A gateway to discussing Internet privacy with your teen

If you’ve ever been freaked out about what your teenagers might be getting into on the Internet, then “Nerve” by Seattle author Jeanne Ryan is the book for you.

Written for a young adult audience, it tells the story of a teenager named Vee who gets chosen to play a game about dares called Nerve, watched by people all over the world.

But this story is really about how teenagers can unintentionally head down the wrong path in baby steps.

First you do X, and X doesn’t seem that bad. Then you do Y, which is a little bit worse. Then before you know it, you’re involved in Z, and Z is extremely bad. By then it’s too late! You’ve done X, Y and Z and you’re in serious trouble.

Another core component of this book is about privacy in the Internet age. Vee “likes” and “shares” things on her ThisIsMe page, and then that data gets collected by the people who run Nerve, and used against her.

A ThisIsMe page gone bad is a plot-line that can scare almost anybody. It’s the perfect jumping off board for a serious conversation with teens about Facebook, Twitter and social media in general.

FYI parents, Nerve contains mature content comparable to your teen’s favorite soap on the CW.

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