Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,
 I am writing to express my concerns about online dating among teenagers.  Recently, there are a few tragedies concerning online dating among teenagers which has drawn the attention of the public to this social problem.  I want to raise the alertness of the public through your newspaper.
 MSN, Xanga and Facebook are very popular among teenagers these days.  They are websites or software that provides a platform for people to communicate and to make friends.  The idea of founding the software is positive, but some of the users may misuse them as a medium to find their life-long partners.
 As appearances are not important in chat rooms, some of the teenagers want to find their partners in this virtual world.  It is very obvious that the date will not be complete without knowing the partners’ personality, appearance and background.  A lot of dangers may hence be derived.
 Firstly, as we are not sure who we are actually talking to, we might be cheated for money or even for sex.  Some of the teenage girls were cheated out for dinner and ended up being raped.  We can hardly trust the one we are talking to as people tend to lie about themselves when surf online.
 Secondly, if we reveal our personal details recklessly, we may risk being stolen of our important information and illegally used by strangers.  Not only will our property be stolen, our precious life may be threatened as well.
 Thirdly, online dating will no doubt affect one’s study.  Spending hours maintaining the fragile relationship a day, teenagers can hardly spare time for studying or even rest.  Once the relationship is broken up, the consequence will be so serious that one cannot bear.  They might commit suicide.
 Precautionary measures and basic rules should be taken to prevent being cheated.  We should reveal no personal information to any body, not even photos.  Never should we trust somebody unless you know who you are talking to.  Moreover, we should attend a date with a stranger in no way.
 Teachers and parents should co-operate to help uproot the problem.  Parents should supervise the usage of the computer at home.  Teachers should educate students the dangers and precautions of surfing online.  The government should set up organizations to help the victims of online predators and supervise online chat rooms regularly.
 I hope that teenagers will not indulge themselves in chat rooms and will be aware of this issue, online dating.
            Yours faithfully,
             Chris Wong