A dangerous playground
It wasn’t so long ago parents’ most common worry over their teenagers was having them out “ beating the paths” until the later hours of the night or early morning hours. Worrying perhaps if the teen may be drinking or hanging out with someone older or a troublesome type, those were — for the most part — the general scope of worries less than two-decades ago.
And, these were the same days that when teenagers finally came in for the night, the doors were locked and the home became a safe haven for all who resided under the roof.
But not anymore, because within the home the world’s dangers can lurk right in the same room with so many kids and teens thanks to the widespread use of the Internet, which is probably the greatest tool and worse weapon ever known to man.
While the Information Highway has allowed for great conveniences in the workplace, great educational aid for students and teachers and a blessing for many researchers, it also has a dark, ugly side that has been providing a playground for those who make most of us cringe — perverts, terrorists, bullies and just downright corrupt and dangerous excuses for human beings.
The RNC’s Child Exploitation Unit in St. John’s is reporting a rise in Internet luring complaints of young girls between ages 12 and 16 engaged in risky behaviour. We don’t have to just take the RNC’s word for it because it’s a growing problem and has been publicized many times. It is a global problem with pretty dangerous happenings taking root on social networking sites and random chat sites. As technology keeps growing, so does this problem and it has now gone beyond the computer to mobile communication devices of all shapes and sizes.