This message, I would say, is for my younger friends, but honestly, they’re pretty savvy. So instead, let’s tag this post as a reminder and a warning to us all, because we can’t afford to forget it. And I’ll confess right up front, as a Mom, I’m pretty ticked off at all the people trying to manipulate and mess with our kids. These users and abusers need to back off–and we need to insist that they back off–now.
I had to say that; I’ve been choking on it. On to the message…
People prey on those they see as vulnerable or weak. They use other people do to their dirty work. They abuse those who are genuinely seeking…something… and glamorize, lying through their teeth, if necessary, to make what they want done sound like the answer to everything a body wants. There are those who will say anything, do anything to anyone, to sucker them in and use them for their own purposes.
They have an agenda–and they need a willing body–any willing body–to step in and do things they can’t or won’t or are afraid to do themselves.
Teens are vulnerable. Actually, everyone is vulnerable–if the user taps into a person’s soft underbelly. And, honestly, exposing that soft underbelly is so easy these days. Visit half a dozen Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. You’ll see just how vulnerable people are making themselves.
So the user exploits that. Exploits you. Attempts to harness whatever you’re longing for just long enough to make it irresistible to you. Doesn’t matter if it’s wrong, if it’s bad for you. The user doesn’t care about any of that, and especially not about you. The user cares about one thing: getting you to do what s/he wants done. That’s it. By any and all necessary means.
Knowing that makes it vital that we all recall this truth and that when approached, we stop and ask ourselves the questions above: What does the other person have to lose? Who is going to do the dying for doing this something wrong?
That cuts through the clutter quickly, doesn’t it?
Remember: No one can use you without your consent. And anyone worth following would never lead you anywhere s/he isn’t willing to go her or himself. Don’t be fooled by empty words and attempts to mess with your head.
If it strikes you as wrong. If your gut says it’s wrong. It’s likely wrong. Trust your instincts. Protect yourself.
And don’t be suckered into doing things that, if you live, you’ll regret.