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Eyes wide open: online dangers

In Eyes Wide Open: Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity, college student Brienne Murk talks candidly about the damaging impact of using MySpace™, e-mail, and text messaging to develop intimate online relationships. In a personal example, she outlines her need to break off a relationship with a guy from her church youth group after realizing that they were emotionally pushing limits during “harmless” IM sessions. “We said a lot of things we would never have dreamed of saying in person,” writes Murk. “But because it was online, it felt safe. We didn’t realize how vulnerable we were making ourselves.”

Murk also addresses the potential dangers of chat rooms, Facebook, Xanga, online dating and RPGs (role playing games) in creating situations that open the door wide for emotional promiscuity.

Murk’s tips for staying safe online include:
• Be careful who you trust online
• Keep your personal information private while chatting
• Immediately log out of any unpleasant chat room
• Think before answering private messages
• Don’t use your real name in chat rooms
• Talk to your parents or a trusted adult if something occurs in an online session that makes you feel uncomfortable, worried or scared.
• Get an accountability partner

Eyes Wide Open is published by Regal Books and is available at most Christian bookstores nationwide. For more information visit http://www.regalbooks.com

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