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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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hugebear
hugebear posted in Family Issues:
You doesnt have to come out to your family until your ready and until they is ready too.  If you blurt it out it could be the shock.  You says that you think your Mums side of the family will be more supportive.  Has you got an Aunty or Uncle what you could discuss this with?  An adult member of your family what is most likely supportive  could probably give the best advises on how to tell your family and when and how and prepares you for how they will react. Good luck mate and takes your time :angel
reply about 3 hours
Mrawsomegamer
I think my mothers side of the family would be fine with it. It's my dad's side I'm most concerned about. My dad says some dreadfully terrible remarks about homosexual people. I think I'm not gunna tell him at all. Ever...  Either way. Thanks for the advice!
reply about 3 hours
Kirsteeeeen
If you don't think that you'll be in a safe situation (for example, your parents try to kick you out, or hurt you physically or emotionally) than you should definitely wait to tell them. I think you'll know when the time is right. We can't tell you how they'll react, but I bet you can sort of figure it out from how they feel and act about these topics.  Remember, you are not obligated to tell anybody at all. It's personal. Wait until you're for sure ready to tell them. And when you do, tell them the way in which it's easiest. Get your point across, offer resources, reassurance, and give them time. 
reply about 3 hours
Mrawsomegamer
Hey guys, so I do kinda have a personal issue, but I need to tell my family about it. Truth is, I'm not even sure how they'll even react. Very few of my friends know, only the ones I trust anyway... I'm gay. Or at least bisexual. I kinda had a thing for girls, but that was a long time ago. I think I'm fully gay. I have a very supportive boyfriend, who loves me with all his heart. But that's not what it's about; it's actually coming out to my family, whom I know some of them are quite homophobic. Homophobia runs in my family. Sorta...  It makes my stomach turn when I think about it. I sometimes look into the mirror, look at myself and think if my conscience suddenly made me decide I was gay, or if I was born with it. Science tells us that we are born that way, due to lack of man chemicals entering a boys brain when in development. I feel like I've chosen it (even though I know deep inside I haven't) to be gay, probably because of my family almost forcing me into getting a girlfriend and such. I come from a Catholic family, to make things even worse. I'm like the only practising person in my family, but somehow I feel that they'll use my Faith against me if I come out.  So, should I just wait until I'm older? How do I know when the time is right? How will they even react? How should I even say it?  Please help!
reply about 4 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
This thread has been moved. Click here to see the new thread.
reply about 5 hours

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