Children Dangerously Flirting Online
The access to online sites that promote innocent
Flirting is drawing attention by law enforcement
because of the growing incidents of rapes on
minor boys and girls. This is scary as a parent
and elementary school teacher. I present at
workshops and seminars hoping to teach
youth the dangers of online content and the
dangers of making unseen friendships.
Sites entice and encourage
young girls and boys to flirt, but it is being found
that older men are enticing young girls and even
boys to meet face to face with dangerous results.
News reports from:
Have shown a dangerous trend with online contact
with older men and minor young teen girls.
Flirting is seen as innocent and playful; high school
girls and boys flirting, even elementary school age
kids experimenting with who they like. This
”greenness” form of flirting is perceived as cute
and harmless in most cases. Skating the edges
of emotional connectivity to see if there is
a potential for a relationship either as friends
or a more serious relationship. The Internet has
created a dangerous opportunity for sexual
encounters for girls and even boys.
Parents need to be aware and involved in their
children’s Internet activities. The seriousness of
this can be seen from NY Times reports that
shows this is not an isolated incident of rapes, but
a growing concern. NY Times reported, “A mobile
app that helps flirty users connect with others
nearby has shut down service for minors after
a third teen was allegedly raped by an adult
predator using it.”
The challenge is that technology has allowed
an open and unregulated connection that parents
must be concerned. The unfortunately
pedophiles, stalkers and child molesters visit
these sites and pretend to be teens. They study
the conversations, styles, words, slang and the
best times to be online to make contact.
Teens also will lie about their ages to gain access
to adult sites. Even though there are dangers, teens
discount the dangers for the chance to act as adults
and engage in adult conversations and sometimes
The various options these sites have from changing
security settings, and other technology options may
slow down access, but it is not foolproof.
FoxNews.com shared, “there's still no foolproof way
to prevent teens from lying about their age to use the
adult versions of (flirting) apps, or any other number
of social media sites.” Any type of technology in
use by their children parents must be informed and
Just as Facebook is researching lowering the age for
allowing younger members access, there are thousands
of minors already using Facebook because they lied
about their ages. As a elementary school teacher I hear
them talking at my school and their conversations
are adult in nature, discussing their online activities.
The results could eventually be dangerous as seen from
information that cases have shown 15 year old Ohio
girl said she had been raped by a 37 year old man,
a 24 year old man has been accused of raping a
12 year old girl in California and a 21year old man
from Wisconsin is facing charges that he sexually
assaulted a 13-year-old boy.
Teens post content that can lead to dangerous situations.
Parents need to make sure that even if they allow their
minor children or teens to access sites that promote
social contact that their children understand not to post
their address, phone numbers, or other personal information
that can be used online to find them. Online maps are so
accurate that just a small amount of information a stalker
can find a child’s school, home, hangout areas.
Cell phone apps are being used to interact and parents
are hesitant to check their child’s phones. Too many parents
are even scared to monitor their child’s phone records for
fear of the child’s reaction, but who is paying the bill?
When kids are adamant about not allowing parents to look
at their phones then that could be an indication they are hiding
something. The recent case of a 12year old California
girl disappeared. The police had to check a girl’s
cell phone records and found that she met someone through
a mobile app. Fortunately the girl was later found at the
home of a 24 year old man who said he had sex with the
How Too Flirt
Flirting increasingly is dangerous, there are videos on how
to flirt. Teens access these sites and think they can learn
how to control and manipulate behaviors not realizing that
they can and are being manipulated by adults.
Sites such as these:
show girls and boys how easy it is, placing false and
dangerous expectations in their minds.
Ignorance is Dangerous
Comments from youth online show their lack of concern
about the potential for danger. Statements from
teens online, show that more education and parental
monitoring are needed. ”I had phone numbers in chats
(rooms) that I now can’t access because the service has
been terminated. “Teens should never do it post their
phone numbers online nor addresses. Information
online never goes away, it is archived and stored
somewhere and can be found later. This makes it
easier and deadlier for stalkers and pedophiles to
find and threaten children and teens.
Vint Cerf, considered one of the “Fathers of the Internet”
stated, “The Internet is a reflection of our society and
that mirror is going to be reflecting what we see.
An Austin, Texas women whose niece was abducted
and used for prostitution shows the violence children
can and are being exposed too. Parents are missing the
warning signs and allowing their children to be exposed to
content that has long term psychological and emotional affects.
Kids are being kidnapped, raped, forced to work as prostitutes,
both male and female. Their interaction on Facebook and
other social media sites has grown dangerous.
The tragic events of the Austin, Texas girl is a prime example.
“Austin, Texas 12-year-old lured into sex trade through
Facebook invite,” this happens is increasing, parents
do not enforce or reinforce safety on the Internet for their
Prevention and education are the keys. The Austin, Texas girl,
"they brought her to an undisclosed location and basically
forced her into prostitution." From the young girls Aunt
explanation of how these events happen, "I had no clue
this was even going on in Central Texas. I thought it was
a third world country situation."
We are not a third world country and most third world
countries do not have open and uncensored Internet access
in their homes. Parents if you have not done so talk to your
children or you may wish you had later.
Social Media Workshops
Social Media / Social Network workshops available
to Youth Groups, Schools, Churches, Hospitals and
other groups that service children, teens, tweens, and
Workshops for Seniors 50 and over are available to
teach them about the Internet and Social Media.
William Jackson, M.Edu.
My Quest To Teach