My 24 Hour Social Media Experiment.
For the last 24 hours, I have been undercover! I wanted to try a social experiment. A friend of mine has a fake profile on a popular social media site and after hanging out with her yesterday I saw the number of messages and friends requests she gets and I wanted to try it for my self. Simply because I was BAFFLED! She started it simply out of boredom but I wanted to try and experience what she does first hand because I wanted to try and understand WHY.
I came up with a few rules to stick to and you can read them below:
- Must Use a Fake Name.
- Can not use any identifying information or pictures(My location was different and my profile picture was actually a cartoon).
- I can not send a friends request or message someone first.
So I created a fake profile using the above criteria and I was INSTANTLY overwhelmed. My friend shared my profile on hers ONCE and within 24 hours, I have received 200+ friends requests, 75+ messages, countless offers from men to send me money and items and much more graphic things.
What baffles me the most about this entire thing is the number of men who pretty much beg me to talk to them or even want to send me money. Most of the friend’s requests I received were within the first 20 minutes of having my profile up and not long after I received my first message from someone offering money.
I wanted to actually keep this profile going much longer but I became quickly overwhelmed by the number of messages and friends requests I was getting. What I learned from this little experiment is ANYONE can hide behind a computer screen. I was easily able to do it with an email address, cartoon picture, and some false information in the span of about 10 minutes. This really opened my eyes to the number of people out there that open themselves up to scams and really made me think about how important it is for social media sites to take down fake and troll profiles because it’s INCREDIBLY easy for anyone to make an account and pretend to me, anyone.(I was able to become a 26-year-old performer from out west with the simple click of a mouse).
Here are some suggestions on how to stay safe on social media.
- Be selective at who you add
- Be careful what you share! NEVER post personal information such as home address, financial information, phone number or etc.
- NEVER send money to someone you don’t know over the internet. These scams are SO common! Money Laundering is actually another common scam so NEVER “hold” money for another person.
- Use caution when clicking links
These are just a few suggestions but there are TONS of other great tips on how to stay safe on social media if you Google “Safety Tips for Social Media”