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Strangers

Hi I'm G and i'm 14
I'm supposed to be meeting a 16/17 year old tomorrow to go to the cinema, i know he is 16/17 because he's from round where i live. I've never met him before, but he keeps asking me to meet up with him on facebook, but i've always made excuses not to. Today he's asked me to go to the cinema with him. and i've said yes because i feel bad if i say no, but i've feeled quite pressured like pier pressured into doing it. But i don't want to let him down. I've asked him if i can meet with friends so i feel more conftable and he'd rather me be on my own... but i don't want to let him down
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi G,

Thanks for your letter.

You told me about a boy you know from Facebook who you feel has pressurised you into going out to the cinema.

It’s really great that you’re thinking more carefully about what to do about this boy and I guess it must feel a bit scary to go out with someone you’ve never met before, especially on your own. It’s impossible to know for sure that anyone online is definitely who they say they are.

You said you asked him if you could go with friends and I think that’s a really good idea. It means you will be safer and if you don’t feel ok with him you still have the support of your friends. I would also always encourage you to let an adult know if you are meeting up with someone that you don’t know well.

Also, remember that you should only do what YOU feel comfortable with, and not just what the boy or your friends want you to do. It was good to tell him that you would feel much happier to begin with, if your friends are there too. If he doesn’t agree with this, then it’s ok to say you’d rather not go at all. Meeting someone from the internet is always a bit risky and he should respect the fact that you want to keep yourself safe.

You may find it helpful to look at the CEOP website that gives help and advice on internet safety, or you can look in Explore for advice on more staying safe online.

Since some time has passed since you wrote your letter, you will have made your decision about whether or not to meet the boy, and whatever happened, you may be left with some feelings that you would like to talk about. If you wanted to talk in confidence, please think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor on the phone or online. You can call 0800 1111 or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,

Sam

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