Talk To A Stranger

by Marinka on October 26, 2011

(I wrote this post a few weeks ago, but felt uneasy about publishing it. But now I’m going to. Because I think it’s important, even if it’s not Very Funny.)

OMFG.

After years of telling my kids Don’t Talk To Strangers and even singing the song a few times, my 13 year old daughter told me that a friend of hers told her about this crazy fun site where you can talk to strangers. It’s totally anonymous and “it’s a great way to waste time!”

My reaction was: “You are trying to kill me dead. After all I’ve done for you. You are forbidden to go on that site ever again.”

Husbandrinka’s reaction was less strong.

So of course I checked it out.

This was my first chat.

Ok, why the fuck is the 13 year old looking for 13-16 year olds?! OMG.

This was my second chat. (Click on it to enlarge, in case you don’t have Bionic Eyes.)


Yes, a stranger telling me that it’s not safe for kids. Makes you believe in humanity again.

And then my near-hookup:

Fine, I lied about my age. That’s not the point.

I’m glad that my daughter talks to me. I’ve looked at her chat history and it’s all totally innocent, if a little obnoxious. But chances are the chats she had were with adults. And that is just terrifying.

She knows not to ever disclose her name, address, age, anything. But that doesn’t mean that she can’t get involved in a conversation with an adult that she simply can’t handle.

So, for the sake of everything, look at what your kids are doing online. Constantly. And check out those sites.

Who knows, you may even get a blog post out of it.

One year ago ...

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

christy October 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Oh my god. Ugh. Did you mention the name of this site? I didn’t catch it. Well, my kids are too young for it right now anyway – they can’t read yet! But man, that is scary. Good for you for writing about it and hopefully making others aware.

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Marinka October 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Seriously, I don’t understand why everyone’s pushing reading these days. Keep them illiterate as long as possible!

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Missy October 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

OMG, I just found out my daughter was on a site called Chat Roulette. It’s where you chat via webcam with complete strangers. I about freaked out. I did some digging and found out it isn’t child friendly either. THey said just about every other chat is a guy whacking off. I told her this and she said, yea we seen that! I think I am going to totally go off-line. This shit is crazy!

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Marinka October 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Oh, I’ve seen Chat Roulette. Horrific.

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Catherine
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I’m confused as to the outcome of this. Is your daughter allowed to be on this website as long as she doesn’t give out important info or is it banned ?

This is terrifying to me. That’s it! I am banning all computer use from here throughout the duration of their life span.

Bloody kids.

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Marinka October 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Oh, it’s banned.

So banned.

Because it’s not just info that she can (but won’t) give out. It’s stuff that she can receive from people on there.

And honestly, I won’t even label them pedophiles, because they could be looking for an adult hookup.

So scary.

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Catherine
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Glad to hear it. I’m sure they aren’t ALL pedophiles but you can guarantee some are and it’s never worth the risk.

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Kasia October 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

And this is why when I have kids, we are moving back to the bush of Africa where the only dangers are famine, drought and malaria.

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Marinka October 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm

That sounds like a very good plan. I don’t see any problems with it.

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Tess
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Thank you SO much for posting this. Ugh. I had no idea things were so bad. My daughter is only ten but I really need to stay ahead of the curve (as much as a mid-40’s uncool — according to my daughter — mom can.)

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Peajaye
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

The Jews have horns reference made me lol.
So even if there weren’t child-preying and sexual hook-ups on this site, I think it’s a good idea to keep children safe from those who don’t understand irony or cultural references.

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Meredith L.
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

My oldest son is 3, and my youngest son is still in the womb, but now I’m worried about what they are BOTH doing online with strangers. Time for a hidden camera in the living room. And my uterus.

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Megan October 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I don’t even get the purpose of this (beyond the sex chat stuff, which I also don’t get the purpose of – I can read better written erotica. Just sayin’). Just look at the scintillating conversations you had, and you are interesting. Most people aren’t. I’d rather watch inane reality TV that struggle to have a conversation with someone who cannot type more than one word at clip.

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Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I remember using AOL chat rooms when I was 15, and even though it usually was nothing more that talking, every so often a “kid” wanted to go for a private chats that went south quickly (pun intended). At first I would freeze up because I was young and didn’t have my voice yet, then I would disconnect and not go back to the chat rooms for awhile.

What I’m saying here is: Good call, Mama.

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

It never ceases to amaze me that my friends will not allow their kids to open the door to a stranger or let them go play outside on their own; yet they allow them to talk to people on the Internet who (whom?) they do not know. Hello?

Personally, I think my kids are safer playing outside on their own than they are inside on the computer. But that’s just my own cantankerous self…

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erin@mommyonthespot October 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

This scares me!! So awesome that your daughter feels comfortable to tell you these things!

