He goes by the name JoeySalads on both his Vine account and YouTube channel and is a certified web video star. Described as a Video content creating phenomenon, he’s made a living from creating funny prank videos on strangers in public. With a following on YouTube of over 274,663 subscribers and a total of 14,483,089 views, he’s made videos stealing dogs to FBI Drug Deal pranks. Joey can be described as both brave and foolish for some of the pranks he’s pulled over the years.
His latest video, however, released May 2, 2015 is what I want to talk about. It’s titled the “Child Abduction Prank”, but in my opinion it does more than just play a trick on strangers in public, it highlights a serious and life-threatening issue. I wouldn’t have tagged it as a “prank”, because Joey’s managed to create awareness around a global issue that a lot of us take for granted on a daily basis. The parents featured in his video are surprised at their children’s choices when Joey approaches them with his dog in an attempt to lure them away. It’s a lesson and a grim reminder for a lot of parents about the importance of talking to their children every day about avoiding conversations with strangers.
Here are some Child Abduction Facts:
Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.
In 2001, 840,279 people (adults and children) were reported missing to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The FBI estimates that 85 to 90 percent of those (roughly 750,000 people or 2,000 per day) reported missing were children. The vast majority of these cases are resolved within hours.
In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home.
Most potential abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.
You can never talk to your children enough about the dangers of talking to strangers and emphasise that kidnappers come in all race, gender, age, and body type. There is no one look to a wrongdoer. It is also imperative that children be properly supervised wherever they might be and that we should focus less on our smartphones and stay alert. It only takes a few minutes for a child to disappear.
JoeySalads’ social experiment makes that abundantly clear. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our nations’ children and to bear in mind that “it takes a village to raise a child”. It’s a noteworthy video to be shared with everyone you know. One share may just help to save someone’s life.