Almost half of children between 8 and 13 are on Snap chat, Whats App or Instagram texting to strangers who claim to be their age. Licensed Professional Counselor Lori Vann says, "Everyone want to feel connected. And the interesting thing with technology is that we seem to be more connected – but in some ways we’re less emotionally connected.”
Because social media platforms don't perform background checks, the "strangers" could be a school mate using a fake name in order to bully them or a even predator. Their parents probably told them about stranger danger. Vann says, “A lot of times I don’t think they know what a stranger is! Texting someone builds familiarity which can appear to be friendship."
Vann continues, “There are a lot of good parents out there who don’t understand the natural tendencies of adolescents to want to find ways to do things they probably shouldn’t be doing on social media.” She says texting strangers slows the development of their social skills. “They don’t know how to carry on an actual conversation face-to-face or even a phone call.”