Teens Use Internet For Evil

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Video Transcript

Cody: All right, ladies and gentleman, a little ball of sunshine named Ryan is here to tell you about your teens are crazy.

Ryan: They are nuts. Okay, so this is a little bit serious. So we’re gonna talk about evil teens.

Cody: Evil teens, okay.

Ryan: This is terrible. So everybody kinda remembers the Slender Man stuff that happened. So two Wisconsin teenagers took their friend into the forest, stabbed her 19 times, hoping to meet Slender Man, who’s just a fictitious character online. That’s really creepy and weird.

Cody: It is creepy and weird.

Ryan: So this is…what they did is these two girls, they kinda researched Slender Man online and kinda figured out who he was and, God, they wanted to wander into the woods and find his mansion and this was the way that they could sort of say to him, “Hey, we’re worthy servants of yours.” And so after they stabbed her 19 times and she crawled out of the forest on her own, they went off looking for him.

Here’s another thing that happened is this lovely young lady talked to her boyfriend. Her suicidal boyfriend was texting her and she talked him into doing it. In fact, one of the things that she Tweeted, over 100 times she Tweeted him that night, and she said to him, for example, “You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”

Cody: Ugh.

Ryan: Ugh. So she’s obviously in prison now. This guy’s named Joshua Davies here. He was online, he was talking to some of his friends on Facebook and he said he’s thinking about killing his ex-girlfriend and one of his buddies on Facebook says, “If you do it, I’ll buy you breakfast.”

Cody: What?

Ryan: He did it. He took her into the forest, bludgeoned her with a rock. He was 16 years old at the time. These people are freaking evil, man.

Cody: Please tell me this is leading up to something positive.

Ryan: Well, here’s the positive part, okay. So teens, they lack things like empathy. They’re not fully developed in their pre-frontal cortex, so they have trouble discerning what’s reality and what’s not reality. It’s easy to talk them into things. So one of the things we need to do as parents is we need to monitor our teens online.

Cody: Hmm.

Ryan: Now you might think, “Ah, here’s what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna look at their phone when they’re sleeping,” or, “I’m gonna browse their internet history and see what they’re been looking at.” But they’re not gonna know things like when you’ve got Snapchat and you’ve got all this stuff.

Cody: No.

Ryan: You’re not gonna know any of that stuff. So here’s a cool program called TeenSafe and the cool part about TeenSafe is it’ll monitor your child on any device they’re on from their iPad to their phone to their computer to whatever. But what we recommend is that you sit down with your teen first and say, “Hey, just letting you know for your safety, I’m gonna be monitoring your online activities, seeing what’s going on.” Because if you do it in secret and they find out, they’re gonna go underground, they’re gonna go to their friend’s house, they’re gonna get their own little iPhone or iPod or whatever and do it then. So what you wanna do is tell them you’re doing it just to keep them safe and this is a really cheap product, folks. It can save their life, especially if they get into some of this really weird, evil stuff. So TeenSafe is pretty good, but also talk to your kids about what’s real online and that anything that happens online is still reality and it can affect the real world. It’s not just all pretend.

Cody: All right. So TeenSafe, I will check that out.

Ryan: Yeah.

Cody: Man, thanks for freaking me out.

Ryan: I know.

Cody: All right. Back to you, Alicia.

Alicia: All right. Thanks so much, you two.

Cyber safety these days is about more than ensuring your child doesn’t stumble upon an inappropriate site or stay online too long. Today we talk about when teens use the internet to commit crimes, and what parents should do to prevent it.

When I think about keeping my child safe online, I’m thinking of restricting access to adult material and ensuring they don’t post inappropriate things about themselves. But what we all need to remember is that the internet can help create a false sense of security and anonymity that can lead to your emotional teen to develop dark thoughts which could lead to horrible consequences.

There have been a number of cases in recent years of teens using the internet to commit violent crimes. Let’s look at three examples of these horrifying stories:

In 2014 we had the “Slender Man Stabbings”. Two 12-year old Wisconsin girls lured their friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. They claimed that they did it to prove their devotion to a fictitious Internet horror-meme known as “Slender Man”. They believed the scary stories posted online were real and that the Slender Man really existed. The victim crawled out of the woods and miraculously lived. The girls are being tried as adults because the crime was premeditated – they were planning it for months.

A 17-year old Massachusetts girl pressured her boyfriend to commit suicide. In the week before his suicide, she sent him 100s of texts that insisted he’d be better off dead. He had a history of depression and had attempted suicide in the past. The text messages recovered by police suggested that by 2014, The girl (Carter) had gotten tired of her boyfriend’s (Roy) idle talk of suicide and she wanted him to go through with it  — now.

“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do” Carter complained. “I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
“There isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself”

And lastly, Teen Kills Ex After Facebook Friend Offers to “Buy Him Breakfast” if he goes through with it. 16-year old Joshua Davies lured 15-year old ex-girlfriend into the woods. He then bludgeoned her with a rock. He used the internet, text messages and an array of social networking sites to plot her death. A few weeks before the murder, one of his friends had joked that he would ‘buy him breakfast’ if he carried out his threat. Two days before he killed Rebecca, Davies told him: ‘You may have to buy me a breakfast.’ He also told friends he was going to drown Rebecca in a river or throw her off a cliff and dump her body in a hole. Despite all the warning signs, none of his friends believed he would actually carry out his threats.

These tragic stories should highlight the importance of monitoring your children’s online activities. Protect your child from becoming a victim or if you can, step in before they take a dare or “lark” into dangerous territory.

In the wake of the Slender Man Stabbing, Police Chief Russell Jack urged parents to talk to their kids about dangers online. “This should be a wake-up call for parents. Parents are strongly encouraged to restrict and monitor their children’s internet usage,” Chief Jack said.

Kids will do things in groups they wouldn’t do alone

• Social Media gives the feeling of an audience, comradery
• Culture of “likes” and “followers” makes some young people go to extremes to seek online fame

Children & teen brains (pre-frontal cortex) aren’t fully developed

• Less equipped to set limits
• Not as capable of empathy as adults

Talk to your kids about responsible online behavior. Use parental monitoring software like Teen Safe. Teen Safe will let you monitor your teen’s activity without needing to confiscate their device. It will also let you view a list of the apps they have installed to prevent them from getting around tracking, you can see if they have the latest messaging apps and proxy services to hide their identity. However, don’t hide it – talk to your teen about how you’ll be monitoring and why. Encourage open communication – encourage them to come to you if anything shady happens online. Most importantly – Don’t judge. Support their willingness to talk to you.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.