Social media is always fun to use because we can connect with our friends who are also online to their social media accounts. We can exchange messages in order to seek for any updates regarding some relevant itineraries so that we can accurately make a plan on how to make our day special. However, there are still risks that can be encountered using social media because we may not know who we are really talking to when we are online.

Meeting strangers is probably one of the riskiest way to expose yourself to any sorts of negative elements of the law. This is because you are going to consciously expose yourself to an environment wherein there is an uncertainty waiting take advantage against your innocence. Many young indivdiuals who were lured by strangers by allowing them to meet anonymous users online in order to take advantage against their rights. Some end up meeting new friends. But some were not lucky enough because they were physically harmed by the person whom they met online who they actually didn't know.
An innocent young girl using a computer to access her social media account
A young girl ready to log in to her social media account using a personal desktop computer

What is social media: In terms of description, a social media is a platform that provides a popular interactive tool by allowing users to exchange information as well as interesting activities in the virtual world. This means that a person needs computer devices or electronic gadgets in order to establish a connection with the internet, which would lead to connecting other individuals who are also currently online. Social media is now a popular virtual activity that people regularly attend their time.

Social media is categorized into numerous field of interests depending upon the interests that a person will be going to concentrate to fulfill their daily routine. These include fields in business, career, entertainment, finance, fitness, geology, health, lifestyle, photography, spiritual, and viral interests. This is because users have a variety of interests and beliefs that needs to find a comfortable niche online that will suit intellectual and social needs. If you are going to use social media, there is simply new interactions that always connects you with other individuals.

However, there are growing problems that are usually encountered when using social media. Numerous media reports that there are users who have had experienced serious traumatic experiences. It is because there were lured to illegal activities, being recruited to join prohibited groups, and committing illegal activities. These are the things that a person should always get weary of in order to prevent consequences that are usually undesirable, which could cause a scene or a new issue to destroy your mental and psychological well-being in the future.

Computer desktop monitor showing Google Chrome browser ready to surf online
Google chrome is one of the most utilized browser to access social media websites

Insights about the history of social media

Long before the internet has been created in 1970's, social media already existed when computers were able to create simple programs that are capable of creating, sending, and receiving messages from one user to another user using a virtual computer network. When the internet was created in 1980's social media becomes useful for big companies to engage in communication with their clients and investors. In 1990's, social media was mainly used as an important program for a small-medium enterprise to communicate with other employees and customers. And in the advent of 21st century, the internet became cheaper, allowing more social media websites to surface online to offer free services for the users.

Today, social media websites are scattered all over the internet. Any individual can create their personal profiles so that they can establish a connection with other online users. There are no restrictions being observed to any users with regards to creating multiple profiles on a certain social media website. This means that not all individuals we encounter online are real because some users are using dummy accounts just to take advantage against others.

Dangers of meeting Strangers on social media websites

1. You will always encounter posers: There are numerous individuals online who are using dummy accounts just to hide their real identity. However, some individuals are intentionally using dummy accounts so that they can claim that they are somebody in order to take advantage against other individuals. They can pose as famous celebrities, athletes, and businessmen so that they can manipulate users online. If you fall for these posers, you should better be careful. Victims often become agitated and frustrated because if they meet people using fake profiles, they end up seeing the opposite physical description on what was claimed online. The height is different, appearance and weight are totally not compatible with the stranger's previous statements.

2. Meeting drug dealers: Social media websites are one of the most accurate strategies to trade illegal or prohibited substances. Drug trafficking is rampant on social media websites where law enforcement officers are having a hard time to track perpetrators of prohibited substances. Victims encounter individuals who offer something that can reward them with a hefty amount of cash. When they start to be tempted, they will unknowingly agree that what they are doing is already risking their lives to be engaged in drug trafficking, even if they are offered with a huge amount of cash. Sometimes, victims are offered with an extravagant travel package tours with huge allowances, but they are just being used as drug mules that can risk their lives to be executed or imprisoned at foreign lands.

3. Sexual assault: Young victims are sometimes targetted by sex offenders who have a special taste for minors. Today, it is already reported that sex offenders do not choose whether the victim is either a male or a female for as long as the sex offense will satisfy their sexual driven anxiety. As a result, there are increasing rates of social media-linked sexual assaults involving minors, who are then lured by sex offenders that poses as their relative of a friend. Young victims often suffer from a severe psychological anxiety because they feel that something has been taken away from them.

4. Recruited for terrorism: In the 21st century, a new social dilemma is now intimidating the society. This includes the rise of terror groups who are now aiming to establish mass destruction in order to satisfy their ideology. As they are aware that they are being cornered by the coalition forces, they are now opting to resort to recruiting online through social media websites. They are targetting individuals who show signs of depression or anxiety, which is a perfect choice to offer help and gain their trust. Once that their trust is gained, they start to implicate their ideology. If the victim is now manipulated and offered with huge cash, they will now required to join terrorist groups to foreign lands.

5. Theft: Small time criminal offenders use social media websites so that they can achieve their anti-social personality disorders. They pose as kind, caring, and trusting friend so that they can easily establish mutual interests with their victims. Victims are then will allow them to enter their home so that the criminals will assess any valuable items that can be recovered. When they eventually finalized their plan, they can start plotting criminal acts against their victims. Criminals can operate in groups while one of their members acts as if they are alone when they will be meeting with their victims. So be careful when meeting strangers you meet online.

Things to avoid meeting strangers with suspicious intents in social media

  • So not add people whom you don't know when you see friend requests in your social media account.
  • Never accept any offers from users you know who are already behaving suspiciously.
  • If you are offered with an extravagant travel package without you planning it, never attempt to accept it. 
  • It is always important not to reveal any confidential information about yourself such as bank accounts, physical address, or real name.
  • Never agree to meet individuals who are aggressively inviting you to have a date or to have some fun.
  • If you are offered with jobs that pay incredibly well for just doing almost nothing, do not fall for it and simply reject it. 
  • Learning to identify spam mail prevents you from being victimized by scammers who are trying to manipulate you to reveal your personal information. 
  • Always ask your real friends when you encounter friend requests in order to confirm if that person is a real profile and not a fake account. 

Recommended articles