I decided to put my teenager’s savvy to the test after seeing this jaw dropping YouTube video.
In it, a 21-year-old YouTube prankster, Colby Persin, makes a fake Facebook profile, posing as a 15-year-old boy. With their parents’ permission, he friend requests three girls ages 12, 13, and 14, each of whom accepted.
Coby didn’t have to work hard to set the groundwork for a first meeting with any of these young ladies, merely chatting with them online or via text for three or four days before asking to meet up at their homes or somewhere nearby.
It was a trap none believed their daughter would fall into. Who would after all the lecturing we do about Internet safety?
You can almost guess what happens next in not just one, but in all three cases.
I showed the video to one of my daughters.
“How stupid can you be?” she asked incredulously. “I would never do that!”
Oh yeah? Let’s take a look at your Facebook page.
“How do you know him? And him? Or him?” I asked. “And who is this kid?”
“Mom, that’s Tommy! The kid down the street. ”
She had answers for all.
“See Mom, I told you I’m not dumb,” she said, adding that she rarely even goes on social media which is true and one of the things I like most about her. The kid is a reader, not a chatter.
“Wait!” I said. “Who is that girl? I’ve never seen her in my life.”
I make it my business to know who my kids friends are. I know it’s annoying, but that’s just how I roll.
“I don’t know,” she said. “She’s a friend of Sasha’s. I’ve never met her though. I think she lives in Scarsdale.”
“A HA!” I yelled so loud that the dog jolted awake and Susannah nearly choked on her coffee. “Scarsdale?!? Why would someone you don’t even know who lives in another town ? And why did you accept? What of she is really a he or has a he and traps you juts like the man did to those girls in the video. Then what?”
“God Mom!” Susannah reeled, looking at me with a combination of fear, concern and sympathy in her eyes, like I’d just been let out of a dark room. “You don’t have to get all excited!”
She then explained that she asked her friend if she knew the girl before accepting the friend request.
OK, so she might be smarter than the average bear, at least this time, but what happens in this video can happen to anyone.