Stranger Danger: Not So Dangerous?

Kelly Yoshimura, Editor-in-Chief

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Since 1997, when the first social media website, Six Degrees, was created, parents often warned their kids to stay away from strangers and only talk to people you know. But as time and social media has gone on and advanced, internet friends have grown to be the norm across the world.

Now in 2018, the rules and ideas of internet safety have changed since the late 90s. The notion that all people who you don’t know are bad people has been demolished, and it is becoming more and more common to have friends through the screen. Because of the overall security improvement that social media has gone through, having internet friends may not be as dangerous as people assume.

Internet friends can be real and just as good as real friends, according to the Pew Research Center, “…72 percent of teenagers said they spent time with friends on social media.” Since teenagers use social media to interact with people and friends on a daily basis, their perception of safety and who to trust is different from possibly older adults who don’t use social media in a way to communicate extensively.

Despite this, parents and adults tend to pose the argument of teenagers being catfished and deceived. While this is a threat, it isn’t as a huge of threat as it used to be. Most teenagers are mindful and aware of who they’re talking to, often asking for photo evidence and proof that they are who they say they are.

“I got to meet one of my internet friends from Australia, and our connection was so great through the screen, it wasn’t awkward at all when we got to meet,” states Dana alumni Ruby Reutemann.

Raven Wymore, an 8th grader at Dana says,“I don’t have as much trust with my internet friends than my real life friends.”

The evolution of the internet and having friends you’ve never met before is becoming more normal and less of a dangerous risk.

8 Comments

8 Responses to “Stranger Danger: Not So Dangerous?”

  1. ashlee nicolee chavez on March 15th, 2018 12:04 pm

    honestly i think interent freinds are a real thing. i have many internet freinds and i’ve met a few

  2. Rene on March 18th, 2018 2:04 pm

    I think social media is stupid and pointless anyway.

  3. Oswald the Great (anon) on March 19th, 2018 1:55 pm

    It depends on who the person you are “Friends with”. They might be faking it or might be actually friends with you. The person behind the screen might say they are 15 but are actually 40, or they might say they are 15 and they are really 15. This concludes it can be hard to know so it is a risk. Honestly to really know, video evidence can help a lot if someone is actually who they are.

  4. resh on March 22nd, 2018 12:39 pm

    So your telling us its ok to talk to random people on Facebook. Like what about predators, its not ok to talk to them. So my advice is don’t talk to anyone on the internet unless you have met them in real life. That is my advice.

  5. Books on April 3rd, 2018 4:11 pm

    I agree I have many friends over the internet that I don’t see in real life.

  6. Carlos Lozano on April 5th, 2018 2:23 pm

    Lol, I’ve made friends from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Australia, India , The UK, and other places and I’ve known them for a while and we have a strong trust with each other

  7. :clap: :clap: on April 11th, 2018 4:35 pm

    I have no friends so I don’t really have an opinion on this article but people you meet on the internet are usually okay but are much harder to trust than others. With the only exception being Lionmaker.

  8. Pablo on April 25th, 2018 4:22 pm

    I met my best friend CODY on overwatch. He says he is 14 but he sounds like and probably 44.Hes funny. Hes better than real life friends

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