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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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Dear Dish-It in the forums

lelnah
lelnah posted in Friends:
"Tldc_Julisha" wrote:I'm in the popular group but im trying to figure out if maybe its time to stop being in the popular group or notI like being in the group but at the same time I don't because-The other girls in the popular group are kind mean to othersThey make fun of people who don't wear what we wearThey push/shove people into lockersIs it time to leave the popular group or should I stay there??? Of course not! What kinds of people just go through their everyday lives shoving good kids into hard metal lockers? It's not right. I would never associate myself with a group like that. What kind of popular is that, shoving kids into lockers?  
reply about 8 hours
Hannah728
Hannah728 posted in Friends:
Ok i have the same problem with every guy! I have a crush on the cutest guy and i think somebody else likes him! And i mean like for sure think that they like him!
reply about 11 hours
classicalmusicisepic
"shae508" wrote: "classicalmusicisepic" wrote: my friends offline are having some relationship problems atm and there are just some things i want to mention on here, because i think they're relevant; some warning signs, etc and how to approach them. these not only apply to romantic relationships, but also friendships etc. physical harm - this might be an obvious one. but i just want to share some ways to approach the situation. this includes unwanted touching, hitting, kicking, etc. if your partner is doing this to you, you must report it to a trusted adult, teacher, counselor, close friend, or family member. this is one of the most serious abusive relationships- there are many resources online such as childline, etc, and hotlines you can call if you need to speak to someone about it. they may be able to help you get out of the relationship, and give you a shoulder to cry on. pressure into unwanted intimacy - this is also one of the big ones- your partner should never make you feel uncomfortable or otherwise. if they wish to stay with you, they will wait until you're ready to move onto that stage; if you even ever will be. if you feel pressured, or pushed into doing something you feel you'll regret, sit down and talk about it with your partner. you have a say in your relationship, too. control over your friends - if you feel like your partner has control over your friends- something is wrong. if they want you to dedicate every second of your life to them, with no other people, it's not right. your relationship not only affects the two people in it, (or more if it's polyamourous), but everyone around is affected by your relationship, too. again- you have a say in how your relationship is going, too!   criticizing you and your choices - relationships are about liking each other- if your partner is putting you down or demeaning you, it's a warning sign to get out of it. are they mocking you? or putting down your appearance, clothes, etc? Definite red flag; talk about it with him/her/them.  other signs, include: -being doted and adored one day, and the next being pushed away and ignored, -you're afraid of your partner -they obsess over and call/text you constantly -you may find you've lost your confidence -many ups and downs in the relationship, constant roller coaster -you aren't yourself. you change and adapt for them, drop hobbies if they're not into them, etc. -something tells you you cant trust them again, there are many resources out there if you need to talk. never be afraid to speak about it to someone- a family member, a teacher, a close friend, the police, a guidance counselor, etc.  I bolded that one part. The whole thread is great. And that one is a sign. But remember people with mental illness may also show signs like this to. If they have a good they they may spoil you and love you, and then the next day they're having a bad one. So they might push you away. They also may suddenly dote on you one day also to make up for a bad day. I'm not making an excuse, it's still a ver bad thing to do. I'm just putting it out there. that's a good point. 
reply about 12 hours
shae508
shae508 posted in Friends:
"classicalmusicisepic" wrote:my friends offline are having some relationship problems atm and there are just some things i want to mention on here, because i think they're relevant; some warning signs, etc and how to approach them.these not only apply to romantic relationships, but also friendships etc.physical harm - this might be an obvious one. but i just want to share some ways to approach the situation. this includes unwanted touching, hitting, kicking, etc. if your partner is doing this to you, you must report it to a trusted adult, teacher, counselor, close friend, or family member. this is one of the most serious abusive relationships- there are many resources online such as childline, etc, and hotlines you can call if you need to speak to someone about it. they may be able to help you get out of the relationship, and give you a shoulder to cry on.pressure into unwanted intimacy - this is also one of the big ones- your partner should never make you feel uncomfortable or otherwise. if they wish to stay with you, they will wait until you're ready to move onto that stage; if you even ever will be. if you feel pressured, or pushed into doing something you feel you'll regret, sit down and talk about it with your partner. you have a say in your relationship, too.control over your friends - if you feel like your partner has control over your friends- something is wrong. if they want you to dedicate every second of your life to them, with no other people, it's not right. your relationship not only affects the two people in it, (or more if it's polyamourous), but everyone around is affected by your relationship, too. again- you have a say in how your relationship is going, too!  criticizing you and your choices - relationships are about liking each other- if your partner is putting you down or demeaning you, it's a warning sign to get out of it. are they mocking you? or putting down your appearance, clothes, etc? Definite red flag; talk about it with him/her/them. other signs, include:-being doted and adored one day, and the next being pushed away and ignored,-you're afraid of your partner-they obsess over and call/text you constantly-you may find you've lost your confidence-many ups and downs in the relationship, constant roller coaster-you aren't yourself. you change and adapt for them, drop hobbies if they're not into them, etc.-something tells you you cant trust themagain, there are many resources out there if you need to talk. never be afraid to speak about it to someone- a family member, a teacher, a close friend, the police, a guidance counselor, etc.  I bolded that one part. The whole thread is great. And that one is a sign. But remember people with mental illness may also show signs like this to. If they have a good they they may spoil you and love you, and then the next day they're having a bad one. So they might push you away. They also may suddenly dote on you one day also to make up for a bad day. I'm not making an excuse, it's still a ver bad thing to do. I'm just putting it out there.
reply about 14 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
No problem!
reply about 14 hours

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