A Fingertip Away

While checking Facebook this morning, I came across a video that was made showing the danger associated with being online. It shows three girls, ages of 12-14, talking online to a “15 yr. old boy” (which was a fake profile) and being asked to meet him. The parents of the girls were in on this and present at the agreed upon meeting time.

The first girl went and met the “boy” at a park after her dad had left the house, the second invited the “boy” over to her house after her dad had falling asleep and the third agreed to be picked up from her house after her parents were gone even after being told that the “boy’s” older brother would be driving him over.

ALL of their parents were positive that their daughter would not show up to the meeting, open the front door or get into a strange vehicle….ALL OF THEM WERE WRONG!

Although the video portrays girls…..it can and HAS happened to boys. I see so many missing, assaulted or murdered children, teens and even young adults posted on social media and in the news. The issues of human trafficking, sex slaves, prostitution, assault, kidnapping, murder etc. are VERY REAL!!

You are NOT protected from the rest of the world when you are online!

ALL parents, grandparents and children should watch it together then have a serious discussion about it.

The world has changed so much since I was a child growing up in a small rural town where everyone either knew you or your parents. I played outside and didn’t usually leave the yard without asking or telling my mom, walked to school every day in elementary school and walked up town when I was old enough. I was taught to be aware of my surroundings, not to talk to strangers, go where I said I was going, notify my parents if any plans changed and be home by curfew. I was pretty much protected from the world outside of the town in which I lived. That can’t be said now.

My daughter is an adult now but I raised her the same way I was raised…”old school”. I lost count of how many times I heard people say that I was overprotective. I even heard people say that I told/taught my daughter too much. I don’t agree with either one. I was just teaching my daughter about issues in the world and about life…from my life experiences and my work experiences having worked a good portion of my life in criminal justice and victim assistance.

Children are NOT protected from the outside world with today’s technology.

The whole world is right there online and that has to be taught, heard and understood by all.

The ideology that “it won’t happen to me” has got to be transformed to “it CAN happen to me”.

It only takes one “bad” choice  for it to become “it DID happen to me”!

I urge parents, grandparents and role models to TAKE the time to teach our children…our youth.

Arm them with the knowledge that will help keep them safe in this world we live in.

I urge our children and youth to LISTEN, UNDERSTAND and APPLY this knowledge to your life.

It should not take extreme measures like in the video for the message to be received and the lesson to be learned.

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