But is it to early to come out and say this?xxIlikeGUYS20xxPS My friend wrote my username. I am not kidding. I think I am bi. You do not have to do anything that you don't wanna do.  Your sexuality what you feel.  It's what you believe that you are attracted to.  Bisexual or not.  There is nothing wrong with it.  I know a lot of bisexual people who still to this day haven't come out yet and said anything to their parents.  Whether or not your friends and family accept you, you still have a whole community that does 100%!
reply about 17 hours