The internet has made life easy and complex at the same time. I would like to share my experience with you.
Last year in one of those terrible moods, one day on the net, I was desperate to do something mom would not like. I logged on the computer and went on a chat room of a strange website. This was not the first time. I had chatted earlier but today my rebellious mood was responsible for my adventure.
There was someone called ‘Soul friend’ in that room. My hesitant “Hi” was met with an enthusiastic “Hello darling!”
The conversation took turns and changed tracks. We continued to talk every-day for about a month. I became comfortable by this time and exchanged our email IDs.
One day, he suddenly started asking me personal details. Not being very extrovert on this subject, I immediately tried to change the topic. He became lurid and cheap. I switched off the computer thanking God that this was all virtual and not real.
Next day, I discovered my email account overflowing with his mails. Deleting the email account was not an option as the guy had my phone numbers, my address and other details. I realised I was in for a big trouble.
I decided to confide with my dad. That night my parents patiently listened to my story. The worry on their faces made me cry. Dad consoled me. He and Mom were happy that I shared this ordeal. The next day I surrendered my mobile phone number and got a new one The Email ID was deleted.
We could not change a house it was difficult. However, dad got in touch with a friend who is in the police. I was not allowed to go alone. Life was very difficult when I wanted to hang out with friends.
For about ten months, I felt he was following me. Even in the house I was never left alone. Last month, Dad was transferred to another city, and we were happy to relocate.
This was a lesson, well learnt. Now I am more careful of not disclosing my personal details. I am aware that the Internet is not a safe place for anyone. Chat rooms are the places where these characters hang to trap the innocent. Please have faith in your parents and do listen when they tell you to be on guard. The conversation channels with parents should always remain open.
This is a real experience of a sixteen-year-old daughter of a family friend. This incidence emphasises the need of having a supportive relationship with kids. The need of the times is to be a patient, understanding and non-judging parent.