I clearly remember going from 6th to 7th grade and feeling like I was almost grown up. There were a number times between then and when I became a young man that my head swelled. Each time I eventually found that I did not know anywhere near as much as I thought, and my fat head was deflated sooner or later.
I eventually came to understand that the more I learned, the better I understood just how ignorant I was, and even worse that I was destined to remain ignorant. I also decided to make every effort possible to not be quite as ignorant as other people. For those of you who have read Animal Farm I offer the following adaptation of a famous quotation "We are all created ignorant but some people are more ignorant than others". There is no shame in admitting one's ignorance, there is shame in not taking advantage of every opportunity to learn.
I mention this because it is very easy to be so pleased with ourselves that we forget that what we do not know is far more likely to hurt us than what we do know.
All adults should value children above all else, but some do not. There are people out there who prey on children. For that reason, and regardless of how nice they may seem, I urge all children to share their Internet messages with their parents. Never give out your address, phone number, or school name without checking with your parents. If anyone expands the discussions to include personal questions, especially about sex, you should go to your parents, or a school counselor immediately.
It is important you understand that anyone can learn a great deal about you with just an email address. They can often identify what city you live in, and if they know your schools name and your last name they can usually find where you live.
So don't let your ego get in the way of your and your whole families safety.
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