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Would your child text a pedophile–you might be surprised – check out this experiment

You might have seen this video circulating around Facebook called, “The Dangers of Social Media.”   done by Coby Persin who is a well-known prankster and YouTube star.  
This particular video was different from most and really wasn’t a prank, but more of a social experiment.  It widened my eyes to something I didn’t know that was going on.  I knew teens were meeting up socially online, but I thought they were pretty smart and could spot a troll or perv a mile a way, but this video showed me otherwise.  
Every single day I write several stories on missing people, and there is always a lot more that go missing than I get to. The biggest and hardest MPs I have to cover is the missing teens.  In fact, there are so many that go missing every day that I dedicated a Facebook page just for teens.  Luckily, most of them return in a day or two.  It’s around 80 percent by the first week, the another 10 and then finally there is less than 5 percent that never return.  I am not undervaluing that, but just pointing out when a constant number of teens coming and going it is hard to keep track, but back to the video.
Coby Persin

Coby used a 15-year-old teens photo and randomly picked three underage girls to meet online.  He took the time to get to know them over the next three days and then set it up to meet with them.  Now, remember, Coby on his social media page is using the photo of a good-looking teen, but in real life he is actually a 21-year-old man that he says on his YouTube page looks like Zac Efron.  Regardless, Zac Efron and Coby are too old for most tweens and teens so, Coby needed a younger persona.  

AND instead of continuing this social experiment alone and or at least with himself and a cameraperson he includes the parents, which was smart thinking.  
In each and every case, all three teens, ages 12, 13, and 14 with no abandonment, jumped at the chance to meet with the teen alone at a designated spot.  The first place was a park during the day and the teen was confused when Coby called out to her instead of the teen she was expecting,  Before she had time to collect her thoughts, her dad came rushing into the frame and scared the crap out of his daughter, yelling, “Micayla, are you crazy?”  Dad of course admonished her for sneaking out of the house–end scene.  

In the next scenario, Dad is sitting in a van with Coby as he watches his daughter text Coby her address.  Yes, you read that right, she texted what she thought was a 15-year-old boy, the address of where she lived.  Coby and the dad show up at the front door and the tween was pretty shook up when she sees Coby at the door and a second later her father.  But, I think it is the last scenario that is the scariest of all on many levels.  Coby asks the teen to come out of her house and meet him and his “brother” in a stereotypical white van sitting outside her home.  As soon as the teen comes to the van, she asks through the rolled down passenger window, “are you the brother?” and Coby says yes and tells her to get in, which she does with no hesitation.  Coby grabs the girls arm and both the parents wearing ski masks jump up from the back of the van and grab their daughter and she starts screaming and trying to get away.  
In all three random examples these three girls were so wrapped up with their phones that they didn’t even take a second to access the situation before they walked right smack into it.  They were so enamored by meeting up with a “cute guy” it never crossed their minds that it actually could be a 21-year-old Zac Afron look-alike they were texting, let alone a 40-year-old pedophile.
Although a teen may tell you, it won’t happen to them, this video is the closest think I have seen that represents that it could.  
And to top it off not one of those parents ever thought that their child would take such a chance with their life to give out their street address, walk alone to meet a stranger in the park or let alone jump into a white van.
I wanted to get the perspective from a teen and asked 17-year-old Dawson Dean what he thought of the video.
Dawson Dean

“I think that there is a separation from reality and social media that is commonly unseen.  It’s surprising how so many teens and even adults believe that everything on social media is real,” said Dawson.  “The video is very valuable and hopefully teenagers will share it among themselves as when parents force their kids to watch something for their own good, a teen is already in denial and may miss the important message this video has.” 

When I was teen, at school I watched my fair share of sex education, driving and drug video’s, forced upon me by the school system,  I didn’t want to admit to it at the time, but they all had an impact on me, and kept me out of harms way.  So, with that maybe it’s time that a video like Coby’s be considered as a school educational requirement.

Lastly, to parents, we all want to trust our kids, but whether it’s a cell phone, IPad or computer, letting them have constants uninterrupted usage may be something you might want to reconsider, after watching Coby’s video.  Retiring a phone to a parent for example at 5 p.m. at night might not be such a bad idea.  Although computer’s and IPad’s are commonly used for homework now a days, maybe a homework curfew may help keep them on track and off chat.  Frankly, even around here, I know the top of my son’s head a little more than I need to.

Coby was on Twitter earlier asking if he should do another video with boys this time.   Do you think the outcome will be different or exactly the same?

Make sure you check out Coby’s other videos.  

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