New Zealand has produced a series of advertisements about staying safe online. This one about online grooming is funny but creepy at the same time. You can find out more at https://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz. If you are in Australia, you can report online grooming at https://www.accce.gov.au - the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. The safety commissioner has information on cat fishing (someone pretending to be someone they're not) at https://www.esafety.gov.au. If you suspect that someone is catfishing or grooming, talk to a trusted adult. Take screenshots of conversations as evidence. Stay safe.
This app has been in the news a lot lately so I thought I'd check it out. While I was scrolling through Tik Tok I saw a lot of teen guys and girls who know they're hot showing off, some bad lip-syncing, some good dancing, some average dancing, some dangerous challenges, some illegal street racing, some rich kids showing off their bedrooms and homes, a lot of swearing and a really cool pool shot.
My verdict: While there is nothing wrong with the idea of the app, sharing 15 second videos, there are some issues with how it is being used. When you sign up the privacy setting is set to public. If you change it to private you will avoid 40 year old men sending inappropriate comments. You can also turn off the comments facility, otherwise it's just another avenue for trolls to do what they do. Any platform that is used by young people attracts pedophiles. One scantily clad girl had the message on her screen, "I'm fifteen, if you're over 18 and tell me I'm hot, that's creepy." You can't actually delete your account - you have to provide your phone number to the app so they can send you a code to delete your account. Finally, you can waste a lot of time on Tik Tok so maybe set a timer.
It's easy to spend an hour or more scrolling through social media at bedtime (I know I've done it myself on occasion). Do yourself a favour and use that time to sleep instead - teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours a night!
I am horrified by the things people say online - hateful and hurtful things that shouldn't ever be said or typed. If you have been the victim of haters or trolls here is some useful information from the esafety commissioner. You can find out more here.
If you are under 18, and the reported cyberbullying content has not been taken down within 48 hours, it can be reported to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.
Trolling and hate upsets most of us, no matter how strong we are. If a troll or hater upsets you please talk about it with trusted friends and family, get some support and remember, it’s not you, it’s them.