Some Cautions for the NLD Adolescent

This blog is now linked on facebook, and I have joined most of facebook’s NLD groups. Which brings me to my kids and internet warning: the internet, despite the obvious temptations to those with NLD, is not totally safe. It should not be used for dating. I learned the very difficult, tramatic way–and I know this is controversial–that the internet is often a bad idea for finding love. Without getting into a long narrative, here are some bad things that can happen:

-Getting scammed (Oprah did at least one episode about online “love” links that turned out to be schemes)

-Abuse (the internet allows people to hide true identities; read the book for a good discussion of what can happen)

-Disappointment (speaks for itself)

-Loss (no one can get back the time lost when the internet takes over someone’s life)

Here’s why online dating is a special safety issue for young people with NLD:

-We with NLD love textual communication and often feel more comfortable with email than calling, which can cause kids and adolescents to sometimes unknowingly say more than intended.

-NLD causes us to lean towards more literal interpretations of things; text by itself makes it even harder to decode lies and misrepresentations

-We with NLD tend to have more trouble fitting in socially and are thus even more vulnerable to internet safety troubles

-We with NLD sometimes struggle with worries of never finding a future spouse (and/or friends) to the point of getting desperate and settling for deception in an online setting

-As a person with NLD gets closer to their adult years, they want to date and have close friendships more and more, at the same time they are expected to show adult judgment, which is a bad combination where internet dating is concerned (i.e., naive judgment and wanting to date at same time equals potential disaster)

All this said, the internet is good if used wisely (i.e., probably not for dating; a safe compromise would be pen pals who don’t exchange concrete identifying information; forensic internet experts say don’t put anything you wouldn’t want on a postcard in email).


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