This morning kids gathered around a bus stop, but slowly one by one they merged over to a tree. Nailed on to this tree was a picture of a young girl, fourteen years old that had gone missing. Below the picture the announcement read that the girl had been missing for a couple of weeks. As adults noticed the announcement as they were walking by they stopped to see how they could help.
”Oh my she is so little” stated an elderly women, as she picked up her pup before it could run away. Concerned looks spread and humming in the crowd where suggestions on what probably became of the girl or what might have happened. “She is young and it worries me how our teenagers really have no clue what could happen to them,” commented Cristina Lopez a mid-aged mother with three children. Over all the suggestions splattered around the adults kept coming back to a certain topic, online predators.
In the past several years teens have revolved themselves over the Internet, living in a web dependent world where efficiency and faster is better, how do we know when to stop being glued to the computer screen? Over seventy percent of teens have created online profile for social networking sites, reported a National teen Internet survey. Including the unsafe actions taken and the fact that over sixty percent of teens do not even bother to hide their information to followers or viewers.
“It is the new way to meet people talking to someone online is like talking to someone at a book store. You don’t know them but I mean if you don’t ever talk to people you don’t know you will never make new acquaintances.” Stated Brenda a senior student from a high school in Houston. “I mean it’s not like your actually going to meet this people and I’m usually a good judge of character so I don’t worry about it much”. Although Brenda may have a point in meeting new people, does it still make it okay to have some form of relationship with a stranger from the web. Is there a deference in meeting a stranger in person or online?
Brittany a RHHS student says yes, “ In person you can actually feel uncomfortable when the stranger talks to you a certain way or motions you differently, you can hear difference in tone and read their nonverbal communication” this Brittany says is usually enough to get you to stop talking to the stranger. Online you really do not understand the text, you could read it one-way and they stranger maybe sending it differently.
But what about the teens that do not contact strangers and still have stalkers? They should not believe just because they do not communicate with strangers that strangers do not follow them. Teens have an annoying habit of constantly posting unneeded information on what they are doing, whom they are with, and where they are. This is how stalkers find their victims posting their statutes updates and pouring their emotions and deep thoughts online to allow the World Wide Web to see who they are.
“I like having my own little page where I can make it all about me” Amanda a sophomore at a Fort Worth high school shared her thoughts over the topic “ you place your music and favorite quotes on your page it’s like having your own room online, and you get to share that with everyone, it’s expressing yourself”.
For years teens have found ways for expression music, art, and poetry. So is this expression wrong or just something we must deal with on our own? Should loses and tragic deaths of individuals really excused with just being expressive. When for years lack of online protection has resulted in abduction and many other acts.