Friday, February 3, 2012

So...Creepy

Look.

None of us are dumb. We know what this Internet offers. Endless information. An amazing connection to people all around the world.

Including creeps.

Here are some random messages I've received on Facebook in the last while. I should mention that my facebook profile has all privacy settings cranked up. These people are not my 'friends' on Facebook. These guys found me by...trawling.

This first guy is actually a "mutual friend" to two of my facebook friends.


January 30
David Scott
  • Hello
    How are you?your profil picture look good,i will like to know you better,what is your yahoo i m so i can add u into mine and chat better with you,mine is david.scott112 at yahoo dot cum

    January 28
    Adam Clark
    • hi friend you are beautiful,i like to know you,can we chat.


      December 21, 2011
      John Robert
      • Hi how are u doing today? your profile has made an impression on me I hope we can speak dear.....

      Kelly Whay
      January 11
      Kelly Whay
      • I will love to know you more better. You look really familiar and not sure where is that. Please write me back and lets see how things will go . Please be free to write me.
        Kelly

        December 25, 2011
        Carye Martin
        • Hi,hw u doing,martin by name,works as timber contrator,i love you profile,maybe we can have some thing in common.

          Barry White
          December 1, 2011
          Barry White
          • Hi,i saw your profile and like,well i will like to know you better,i have some important things to discuss with you,i don't know if you have interest? waiting to hear from you


GROOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSS, right? Totally and utterly gross. And I'm not just talking about their grammar and punctuation, either. (Or one of their profile info statements: "I HAVE LOTS OF RESPECT FOR WOMEN AND I WILL NEVER PICK UP A FIGHT OR START TROUBLE FIRST. I WILL HOWEVER DEFEND MYSELF WITH REASONABLE FORCE IF ATTACKED. I HAVE RESPECT FOR THE LAW")

This kind of stuff never bothered me too much until I met a girl during a school visit--a 16 year old--who actually goes and meets guys like this in person. Yeah. Her friend does it too. She couldn't tell me why, really. She said it's fun. Just like that. "It's fun."

Soon after that school visit, I met the awesome Sarah Darer Littman, who wrote WANT TO GO PRIVATE? 

I bought the book and I read it.

If you don't think creepers like those guys up there can do harm, or are trying to, then you need to read this book. It was compelling, horrifying, sad, creepy and, after I met the 16-year-old girl I mentioned above, I realized it's downright realistic. You don't have to be dumb to talk to strangers online. You don't have to be desperate or weird or anything. Sometimes it happens--and when it does, a lot of people blame the victim for being "stupid" rather than blame the creepers for preying on women and girls on the Internet.

If you're someone who doesn't report these creepers, then please start. They may not harm you, but they exist to find someone who will answer. In school there are Internet safety classes that teach kids about this stuff. And in WANT TO GO PRIVATE, the character also had those classes. She knew answering her creeper was against everything her teachers had taught her. But she did it anyway. She needed an ear. She needed someone who was on her side. Who understood her. Who thought she was beautiful.

Which brings me to this.

Getting a Facebook page is like a rite of passage now. I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 17. I remember seeing all those other kids with earrings and feeling so bummed that I had to wait. Now, my kid is asking me, "When can I get a Facebook page?"

The legal age for being on Facebook is 13.

I will be one of those awful parents who will make my kids wait. During our waiting time, I will talk as much as I can to them about what can happen on the Internet. Back when my mom talked to me about the dangers of earrings, it was the era of big hoops. The worst that could happen to me was ripping my earlobe.

Something tells me my conversations about Facebook will be far...creepier.

10 comments:

Jonathon Arntson said...

Whoa. This creeped me out! I will definitely be watching out for my family members and friends now too.

Indigo said...

Kind of makes me glad I no longer have a Facebook account. I do get a lot of these in the mail which goes right to spam. It's scary how much easier the internet makes it for these guys to troll. (Hugs)Indigo

Cat Connor said...

Yes, very creepy and very scary.

So much so that I wrote a book that started simply because of death threats I received in a chat room - frightening freakish weirdos are everywhere!!

I don't get weird messages on facebook - but then I only have people I really know as friends... well part from my fan page thing.
It's possible that I do scare the creeps away from there. :)

And yes, I monitor Squealers account... very very carefully.

xx

Krista said...

My kids do not have Facebook either, and wee talk non stop about Internet safety and chatting, etc. scares. The. Crap. Out. Of. Me

A.S. King said...

Yes, Cat. Creepy.
But just in case I wasn't clear. These guys are not my 'friends' on FB. They simply send messages to my account after trawling through. I'm not even searchable on FB.

And yes. Your Killerbyte series is a great creppy read about how creepy things can get.

Rock it.

A.S. King said...

Lol. Creppy. I meant CREEPY.

Liviania said...

"Sometimes it happens--and when it does, a lot of people blame the victim for being "stupid" rather than blame the creepers for preying on women and girls on the Internet."

Word.

A.S. King said...

Krista,
You have every reason to be creeped out. Sarah's book really haunted me. Which was a good thing.

Sarah Darer Littman said...

Wow. Ick. "I HAVE LOTS OF RESPECT FOR WOMEN AND I WILL NEVER PICK UP A FIGHT OR START TROUBLE FIRST. I WILL HOWEVER DEFEND MYSELF WITH REASONABLE FORCE IF ATTACKED. I HAVE RESPECT FOR THE LAW"

Scary!! Since WTGP came out, I've been getting the some really heartbreaking emails from kids who have been through similar experiences to Abby, thanking me for writing the book. But I've also received a LOT of emails from kids saying that reading the book has really made them think about what they do online and TALK ABOUT IT WITH THEIR FRIENDS. And those emails make me want to dance around the room doing the Lambada. Or, at least they would if I knew how to do the Lambada. I had a Skype visit recently and one girl said that even though she'd had all the Internet Safety talks, reading Abby's experience made it more real for her.

One of the more creepier emails I got was a link to an erotica site where someone had apparently written a "fan story" using my entire real name. Fortunately it appeared the site had a policy against that (I guess they feared the inevitable libel suit) so it was taken down pretty quickly. But...EWWWWWWWW.

Matthew MacNish said...

I think I like Kelly's best. Being free sounds nice.