As we know, times have changed significantly over the decades. Back in the day, people usually communicated by telephone, snail mail, or in person. School work was handwritten, books were read, everything was very black and white. In the late 90’s, when computers started to become more popular, methods of communication started changing and people began to communicate more and more via electronic means. Devices such as beepers and 2-way pagers were used to get in contact with someone and send messages quickly.
Today, the use of technology has taken over society with most people preferring to communicate via email, text message, instant messages, etc. Doors have been opened into people’s lives like never before thru online networks such as Facebook, twitter, MySpace, dating sites, chat rooms, etc. Schools are now using electronics for student assignments, research, and testing, and before we know it, every school in the country will be equipped with classrooms that utilize computers, i-pads and other notebook type devices for educational purposes.
This technological advancement is good though right? How cool is it that children get to learn on a level that many of us didn’t see until we went to highschool or even college? When you consider the benefits, it’s awesome! Until you consider the fact that exposure to this great online, technological world can potentially expose children and teens to the unwanted…child predators. Yup, child predators are real! Despite our natural tendency to believe that this can’t possibly happen to our families, that it only happens if your children are out of control, and that your children “would never”…it’s real! 1 out of 5 children are sexually solicited while on the internet. And just like other children, your children are targeted too.
Meet Isabel Gurule: Just your average teenager who browses online and like most teenagers, goes into chat rooms and websites looking to find a new, cool, friend to chat with and eventually hang out with. Last month, Isabel made a new “friend”, Jon Anders, a 15-year-old from Salt Lake City. Her and Jon had phone conversations and even talked about hanging out. It wasn’t until Jon showed up that Isabel found out that “Jon” was actually a 27 year old child-predator who was being investigated by several law enforcement agencies. Read more here.
Just So You Know…Stories like this are very common and happen everyday. We have to take the steps necessary to not only monitor the online activities of our children, but to also talk to them and teach them about people who are predators and seek innocent kids, just like them. If they don’t know, how can they protect themselves?