Steamboat Springs The Internet offers a myriad of entertainment choices. You can surf the Web, download music or - as Kip from "Napoleon Dynamite" would say - chat online with babes all day.
Yes, it seems that with worldwide communication accessible at the click of a mouse, distance is no longer a factor in whom you interact with. You could be in a chat room with people from Sweden, Japan and Ethiopia at the same time. Instant translators are available, so language is not a factor.
Not long ago, I was on a chat site when I started chatting with a stranger. This person said he was a 17-year-old male from Denver. And, I'm not going to lie, his profile picture was pretty freaking hot.
It wasn't long before the person asked to exchange numbers, at which point I remembered that this guy could be a 40-year-old and thought maybe it was time to leave the chat room. I immediately wrote, "Stop being such a stalker, you creepy old man" and left. Of course, it would be kind of funny if it were actually a (now slightly baffled) teenage boy.
The simple fact is that the risks aren't worth it.
Adults posing as teens online have now become the equivalent of strangers offering kids candy. Chat rooms are the new parks, where someone can bait innocent victims. The parents must remain ever vigilant about what their kids are doing in their own homes.
The Internet has made it possible for anyone to become - or at least pretend to become - anyone else. With Adobe Photoshop, you can remove that unsightly mole or take off thirty pounds. And while those adjustments might be good for confidence, they also can be used for evil.
People can easily lie about their age online, and if "Law and Order: SVU" has taught us anything, many innocent teens and children fall into that trap.
The Internet has made everything easier in society, including crime. Just be mindful of what is on that computer - and make sure no one you care about falls for the online candy trap.