Parents, do you know about Chatroulette? I’ve been hearing A LOT about this site recently from my adolescent clients, a site where our kids can “talk” to anyone, anywhere in the world in a video chat ( at the time of this writing: 89% male users, 11% female). This is how is works: You go to the website, click “play,” enable your webcam, and you are connected to a randomly selected stranger. At any time, you can click “next” and you’ll be connected to another random stranger—and on and on.

Approximately 1 in 8 of  these feeds from Chatroulette involved ‘R-rated’ content, and I have heard multiple reports of adolescents viewing video chats with masturbation.  This site provides easy access to our kids, anonymity is lost because users on the site can see who our kids are, hear their voice, and also view other personally identifiable information; as they are using their devices to chat just about everywhere; in our homes and cars. The adolescent clients I’ve been speaking to think this is a pretty safe site but I  just want parents and guardians to be aware of this site and experience it for themselves. It’s a constant battle to remind adolescents not to video chat with people they do not know, including “friending or following” individual adults vs groups or organizations on social network sites. Many believe that we can’t, nor necessarily shouldn’t shield our kids from all that is out there, instead having open conversations about these issues is key to educate about the safety risks.  It is strongly recommended for parents to stay abreast of  such sites, as they are sitting in the driver’s seat of their child’s personal safety and digital citizenship “footprint”.

Chatroulette facts: On average in sessions showing a single person, 89% of these were male and 11% were female. Users who experience harassment or witness illegal, immoral, or pornographic activity may report the offending user. After three users have complained about the same participant within 5 minutes the user is banned from the service for up to 24 hrs.

I work with couples and individuals in my Psychotherapy and Life Coaching Practice. My clients make progress! Find Your Strengths at KelleyHopkinsAlvarez.com. Let’s continue the “conversation”, call 203-948-0938 or email me @ kelleytherapy@icloud.com to discuss your challenges.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

Kelley Hopkins-Alvarez, Licensed Professional Counselor, NCC, BCC

Address: 100B Danbury Road, Suite 201D, Building B, Ridgefield, CT 06877 ( behind Union Savings Bank) kelleytherapy@icloud.com 203-948-0938

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