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You’ll Be Shocked By This Social Experiment: How Girls Easily Trust Strangers On Social Media

You’ll Be Shocked By This Social Experiment: How Girls Easily Trust Strangers On Social Media

Teenagers love being on social media. They use their phones and Facebook to contact their friends; they take pictures and send them via Instagram or SnapChat; they figure out what to buy by taking photos and sending to their friends. Unfortunately, they also are easily lured through social media by sexual predators, child trafficking rings and thieves.

In this video, Coby Persin conducted an experiment to see how easily he could convince teen-age girls to come meet him when all they did was speak to him in chat rooms on social networking sites.

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He talked with the parents before conducting this experiment. The parents were willing to participate in the video. First, he created a fake profile. Second, he contacted the three girls and chatted with them for a few days. Third, he suggested they meet in a place offline. The first girl wanted to meet in a park and said she had to wait until her father was asleep before she could leave. She thought Coby was 15. The second girl invited the person she thought was another teen-ager over her house while her father was gone. The third one was willing to get inside a van driven the by stranger. Her parents pretended to be criminals that wanted to attack her and capture her. She was terrified. In every case, the parents thought they had discussed the issue with their daughters before this experiment. They all were generally surprised on the actions of their children.

Common Occurrence

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, these social networking sites are dangerous for teens, and the practice is common. Even with media attention on the dangers of social networking, the FBI receives hundreds of complaints per year about children who have been victims of criminal incidents on social networks. These incidents include but are not limited to:

  • Adults posing as children who are about the same age as the victim who later travel to abuse the child; and
  • Adults posing as children who convince the child to expose themselves and/or perform sexual acts over webcam and later extort the child to perform additional acts.

According to an Internet safety pamphlet recently published by NCMEC, a survey of 12- to 17-year-olds revealed that 38 percent had posted self-created content, such as photos, videos, artwork or stories. Another survey of 10- to 17-year-olds revealed 46 percent admit to having given out their personal information to someone they did not know. The likelihood that kids will give out personal information over the Internet increases with age, with 56 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds most likely sharing personal information.

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Because of the social aspect of these sites, they often ask users to post a profile. The profiles contain information, such as their age, gender, hobbies and interests. While these profiles help kids connect and share common interests, individuals who want to victimize kids can use those online profiles to search for potential victims. Kids sometimes compete to see who has the greatest number of contacts and will add new people to their lists even if they do not know them in real life.

What Can Parents Do?

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Discuss these ideas with your children:

  • Only “friend” and connect to people online that you know personally and delete those you do not know personally;
  • Set social media security settings so that only confirmed friends and connections can see what you are posting;
  • Never take a picture of yourself or write anything by text, e-mail, or social media that you would not want everyone in the world to see;
  • Immediately delete and never forward a picture of anyone doing something sexual;
  • Choose screen names and usernames that are appropriate;
  • Never post publicly or give anyone your phone number, e-mail address, or home address unless you know them personally;
  • Be aware that anyone you meet online may not be who they say they are; and
  • Immediately tell a parent or trusted adult if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation online, even if you are afraid that things have already gone too far.
  • Make sure your children don’t say they are older than they are just to get a Facebook page. Although Facebook has a rule that only those who are 13 and older can have accounts, the children get around that by making themselves older and Facebook never checks even when parents complain.

Find other tips for how to talk to kids about online predators, limits for what to reveal online, cyberbullying, and other Internet safety topics here:

Featured photo credit: How Girls Easily Trust Strangers On Social Media via google.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

There will always be times in your life when you may need to learn how to reinvent yourself. This could come when you experience a big change, such as leaving your job, moving on from a relationship, transferring to a new home, or losing a loved one. If you are going through a major shift in your life, you may have to find new ways of thinking or doing things, or risk failing to reach your full potential.

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

Many people who dared to leave their old unhappy lives enabled themselves to pursue their passions and find a renewed zest for living. You can also achieve the same if you take a leap of faith and make things happen for yourself.

To help you always be at your best wherever you may be in your life, here are some practical tips on how to reinvent yourself.

