Teens across the country are thinking twice before getting their driver’s license or first car. Instead, teens seem more interested in their smartphones. There are probably many, many reasons for this, among those is the ability to cyberhitchhike – to post on Facebook, Twitter, a rideshare blog or even Craigslist to find someone headed in the same direction willing to take a passenger along for the ride.
Ridesharing is not new. It used to be called carpooling. But, today’s teens are using technology to reach a wider audience. There are many positive stories about the ease of sharing a ride, especially among family and friends using social media, but teens should beware of what could go wrong if they accept a ride from a stranger.
It’s still not a good idea to get into a car with someone you don’t know. If you’re attempting to cyberhitchhike, you should take precautions. Close your social sharing networks to only those you know. Don’t tweet your current location and that you’re stranded there alone to a veritable world of strangers who use the same social media platform that you do.
If you’re using a rideshare service – there are blogs out there dedicated to connecting riders and drivers for the sake of sharing on gas and limiting the number of cars on the road – be smart about it. Meet your driver or passenger in advance and do some digging on social media or through Google to see what information you can learn about him or her before being stuck in a car alone with that person. Always let someone you trust know when you are leaving and when you arrive at your destination.
There is still safety in numbers, but when it comes to cyberhitchhiking, a reasonable fear of what could go wrong and trusting your instincts may go a long way to preventing a simple ride from making headline news.