Unidentified Internet Users Pose Danger
With a simple click, the internet allows us to connect with old friends from high school or maybe even research information about March on Washington for class, but could the internet also be a dangerous place? Last week, students across the nation discussed how the internet can be a useful, but also a dangerous place in our #DoNowInternet post. We asked students, What is it that makes the internet potentially dangerous? It may have to do with how you interact with people—do you talk to people you meet online in the same way you would talk to someone you met offline? How are the risks teenagers face online different or similar to the risks they face in a place like the school hallway or the mall?
According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 95% of teenagers are online. Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, connect people together to share images and conversations. However, this easy connection also means complete strangers have the more access to personal information. In recent years, there have been many reported cases of exploitation where people use websites like Facebook to attract others into relationships that may lead to commercial sexual exploitation.
While many students talked about how strangers can find personal information and how easy it is to trust others online, the majority focused their attention on how it’s the way people use it, along with the anonymous identity of online users, that makes the internet a dangerous place.
Who’s on the other side of the screen?
Students expressed their concern about not knowing the true identity of people online.
— karely perez (@Karely351Perez) May 9, 2014
— Mia johnson (@miaj62699) May 8, 2014
— Jocelyn Shackleford (@ShacklefordJM) May 4, 2014
Other students argued how trusting people too easily on the internet leads to exploitation.
— Raina Vigil (@VigilRaina) May 7, 2014
— Kien Nguyen (@NguyenKien1997) May 9, 2014
— Marcus Olson (@MarcusOlson4) May 9, 2014
It’s the people
Many students argued it’s how people use the internet that makes it dangerous.
— Sahil Kattar (@18skat) May 7, 2014
— daniel andrade (@Andrade_Daniel_) May 9, 2014
Place for bullying
Other also discussed how bullying has moved to the internet.
— ✨Maggie✨ (@Maggieannes22) May 9, 2014
Students also discussed how easy for predators to get information on different platforms.
— Ian James (@IanJamesKennedy) May 7, 2014
— Geezus 〽️✊ (@abcdefGEE__) May 5, 2014
— Gracie Lowry (@GracieGlowry) May 7, 2014
What can we do?
Some students suggested ways to be safe online.
— Antony cadenas (@CadenasTony) May 12, 2014
— Jamal DeArmond (@jDbeGOINGham) May 9, 2014
— Sherman Dong (@shermandong) May 8, 2014
Also, some students from Coppell, Texas produced creative Wideo videos in response to this week’s post.
Here is one to check out:
— Kyle Cloutier (@Kylenewtech) May 6, 2014