A 16-year-old girl was excited to finally meet in person a “16-year-old” guy whom she had only met online. When she finally came face-to-face with the guy in a cafe, it turned out he was a 42-year-old man. At this stage, he tried to get her to follow him outside to his car. What would you do if you witnessed such a scenario? Would you speak up and protect the girl, or simply mind your own business?
Instant messaging, chat rooms, and social networking sites can be dangerous for your kids, as they are easily exposed to cyber bullying, or even sexual predators. This 16-year-old girl, Maria, experienced the latter.
Maria is like any other typical teen. She loves texting her friends, taking selfies, listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and going out to eat.
For three weeks, Maria had been texting and emailing a “cute boy” named Brian, whom she met online.
Maria had arranged a meetup with Brian at Lulu’s Cafe in West Nyack Rd, New York. She was excited.
But when he finally showed up, she was shocked.
Brian claimed he was 16 years old—but he turned out to be a 42-year-old man.
“We’ve a connection for 3 weeks. You said that you’re 16, that’s weird,” Maria said.
“Age is really just a number, right?” Brian said.
Throughout their conversation, Brian was constantly trying to lure Maria to his home.
The patrons at the cafe—seated a few meters away from them—listened nervously to their conversation. They were worried. How would they react?
When Brian and Maria were leaving the cafe, the woman bravely jumped in to intervene.
The woman told Maria, “If you need a ride somewhere, I’ll take you.”
Just as the woman was relieved that Maria was safe, John Quiñones, host of ABC reality TV show “What Would You Do?” appeared.
The woman was surprised. She realized Maria was an actor engaged to reenact the scene as a social experiment to test the patrons.
“Your message to young girls who are meeting guys online?” Quiñones asked the woman.
“Don’t ever trust anybody,” the woman replied. “There’s no reason to leave a public place and get into a car with somebody.”
Though the whole episode was just another social experiment, this situation is something that happens in real life. We must all remain vigilant and step in to help a child in danger, no matter how scary it may be, just like what this woman did.
Also, parents should always monitor their children’s internet use and check on who they’re chatting with online. They should discuss with their children how to use social networking sites safely, and make them aware of the dangers that lurk within.
Actors Maria and Brian reenacted the same scene several times. How would the other patrons react? Did they confront Brian and protect Maria, who was in danger? Or did they call the police?
Check out the clip below to find out:
Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot | ABC news.