"When Clare was 12 I sat with her at the computer
one afternoon as she tried a teen chatroom for the first time. She
had just come in from school - it was about 4 pm. I watched her
chat to a couple of young people from southern England, and a couple
of 14-year-old girls from the USA. Suddenly I realised that there
was something very odd going on..." from Marie, mother of Clare,
now 14, and Antony, 11
Can you work out what was wrong? Here's
a clue: remember time zones vary around the world.
In the USA the time is not the
same as it is the UK. America is "behind us". When it
is 4 pm in the UK it is only 12 noon in New York and even earlier,
9 am, in Los Angeles on the other side of the country. Either way,
schoolgirls in America should be in school at that time, not, as
they claimed, at home "babysitting".
Whoever these people were, and
wherever they lived, they could not have been who they said they
were. They were pretending to be American schoolgirls. They could
have been any age, and from anywhere in the world. They were not
saying anything bad, but they were certainly telling lies about
who they were.
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