Web responsibility goes both ways

By Shanee Warden
City Times

A 17-year-old girl is on Myspace and contacted by a man twice her age.

She replies to his messages, tells him all sorts of personal information including her phone number and her favorite sexual position. The man states he would love to meet up and have sex in exchange for a new pair of shoes.

She soon gets a phone call from him on her house phone. After her dad picks up and realizes what is going on, he calls the cops, an investigation is done, and the man is thrown in jail for attempted sex with a minor.

Yes, obviously, we see here the man at fault. He is a grown man, and knows better than to be involved with minor girls.

But does anyone else besides me see the real problem? It is the teenage girl! Yes the man is at fault but the teenage girl has just as much responsibility.

I am so sick of hearing story after story about internet dramas involving teenage girls, especially myspace dangers.

Being a 16- or 17-year-old, most of the time you are well aware of what is happening. As a teenage girl, you know that a man over the age of 18 could get in trouble for messing with you.

You know if you give out personal information you are putting yourself at risk. You know sending a man your favorite sex position and sending nude photos will make him want you and say nasty things to you.

And also, myspace is not always SO dangerous. It is the teenage girls making stupid decisions. First of all, you don’t have to respond to anyone’s messages, nor do you have to accept them as a friend or have a public profile. If someone is bothering you, you can report it to the site’s administrator.

Teenage girls these days at 16 and 17 know clearly what they are doing. If they know how to shave their legs, buy condoms, put on makeup and gossip, they surely know how to decline myspace messages and not give out their numbers to strangers.

I feel parents need to speak to their teenage daughters about the risks of the internet and make sure there is a clear understanding of the dangers. And if parents are teaching their daughters from the start that “you don’t talk to strangers,” then there should not be really any major problems.

(Shanee Warden is a City Times staff writer)

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Web responsibility goes both ways