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Deborah J October 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Scary!…but have you seen Take This Lollypop?
It’s like a warning and an invasion of privacy all at once.
…and my seventeen year old showed it to me yesterday.
She’s pretty internet savvy and careful…but we took it slowly.

Here were my rules-
Parental Controls on the computer.
A good antivirus software.
Pre 10 years old – Computer but no internet, time limited
10-12yrs – internet added but only to 15 pre-approved sites. No googling without a parent. No email, no social networks
12-15 years- email added, but heavily supervised. google research allowed.
Lots of talk about internet dangers. Yes, she rolled her eyes.
15 years – Facebook added but limited to 50 real life friends/family. I reserved the right to check her facebook.
Told her that if she wouldn’t print it in a newspaper, or say it out loud….don’t type it on the net.
16 years – removed the Parental controls, stopped checking Facebook…but didn’t tell her.
17 years old- Can’t believe how stupid some of her friends are on the net. (She’s smug, it’s the age)

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
October 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm

i feel nauseous.

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Elizabeth October 27, 2011 at 2:49 am

After reading the post and comments, I feel sick. My girls are a little younger and not particularly intereted in even being online so I have been kicking this down the road. Not anymore.

Deborah, love the age rules. Printing them out now.

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jonathan October 27, 2011 at 4:39 am

I can’t imagine how much trouble I would have gotten into in high school if the internet was around but OMG I can’t stop laughing at your response to “u horny” !!

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Lady Jennie October 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

I am trying to keep my kids unaware of the existence of computers as long as possible. It’s challenging having a blog and all, but I’m determined.

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tracy@sellabitmum
Twitter:
October 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

I feel so incredibly sick right now. My almost 9 year old tells me how deprived she is that she is the “only one in the world” who is not allowed on the computer. There’s nothing she is required to need from it/do on it for school yet – so until it’s a school necessity – she can play with her dolls, read books and fold laundry.

Thank you for posting this.

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes October 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

Let’s just say that is a very good post, that now has a date with the printer and the offspring of that date will go straight in my ‘convincing husband of danger of the internet for his precious daughters’-file, also know as the ‘why I don’t want them to have unlimited acces to the internet’-file.

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Kelly October 27, 2011 at 8:33 am

I dread this day with my kids. I met my husband (of 7 years) on the internet (AOL) and I don’t want to be a hypocrite, but there are bad people out there and very few good ones on the internet. I guess I can only steer them in the right direction and hope for the best. Thanks for the post 🙂

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Lady goo goo gaga October 27, 2011 at 8:39 am

I just cannot believe that people are so effed up that they want to sit around asking strangers if they are horny!!! Disgusting….

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Anna Lefler
Twitter:
October 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

Jeebus Harvey Christo – this is terrifying!

Now I’m *really* going to be breathing down their necks…

…A.

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Kristine
Twitter:
October 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

This is absolutely terrifying. That lady moving to the wilderness has a good idea going there…

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Vicki
Twitter:
October 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm

This reminds me of old AOL chatrooms back when AOL chatrooms were still cool, when conversations like this were de rigeur. Ah, memories. On the one hand, yeah, kind of scary, but on the other, if my parents had closely monitored my behavior, I would have never learned about CSS, HTML, programming, hacking, blogging, and other stuff that directly brings me value in my job and in my spare time. So it’s a tough call.

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DawnA October 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I’ve watched many programs about internet “chat” rooms. Even if your kids don’t give specific information people can find things out. One instance was a person asked if the child played sports and what the name of the team was. The person happened to be local and knew the team. I don’t remember what the outcome was but if you’re not sick and twisted you would never think like that. It is so scary that something you think would be innocent enough turns out to be useful information for dirty creeps.

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dusty earth mother October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I think I’m going to be ill.

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Suniverse
Twitter:
October 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

That’s insane. Seriously.

And now I have to text my daughter and see if she’s heard of these sites. Or been on them.

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Ella
Twitter:
October 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

This is really scary. My children are still relatively young but I am definitely going to be keeping the computer in a communal room where I can see it at all times!

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Tonya October 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

Im throwing my computer out of the window now and taking my family to join the Amish. I’ll only have to worry about us getting unwanted haircuts.

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Alexandra
Twitter:
October 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

See?

See?

And people make fun of me making us the last Amish family in town.

I have my reasons.

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Danielle October 29, 2011 at 12:42 am

I’m starting to realize that even after my children are no longer babies I still won’t sleep any better. FML.

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Beth October 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

First, you really know how to make a serious issue humorous and I applaud you for that. Second, you are so lucky your daughter talks to you and is honest about these things. I know people that in high school they would have continued to just go on the website, even if it was banned.

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Jenn November 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

aye aye aye… I have no other words….

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