The Dangers Of Text Chat With Strangers

By Michael Arangua

Updated April 11, 2019

Reviewer Carnell Colebrook-Claude , MA, NCC, BC-TMH, LPC (Clinical Track), LPCC, LCPC, LIMHP, LSOTP


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The human desire for relationship causes us to feel unnecessary pressure to find suitable acquaintances, develop close friendships, and maintain intimate relationships. Through technological advances, the internet has become a place of numerous opportunities for individuals to be able to satisfy this need for relationship. Chat rooms and online groups are just some examples of platforms for people to seek out and find others with seemingly like interests. Text chat with strangers can seem like a harmless way to meet new people and pass the time. It also gives us someone new to talk to about our feelings and problems. Sometimes we feel we can be more open with people we meet online because we can't see them, and they can't see us.

What's wrong with spilling our guts to someone we will never meet in person, right?

The thing is that text chat with strangers can be dangerous, especially if you are in a vulnerable frame of mind. I am not saying that you should not do it, but I will say that you should really keep your guard up and be smart about it if you do.

Keep in mind that there are also safe alternatives to text chat with strangers, like online counseling and support groups. These services can give you non-judgmental people to talk to about what might be going on in your life right now, without taking on as much risk.

BetterHelp is one affordable online counseling service that matches you with a qualified professional. You get to send unlimited text messages to this counselor throughout the month and build a relationship that can help you grow and provide a vital avenue for emotional and mental healing in a safe environment.

The Dangers of Text Chat with Strangers:

  1. People Aren't Always Honest

Even though someone might come off as sincere and trustworthy through text, that might not necessarily be the case. It's easy to be fooled because you will not know that can they can be merely putting on an act and pretending to be someone that they are not since you are only communicating with them via text.


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There are some people online who are honest and can become great lifelong friends. These are genuine friendships where things like age and distance don't matter. Unfortunately, there are also people who befriend others online strictly for entertainment or manipulation. Therefore, it is in your best interest not to be too trusting, open and honest about who you are and your whereabouts when texting and chatting with strangers online as this can open you up and place you at risk to dangerous individuals like stalkers and hackers.

  1. You Can Be Victimized

If you aren't careful, you can be easily victimized by the people you meet in online chat rooms. If you are the type that always wants to see the good in people, you might not easily see through an online scam. When visiting chat rooms and making cyber friends it is important to keep in mind that anyone can be thoughtful, caring, attentive and virtually perfect through a screen but, behind that keyboard can be someone with a psychological disorder whose main goal is to hurt you in one way or another. Whether they ask you for money, or to move across the country to pursue a romantic relationship just being made aware of the risks and dangers of persons online not being who they say they are must become your main concern. These are some extreme examples but it's important to remember that these things have happened and are possible.


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  1. Online Friends Come and Go

Let's say you meet someone in an online chat room and the two of you totally click. You feel like you can tell this person anything and they are a true friend. You only wish you could meet in person.

For many, online friendships are a lot easier to maintain than traditional friendships because you don't have to try and impress the person at the receiving end of your message. There is no huge expectations or broken promises so you may think that online friendships are the best kind of friends to have until one day, this new friend stops responding to your messages. They never appear in the same chat room again.

How would you feel if a close internet friend suddenly disappears once you start getting close to them? I am sure you will feel slighted, used, disposable and socially rejected which triggers the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain (Krossa, Bermana, Mischelb, Edward, Smith, and Wager, 2011). Their actions basically leave you vulnerable and with no possible opportunity for you to ask questions and get the information that would need to emotionally process the experience and have closure. It suppresses your voice and stops you from expressing your feelings and being heard, which is extremely important for maintaining your self-esteem. If you find that this has hurt, you to the point where you want to distance and close yourself off from other relationships then you should seek out help. BetterHelp can provide you with the right counselor who can give the help that you need.

4. Trolls Are Out There Waiting

Trolls are thrill-seeking individuals, who lack impulse control and seek to cause psychological trauma and they are out there online waiting and watching for the right moment and individual to victimize. A troll's main goal is to get you to become emotionally invested in them and then out of nowhere they will be begun to attack you through text or social media (March 2017).

Certainly, if you are struggling with self-esteem, or self- confidence is important to know that trolls will continue to make your life miserable. There are safer alternatives to deal with your internal struggles such as discussing your issues with a BetterHelp counselor.

Conclusion

When it comes to getting support for emotional problems and working towards a better social life, sometimes it can be best to stick to meeting people around you. It can be easier to keep in touch with friends who live close by. It's also easier to tell if friends are being sincere if you can hang out with them face to face.

Online counseling is a good place to find non-judgmental encouragement and support through a challenging time. It provides a great alternative to text chat with strangers because it gives you an experienced professional to talk to. BetterHelp is for anybody who is going through a difficult time and just needs to chat, including individuals who are contemplating. It is also for the person who may be suffering from sadness, anxiety, relationship problems, family issues, abuse, financial concerns, and much more. If you are looking for a caring connection when they are feeling most alone a counselor can help you work through problems and challenges that you are facing and provide a stable form of support during rough times.

Reference

March, E. (2017). Psychology of internet trolls. They understand what hurts people but simply don't care. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/trolls-understand-what-hurts-people-but-they-simply-dont-care/8701424

Krossa, E., Bermana, M., Mischelb, W., Edward E. Smith, and Wager, T. (2011). Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 108 (15), p. 6270-6275, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102693108.

Conclusion

When it comes to getting support for emotional problems and working towards a better social life, sometimes it can be best to stick to meeting people around you. It can be easier to keep in touch with friends who live close by. It's also easier to tell if friends are being sincere if you can hang out with them face to face.


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