The Reinvention Checklist

Before embarking on a journey of self-reinvention, you need to make sure that you have everything that you need to make the trip bump-proof. These things include:

Resilience

Problems and obstacles are guaranteed to happen. Some of them will be difficult and may knock you off course; the important thing, however, is that you learn from these difficulties, never lose focus, and always get back up. This requires building resilience to get through the tough times.

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Support

Humans are social beings. Although it is important that you learn to rely on yourself when facing any challenge, it is also important to have a support team that you can lean on to give you a boost when things get too tough and to correct you when you’re making mistakes.

The key is to find the right balance between independence and dependence. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share the difficulties you’re facing. When you open up, you’ll find the people who are really going to be there for you.

Self-Care

During the process of learning how to reinvent yourself, you will have to pull yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles, and self-perceptions. This can be difficult and cause you to question your self-worth, so it’s important to engage in self-care to maintain a positive outlook and keep your mind and body healthy as you face the challenges that await you. Self-care can include:

  • Participating in a hobby you enjoy
  • Spending time with your support system
  • Taking some time to walk in nature
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation

Find what works for you and what helps you feel like your true self as you seek a reinvented version of you.

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you’re sure that you’re equipped with all the tools in the self-reinvention checklist, you can begin your journey of learning how to reinvent yourself.

1. Discover Your Strengths

This step provides valuable information on how you deal with certain situations. If you have this information, you will be able to manage difficulties more efficiently.

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To find out what your strengths are, you can ask your friends and colleagues for feedback, engage in self-reflection, or try these 10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths.

2. Plan

This step calls for a thorough assessment of your current emotional, psychological, and financial status so that you can develop plans that are realistic and practical.

It’s okay to have ambitious dreams, but your plans have to be realistic. Making use of SMART goals can help you plan your life better.

You can also consult your mentor or life coach for practical tips and advice.

Ultimately, you’ll want to create specific long-term and short-term goals that you can create milestones for. By doing this, you’ll lay out a specific roadmap to your reinvented self.

3. Try Things Out

Sometimes, we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out. This is why it is important to experiment whenever possible, especially if you’re dealing with a career change. You may need to simply experiment in order to find the things you like. This can be the same with hobbies. If you’re not sure what you would like doing, accept invitations from friends to join them in their favorite sport or take a class, like pottery or photography.

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By seeing what’s out there in any area of your life, you’ll have a better chance of finding the things you enjoy and the goals you want to create.

4. Manage Your Finances Well

Changes may require a bit of money. If you’re shifting to a new career, you may have to pay for training. If you’re going through a tough divorce or having a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one, you may have to pay for therapy. If you’re moving to a new home, you’ll definitely have to pay a whole lot of expenses.

All of these things are possible, but it will require a bit of money savviness as you learn how to reinvent yourself. If you have that cushion, you’ll feel more comfortable straying from your current path to try new things.

5. Muster Your Courage

Fears and self-doubt may arise when you encounter difficulties and setbacks. Sometimes, they may also come when you’re taking risks. You have to manage these negative emotions well and not allow them to discourage you. Tap into your courage and try doing at least one new thing each week to develop it.

Learn how to deal with your self-doubts to move forward in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

6. Use Your Support Group

As stated above, you need to build a strong support group before you even start the process of reinventing yourself. Your group will keep you from taking wrong turns and encourage you when you get too weighed down by problems. Don’t be afraid to call them, or even ask them out for coffee if you need to vent about the current difficulties you’re facing.

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7. Remind Yourself Every Day of Your Commitment

Write your goals on different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. Remember, writing down your goals helps them stick[1].

8. Accept Failure, Learn, and Resume Your Journey

Failing is normal, especially when we’re trying out something new. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it, and move on. Failure, in the end, is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work, and you simply won’t be able to learn how to reinvent yourself if you don’t accept the inevitable failures that await you.

Final Thoughts

If you truly want to learn how to reinvent yourself and live the life you desire, take the advice above and start taking action. It will take time, patience, and plenty of effort to make the change you want happen, but it will be all worth it.

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Featured photo credit: Ashley Rich via unsplash.com

Reference

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