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According to a Nielsen Report , "57% of teen social networkers say they looked to their online social network for advice." Young people are doing more than chatting with friends or looking up resources for school; many of them find themselves accepting friend requests or chat invitations from people they do not know.Alicia Kozakiewicz was abducted by an online predator in 2002. When her parents called her down for dessert, she was nowhere to be found.Phrases like "I hate my life,"and "I hate my mom," allow predators to skip over millions of teens to find the ones who are most vulnerable.Unfortunately, some teens have a tendency to post every emotion they go through ("I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm mad.") on social media.
Predators know exactly what to say, because you tell them exactly what to say.Being online becomes the place they feel most at peace with being themselves and confiding in others, which can turn into a dangerous situation the instant they decide to befriend someone they do not know online.Online predators and traffickers find their victims by pretending to be in that same teen stage of learning -- navigating the new and often exciting issues of young adult life.They become a young person's "best friend" and make them feel comfortable enough to meet them in person.You would not believe how easily predators find out just what to say to you, as a teen, to manipulate you and set the kind of trap that teens walk right into both willingly and intentionally.
All an adult predator needs to do is create a profile on Facebook or My Space, use a picture of a teen (boy or girl) and start chatting or friending other teens.