Things you see online
No one rules the internet. This is one of the amazing things about it. You can say almost anything you want, be as creative as you like and share your ideas with the world.
It also means there is nothing to stop other people making websites, posting videos or saying things that you disagree with, or don’t want to see at all.
Not everything you read online is true
All sorts of people create blogs and websites and can say anything they want, even if it’s not true. They can even make incredible pictures which look real but aren’t, like this one.
Don’t always believe what you read. If you are not sure ask an adult like a parent or your teacher.
I did NOT want to see that
There will be things you see online that might make you feel uncomfortable, upset or even scared. It is normal to feel confused or upset by things you don’t feel ready for. You should never feel forced to look at something you don’t want to see.
3 things you might not want to see
It is really important that you feel safe when you are searching online and understand some of the things you could see:
It’s no secret there’s porn on the intemet. Adults look at porn for lots of different reasons but if you are curious about sex, porn is a not a good way to learn out about it! The things people do in porn are very different from sex in the real world. Watching porn can have a damaging effect on young people so if you want to find out more about sex, relationships and your body visit Brook.
- Eating disorder websites
Boys, girls, men and women from all types of background and ethnic groups can suffer from eating disorders and all of them need help and support. There are some websites which talk about eating disorders in an unhealthy way, so if you need advice or to talk to someone about an eating disorder make sure you contact Beat. You can talk to someone there. You can also join their online community and talk to others about your experiences. Remember, you are not alone.
- Hate sites
Some people use the internet to encourage people to hate others from different countries, religions or people who are gay. Setting up a website or posting videos to be racist, target people because they are gay or because of someone's religion can be a crime. If you find a site or video online that is saying you should hate other people show it to an adult. They might have to report it as a ‘hate crime’ to True Vision. Find out more about hate crime.
- Self harm
Instead of people turning to self help books, there is now a rise in the number of students going online for support regarding mental health. Unfortunately there is a great deal of harmful content online regarding self-harm.
Worried about something you've seen online?
You can also talk to ChildLine at at any time.
ChildLine is a free helpline for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry, it is better out than in.
ChildLine is a private and confidential service. Confidential means not telling anyone else what you’ve said. This means that whatever you say stays between you and ChildLine.
They would only need to tell someone else if:
- You ask them to
- They believe your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger
- You are being hurt by someone in a position of trust who has access to other children like a teacher or police officer
- You tell them that you are seriously harming another young person
Call them on 0800 1111. The number won’t appear on your phone bill.
You can also visit www.childline.org.uk to speak to a counsellor online.
Share your experiences with other young people
Talk to other young people about your experiences and get support at the ChildLine message boards. There are lots of young people talking about everything from sex and relationships to sport and fashion.