One of the biggest concerns that parents have expressed about Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media is that it may expose their kids to predators. This fear became a reality last month for the Cable family out of Bangor Maine. If you are not familiar with the case, you can read more about it here. The essence of the story is that a boy wanted a girl. She said ‘no' so he pretended to be a friend of hers on Facebook and used that identity as a way of communicating with her. Then in some Cinderella story straight from the halls of an insane asylum, he decides to disguise himself and kidnap her. He would then ‘find' her and become a hero. This hero status, in his warped mind, would be the key to getting her affection. Tragically, during the kidnapping, poor 15-year old Nicole Cable died. Luckily, the police were able to trace the evidence back to the boy – Kyle Dube – who now faces murder charges.
But how did this happen? How did a 15-year old girl get lured into this sick, twisted scheme and pay for it with her life? And more importantly, what could her parents have done to possibly prevent this tragedy? As social media continues to be an ever larger presence in our children's lives, how can we allow our kids to enjoy the benefits of these new technologies while still keeping them safe? Here are some suggestions:
Still have questions? Seek out other parents, your school counselor and others in your community for assistance.
Disclaimer: I am not a child psychologist so don't take my advice here as official instruction but rather recommendations as someone who knows technology and kids. Sorry, I had to say that to keep the Fox lawyers happy!