July 2007 Kingdom Ministry:
What are the dangers of using the Internet to associate with someone we do not know?
A number of Web sites have been designed for people to meet and correspond over the Internet. Many of these sites allow individuals to create and post their own profile, which may include pictures and other personal information. People who view the profile can then make contact. Such Web sites are very popular among young people, and some youths in the congregation have used them to interact with others who claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is easy for a person whom we meet over the Internet to be deceptive about his identity, his spirituality, or his motives. (Ps. 26:4) An individual claiming to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses may actually be an unbeliever, a disfellowshipped person, or even an active apostate. (Gal. 2:4) Reportedly, many pedophiles use such Web sites to find their victims.
Even if we are convinced that those with whom we are corresponding are in good standing in the congregation, conversations in such a setting can easily drift toward unwholesome material. This is because people tend to be less inhibited with individuals they have not met personally. They may also view online communication as private and feel that whatever they say will not come to the attention of others, such as their parents or the elders. Sadly, a number of youths from Christian households have been ensnared and have become involved in obscene speech. (Eph. 5:3, 4; Col. 3:8) Others have included sexually provocative pictures of themselves, suggestive nicknames, or links to sexually explicit music videos in their computer profile.
In view of the foregoing, parents should monitor their children’s activity on the computer. (Prov. 29:15) It would be dangerous to invite a stranger into our home or to allow him to be alone with our children. Similarly, it is dangerous for us or our children to make friends with strangers over the Internet, even if they claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Prov. 22:3.