The Internet has a bounty of potential, but is also a scary place. No longer are we as a family and children safe inside our walls, but the predators have come inside. They are good, too, preying on new feelings, emotions and desires, and feeding a self-image that is not real. Predators feed on what they have always fed on, our desire to be liked, to think we’re smart, etc.
It has formed into a cycle that is repeating itself everyone. Men (especially) or women get online to try to find someone showing skin. They praise someone that is cute, and encourage them as they show off more and more. These children/young adults glory in the fact that people are paying attention to them, that people are telling them their pretty. Little do they know that these men are those that they would not want anything to do with in person.
The cycle continues as the men continue to heap their praise, the women continue to show more skin, and get hooked on the rush of being approved of for their body. They begin to think of themselves as a “sexy” being, and push an image that is more and more risque to continue their fix. Just like any sin, you can never have enough.
This is where we pick up with Rebecca Haglin’s article this week:
“Kiss me”, “Touch me”, “Feel me”, “Rape me” – the invitations flashed across the photo of a scantily clad young woman on one of the most popular teen Web hangouts in the world – MySpace.com. Techno-hussies and innocent children just enjoying the latest method to socialize with their friends are falling victim because they are sharing very personal, often provocative and trashy information on MySpace.com, which is quickly becoming a sexual predator’s playground.
So rampant are the reports and allegations linking sex-crimes and even murder to activity on MySpace that producers at “America’s Most Wanted” are looking into the connection.
She then lists multiple connections, but do I really need to scare you with that, when I can show you this from her article?
Kids and adults alike have got to understand that their information on MySpace can viewed around the world by anyone at anytime, but the danger lies in the fact that although the Web is “world wide,” it is also very local. Here’s what I mean: I typed in my zip code on MySpace, and in seconds up popped 75 pages, with 40 entries each, of 18 to 30-year-old single women who said they are seeking a relationship – and every one of them lives in my zip code. It’s important to note that I only searched for entries with photographs – and boy, did I get photographs – one was just of a girl’s breasts; most were provocative; and virtually everyone of them appeared to be between 12 to 25 years old. (MySpace claims only those 14 and older can use the site, but all a user has to do is lie about their age).
I wanted to get a taste of the potential immediate threats, so I clicked on the Justice Department’s website, which provides detailed information on registered sex offenders (i.e., those who have already been caught, convicted and released back into the public – in other words, only those we know about) and entered local zip codes. The results were more than disturbing: Up popped the names and faces of 10 convicts who live in my neighborhood, and scores who live in my town. Now you realize how easy it is for perverts, convicted or not, to find your child.