Chat Rooms Are A Danger To Teenagers Essay

The Pros and Cons of Chat Rooms

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Chat rooms in today’s society can be a good and bad thing. First off what is a chat room? A chat room to me is a place where you can go and talk to people about different things. They have them from preteens up to adults. It is very easy to get into the rooms no matter what age you are. There is no real way for anyone to check if you are of age when using a computer. This makes it simple for me or anyone to get caught up in something that I shouldn’t be doing.

To get connected to a chat room all you have to do is going to yahoo and click on chat. That is how easy it is. Many parents these days didn’t grow up with computers so they don’t know what is going on with them. For this paper I did just that. I went to yahoo and got into a chat room just to see what kind of topics I found. I was shocked to see that there is adult chat and the different rooms they have in there are unreal. For me to get into something like that all I had to do was click my mouse a few times.

For parents that know nothing about computers they should be worried. Having kids playing on the computer I believe parents need to monitor what they do, how long they are on, and who they are talking with. Chat rooms can be dangerous. You don’t hear every day about people doing something crazy through a chat room, but these things do happen.

When searching for information about chat rooms and how they have effect society today, I found many different things. Parents to go online and find places that will record what is being done on the computer. These different things will do anything from seeing who and what is emailed to people to recording what websites people have visited on the computer.

In any normal chat room that kids or adults might obtain on the computer many different things could be said in there. As information on this topic I went into a chat room just to see what kind of things people put on the screen.

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I went to a teen chat room, then I went to see what types of user rooms these teens had made up. It was shocking to see what people make up for rooms one room that I found that was a cleaner one was call Girl’s Who Need Money. Some of the other rooms that weren’t made up by just any one person on the net were: African American Teens, Dating and Relating, Northeast, etc.

After looking at the different rooms I decided to enter a room, to see what kind of things were said in the room. I entered a room called the Midwest room. Now this room was listed under teens, which I’m 20 so that makes me not a teen. They did nothing to find out what age I was. So that tells me anyone can get into any sort of room. In the room nothing seemed to be that bad. Just kids talking to one another. That was a surprise to me.

I would have to say a good thing about chat rooms is it gives people a sense of privacy if they are having problems and don’t want to talk to friends about things. You can use a chat room to talk to other people that have had the same experience as you. You can also use chat to talk to people in certain areas of the world. If you have something planned as a vacation and you aren’t sure about things you can talk to someone from the place to see what kind of information they can give you about it.

A website called superhighway safe gives you tips and guidelines to using chat in the classrooms. They say giving students a chance to look at educational chat rooms is something they should have a chance to do, the teachers should know about different sites, and the children should use sites that are watched. These are all good ideas for people to follow even if they aren’t in a class room. This site lists a few other things you should do if you are chatting. Be careful, don’t give out to much information about yourself, don’t ever think if meeting someone you chat with, and let people know if something scares you.

In today’s society I would say chat rooms are both positive and negative. People can get addicted to chat rooms, but being addicted to chatting to me would be better then being addicted to a drug. There are many dangers that come with chatting and telling people personal information. Chat rooms also have a good affect on today’s society. They let people discuss things with other people. It’s a great way to learn about how people around the world live. They let people communicate with people that without the internet and chat rooms they probably would never have been able to.

I can’t really say how I feel about chat rooms. To me they have many positive things that come out of them but they also have those negative things too. When people chat they need to be careful, parents need to know what there kids are doing in the chat rooms. If you have younger kids chatting they should have certain guidelines they must follow or they shouldn’t be allowed to chat. People just need to watch what they do and what others do on the computer and things should be fine.



With all the good the Internet brings also comes some danger. Monitoring your child's use of the Internet and keeping an open line of communication with your child about what he sees or with whom he chats can go far in helping him to avoid the dangers of chat rooms.

Children aren't the only people who are in chat rooms geared specifically towards children. An article from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that one in five children aged 10 to 17 has been approached by a predator. Predators target these chat rooms to engage children in conversation and then lure them into meeting. Monitored chat rooms aren't quite as dangerous because users are registered and conversations watched, according to Net Safe Kids, but it is still possible for a predator to get to your child this way. Predators will befriend your child, usually posing as another child or slightly older teen, and gain trust by behaving as an understanding and trusted friend. Once trust is gained in the chat room, the predator will move the conversation to a private area or in person.

Chat rooms are a place where bullies can have free reign over potential victims while enjoying anonymity. Bullies may start out as friends and then get your child to give her e-mail address, where the bullying can continue. Or the bullying may occur via instant messaging or in the chat room itself. It may occur on forums attached to the chat room, where bullies may post untrue and damaging information about your child.

Chat rooms are sometimes used to post links to pornography. Your child may click on a link and be taken to an offensive site, either intentionally or by mistake. Sometimes the links are posted by predators and other times as advertising for the sites. An article at Safe Surfing Kids suggests that this can occur in any chat room -- even those allowed by your parental controls -- and it's advisable to check your computer's history after a child has been browsing.

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