Kids these days have it so easy. In my day, if you wanted to stalk someone you had call them at home on a good old-fashioned analog telephone (one bonus was the lack of caller ID and/or *69) or actually break into their home and physically boil their pet bunny rabbit. Boy, have times changed.
Now several news organizations are reporting on a "teen epidemic" of "Tech Stalking", a new twist to date abuse the includes cyber-stalking and the use of text-messaging and cellphone calling to dominate, humiliate and/or harass the young and impressionable, in most cases teen girls.
"Alarming numbers of teens in dating relationships are being controlled, abused and threatened using simple tech devices," according to Teenage Research Unlimited, which conducted the nationwide survey of 615 teens 13 to 18.
* 30 percent said they've been text messaged or e-mailed 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner wanting to check up on them.
* 18 percent said their partner used a social-networking site to harass them.
* 17 percent said their partner made them "afraid not to respond to a cellphone call, e-mail, IM or text message."
* 10 percent said they had been threatened in calls or messages.
* 58 percent of parents whose teens were physically assaulted by their partner did not know it had happened.
Disturbing statistics indeed—we here at Gizmodo love gadgets too much to see them embroiled in this type of seedy and abusive behavior. Please, think of the gadgets. And of course, the children.
Teens and their parents can visit the newly launched website for abusive teen dating in the technological age called LoveIsRespect or call the toll-free hotline at (866)331-9474