One Year Anniversary –

Today marks the one year anniversary since debuted and it’s been an outstanding journey so far.  I’ve met many dedicated, compassionate people who sacrifice their own time for the betterment of their communities.  Seeing the work done by these various groups and individuals further inspires me.

I find myself becoming engulfed in many of the cases and it can be an emotional roller coaster at times.  Some stories end tragic while others have a fairy tale ending.  I can’t begin to imagine what the families and friends go through while searching for their loved ones.

This past year has been very eye-opening for me.  Going forward, I’ll continue to educate myself with the intention of spreading that knowledge both online and in my own physical community.  There will also be an additional emphasis on understanding the technologies used for locating missing people and actually getting these devices into the hands of those who require them.

I appreciate all those who help out on WordPress and Twitter.  Without your assistance, the site wouldn’t be the success it is.  Looking forward to building on those relationships as well as meeting many more devoted people this upcoming year.  Thank you and take care!

The White Van: Children Are Less Safe Now than 25 Years Ago Due to Social Media

Growing up as children, my mother used to warn my sister and I about “the white van” that would drive around the neighborhood with the driver or passenger luring kids to their vehicle to kidnap them. My sister and I continue to joke about the van to this day. I still don’t know if it’s based on any true events. Maybe it’s an urban legend or perhaps an attempt from our mother to teach us to be cautious when dealing with strangers.

I clearly remember the timeframe from late elementary school and middle school when my friends and I would run the streets unsupervised. We had a curfew and for the most part stuck to it. Everyone in the neighborhood was a latchkey kid. That entire era brings back great memories and we never had any major problems. Abductions were unheard of to us and our naivety made the idea seem impossible.

Fast forward 25 years and I won’t allow my own children to do what I was doing at the same age. It’s not that I’m overprotective, it’s just that we live in a totally different society. On one hand, it protects my children from “the white van”, but at the same time it pushes them towards cell phones and computers for interaction. For the most part, when I was growing up, someone had to be extremely brazen to abduct somebody in broad daylight. Now a days, these same degenerates can mask who they are and groom their victims online over time. They can create a false sense of security over weeks or months to make their victims feel comfortable.

This article isn’t meant to provide a solution to the problem or to instruct parents how to raise their children. It’s also not an attempt to bash social media as social media has assisted in the awareness and search for missing children by leaps and bounds. The bottom line is, we live in a different era and the same technology that can help us can also hurt us.