Social media is a necessary evil in today's world. While it can be wielded as a weapon to sustain itself, it also has its fair share of red flags.
Social media usage has increased manifolds over the years. This includes everyone, right from your 65-year-old grandfather to your 10-year-old niece. However, while it is great to be able to stay connected to your loved ones, there is always danger lurking in the shadows. In a story shared by u/SocialMediaPoliceTAW on Reddit, a man confessed that he deleted his niece's social media accounts. Despite sounding like controlling behavior on the uncle's behalf, he actually did it for a very good reason.
The uncle explained that he was a 35-year-old man who invited his sister and her family home for a barbeque. This included his 11-year-old niece as well. However, she was as good as not being there because she was constantly on her phone recording TikTok videos. He found it annoying but didn't say anything. On that note, he had also spoken to his sister about her daughter's social media. What worried him was whether the 11-year-old was inadvertently putting out personal information for the world to see. However, like all mothers, his sister was sure that her daughter was "sensible enough to not do anything stupid."
He even tried to talk to his niece about what she was doing, but the child brushed it off saying that he wouldn't understand it since he was old. The uncle, however, works in tech and decided to dig out the details for himself. To his horror, he did find something. He says, "Turns out niece has used her full government name to register for TikTok, with links to her public Instagram with the same name." Worried for her well-being, he did what anyone would do and reported all her accounts (which he could find) as being below 13 years old.
A few days later, his sister called him, asking if he could check her daughter's ipad since she seemed to have been logged out of everywhere. As they worked through it, it became evident that the account had been blocked. He was battling whether or not he should tell his sister the truth and hence posted on the platform. On a later date, he added an edit clarifying a few things. He states how the intention wasn't to not let his niece use social media but do so without revealing her entire identity. Replying to someone who said that he was invading her privacy, he said, "She's 11, posting stuff publicly under her government name. If you think any of that constitutes 'privacy,' I don't know what to tell you."
Social media, if not used with caution, can be a dangerous place, especially for kids. u/bakedandnerdy shared a personal story and said, "A few years ago we had a string of kidnappings around the area my nephew used to live in. All the kids were under 13 and the police linked it to a group of human traffickers who they found were talking to some of the kids online for weeks." He added, "Kids are stupidly unaware of danger, which is why they need at least one adult looking out for them. Thank you for being that adult in your niece's life," and he isn't wrong.
About his question of whether or not he should tell his sister the truth, u/No_Whereas_3380 advised, "NTA and don't nark yourself out to the family. You did more to protect this child than her own parents care to. In the days of hacking, online bullying and human trafficking, these kids really do not grasp the full dangers that their online presence can bring them." As long as one does some surface damage to save someone from a potential threat, it can't be all wrong.