We live in a world where our lives are ran by the internet, after all it is where we log our lives, create connections, and fine new hobbies that we never really thought of before. While the internet has a lot of positive aspects about it, just like everything else in life there is a negative side to it as well, a side where the dark underlings dwell and lurk to find those vulnerable, and take advantage of. Because of this, those who are deemed vulnerable and impressionable are bound to be targeted right away. The ones that are targeted right away, they are our children.
Right now, there are several people in the celebrity world who have decided to take it upon themselves to groom those who are minors. They lurk on social media, hiding bits of themselves from the public in order to stalk their prey through direct messages by vetting those who they deem to be "easy", turning the said minor into a world of conflict. Many children have found the courage to stand up to such people, however, there are many who have been so impressed by someone in the spotlight that they have found themselves in a predicament.
Those who have found themselves falling farther and farther they end up finding themselves being subjected to complete humiliation, to not being able to consent to any sort of action, to even child exploitation from photographs that were asked by someone who is clearly an adult.
With all of these things coming more to the front page of news outlets, we have found all of ourselves, with children or not, of how we need to approach those who are under the age of 18. The internet is no longer a place where we can feel entirely safe, in fact, it has helped those with ill intentions even more so by being able to catfish children, lure them in with fame, power, money, and make it seem like everything is okay and that they are not going to get into trouble. While the children are unable to consent to such atrocities, it is the adults who are supposed to be held accountable, no matter if they are famous or not.
As parents, teachers, guardians, etc. we need to be held to a standard to where we educate the children, to show them how to handle situations, and that they can come to us if they are feeling uncomfortable with an interaction online. So, how do we start? That is the age old question. And the answer? Simple, start by talking.