An average scroll through Facebook will lead the user to a wide variety of videos, posts, pictures, articles, and more. As I was scrolling through, I came across a video that caught my attention. The video was labeled, “Child Abduction Social Experiment” and was posted by the internet star: Joey Salads (it will be linked below for reference). Joey conducted an experiment where he asked mothers in the park if he could approach their child with a puppy and see how the child handles the situation. Will they leave with him and the puppy? Will they ignore him? Of course, after getting the mothers’ consent, the moms reassured Joey that their child would ignore him as they have been taught to avoid “stranger danger”. As I watched this social experiment video, I made a connection to the “keyword” essay on “Innocence” by Marah Gubar and related it to The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
Innocence, as framed by Gubar, involves “adults’ efforts to ‘protect’ [a] child’s purity” (Gubar, 124) but also questions whether the “shielding of children from the cares and rigors of adult life” (125) is beneficial or harmful to their well-being. We can see this shielding in The Bluest Eye when Frieda and Claudia’s mother “restricted [them] to the homes of people she knew or the neighborhood’s familiar to her” (Morrison, 188) as they went around selling seeds. This notion of needing to protect children has long been instilled and utilized throughout history. This is clear not only in the literature assigned to our class but to reality and is displayed in the social experiment video I stumbled across. We try to shelter children from the dangers and harsh realities of the world, but this may be doing more harm than good. Children, although taught to fear and stay away from certain dangers, are unable to recognize such dangers in reality. Frieda and Claudia’s mom thought she was making the right choice by limiting her daughters’ environment and the mothers in the video assumed their protective teachings were enough to teach the children right from wrong, but children will always remain in danger as the world is a dangerous place. “Innocence” of childhood can be preserved to a certain degree but the direct emergence of children into reality may be more beneficial to them than sheltering.
Child Abduction Social Experiment Video by Joey Salads – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGIDHrYKJ2s