The modern day center of teen chat and social interaction are chat rooms and other interactive web communication sites such as Facebook, MySpace, MSN, Bebo, and Yahoo.
These programs can be great for keeping in touch with friends, and for many they provide an outlet for expression, but there is a darker side that many of us overlook. Net bullying and chat room predators are a real deal; it’s not just something that you can pass off, saying, “It won’t happen to me, or my teenagers.”
Maybe you are a parent and you can’t really understand why your teens like using teen chat rooms and MSN type programs to communicate – “Why don’t you just talk to each other face-to-face or on the phone?” is a common phrase that parents use.
Here’s the answer
Chat rooms appeal to teens because they provide total anonymity, the ability to present varying identities. A shy, socially awkward teenager can be the life of the part online, and someone who is too scared to say something amongst their peers can happily say it online.
Teens can be whoever, and whatever, they want to be.
One of the dangers of this false identity is that the teens in question can get so caught up in this made-up character and personality. They find it difficult to live up to this persona in the real world, and they feel inadequate, so they retreat to the cover of teen chat room aliases.
Another problem with this anonymity is that the people your teens are befriending might also be using fake aliases. How can one be sure exactly who you are talking to?
Many teenagers use chat rooms to make new friends, but in a lot of cases they also use it to make romantic conversations and sexual connections. Part of growing up is exploring and testing the boundaries of relationships, but the problem with teen chat rooms and the Internet is that the boundaries are broader and the chances for mistakes are much higher.
The number of sexual predators on the Internet is growing at an alarming rate. The reality is that they are prowling the chat rooms looking to engage unsuspecting teens in online web-cam sex. And the prospect of them luring your teen to a face-to-face meeting is even more frightening!
As much as we would all like to think our teens know better than that, even the most conscientious teen can be swayed and manipulated by a practiced predator.
And it’s not always going to be creepy old men or women exploiting your children in the teen chat rooms. No doubt, you have heard about Net bullies and Net pranksters.
There are some teenagers who will go to any lengths to ruin your teenagers reputation! In the case of a bad breakup, personal data exchanged during face-to-face courtship, e.g. intimate photos or videos swapped between the teenager’s boyfriend/girlfriend can be publicly circulated or leaked to YouTube or even pornographic sites as payback or as a crude joke.
SO DON’T FLIRT WITH YOUR PRIVACY! DON’T SEND THE PHOTOS OVER THE INTERNET IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
With the Internet and these developing chat room relationships one mistake could have serious repercussions.
Let’s look at TWO OF THE MORE SERIOUS DANGERS OF INTERNET CHAT ROOMS, for our teens and ways in which parents can deal with the threat head on.
Teen Chat Safety Tips for Chat-Rooms
Watch out for warning signs concerning your teens’ online net activity
• Late night online activity by teens.
• Excessive (more than two hours on average per day!).This, of course, is not school or homework-related online time.
• Being alone for most of the time during his or her online sessions?
• Do your teens spend the majority of their time in chat rooms?
• When asked about their chat room activity, are they evasive and reluctant to share?
• Do you hear the proverbial click-click, and change of screen when you walk past? Perhaps you notice a blank screen but a full line of program in the task bar at the bottom of the screen?
A sure sign that something your teen doesn’t want you to see is hiding in the task bar!
If you see any hint of contact with an online unknown character, and if you feel that the conversation has explicit sexual connotation, confront your teen before contacting the police, after all it could just be some innocent online teen chat among friends etc!
If it is perceived as serious, try to compile as much info from the screen like: Internet provider, ISP, screen name and the exact time. These simple pieces of information increases the possibility of catching the Net predators and bringing them /b>
Return from "Teen Chat " To Our Homepage.
Please Return To "family chats".