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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 September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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