A Calgary content creator said his latest video is aimed at bringing some troubling social behaviour to light.
The video was shot last month in downtown Calgary and shows a young boy alone on Stephen Avenue.
“People are not aware of their surroundings,” said First TV Official‘s Alex Gheorghe. “I wanted to raise awareness and raise a flag.”
Gheorghe said that in the hour-and-a-half he and his videographer Tom Limqueco were recording, a total of three people offered to help the boy find his parents.
“At first he waited there for 30 minutes and nobody approached him.”
Gheorghe said he initially had the boy standing alone, waiting for people to ask if he was okay, but when no one approached the boy, they had to come up with another strategy.
“I was very surprised to be honest. I was very surprised and I felt sad,” he said.
After an hour, Gheorghe said the boy began stopping people in the street and telling them he was lost.
One man can be heard telling the boy to just “stay where you’re at.” In the video, the man is about to walk away when he turns around and asks the boy if he wants him to call someone.
“When I watched that social experiment, I wished I could be there to help that child,” Amanda Pick, the CEO of Missing Children Society of Canada, said.
“I want it to empower people to get involved and keep kids safe.”
Last month, the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) unveiled a new web app that sends alerts to people who could help police locate a missing child.
“In our organization, we know that the community plays a critical role,” Pick said.
The importance of public awareness is also being underlined by the Calgary Police Service.
“The safety of a child is everybody’s responsibility,” Const. Scott Hoard said. “Even if it’s something simple like walking a child into a store or flagging down a police officer.”
Hoard also points out that the more information children have, the better.
“Help your children identify who a safe adult is,” Hoard said. “And make sure your child knows what their first and last name is and how to spell it. If they have a phone number, that’s even better.”
Meanwhile, Gheorghe said he plans on organizing more social experiments in the near future.
“I want to give people another perspective of what is going on around us.”