Teen Breathe

Teen Breathe Issue 18

Ever commented snarkily on an Instagram post only immediately to regret it or shared personal details with ‘all’ instead of just one trusted friend? Join the queue. Dozens of people hit ‘send’ every day on posts or messages that come back to haunt them.

Most do it in the heat of the moment, not thinking how a mean jibe about a friend’s holiday snap or a less-than-glowing review of a cousin’s attempt at poetry might play out.

Others are deliberately unkind. They steal people’s money, sell them things they don’t want and bully them into doing things that make them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, they do this by pretending to be just like you – they like the same bands, the same gaming sites, the same movies and they recognise, understand and share your fears and anxieties. They’re clever.

It’s why it’s important to think three, four, five times before sharing too many details online. Imagine you’re holding a privacy shield and raise it if people start asking personal questions or encouraging you to say or do inappropriate things.

The internet’s a great place to make and keep friends, but just like the offline world, remember to stay curious and stay safe.