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But I'm under 13, now what?

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  4. But I'm under 13, now what?

We live in a world where people of all ages, nationalities, genres, and backgrounds use the internet as part of their day-to-day lives. Some of you may be using social media to communicate with friends and family, while others may be chatting to their peers via Snapchat or on various online video games. No matter what it is, as you start transitioning into secondary school, you will likely become more independent and confident using the internet. For this reason, we must highlight that, although the internet can positively impact those your age, it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever come across something online that makes you feel slightly worried or uncomfortable.       

Often, you may see something online and think, “this doesn’t make sense,” or perhaps someone has said something to you that has left you feeling upset. Maybe you’re now feeling worried about something in particular and wondering, “who can I talk to about this?” Perhaps you feel like you need help, but you don’t have anyone to talk to? It can often feel scary when you’re experiencing lots of emotions that you have never felt before. The longer you keep these feelings to yourself, you might start thinking, “I just want to be happy again,” or wondering why your mood keeps going up and down?

If this is the case, then please remember that it’s ok to feel this way. It can often feel difficult to speak to someone about what is going on; maybe you’re feeling embarrassed about what has happened or scared to tell anyone? At Report Harmful Content Online, we would always encourage you to talk to a trusted adult if you have seen something or talked to someone online, making you feel frightened or unhappy. This could be a family member, counsellor, member of school staff.  Show our flowchart to a trusted adult and hopefully, they can help you make a plan about what to do next. They might also have a more comprehensive chat with you about worrying things you may encounter when using the internet.

However, we understand that you might not feel comfortable discussing what has happened with a loved one. Please remember that many really understanding and helpful services online can support you through this journey if this is the case. You can find further support from some great organisations by clicking on the boxes below:

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