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I’m forbidden to see a show with someone I met online

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a girl in my mid-teens who just won tickets to an idol concert. No one around me loves this group, though, so I want to go with someone I met on social media. But my parents are super against it.

“You can’t go with someone you met online,” they said. They said if I’m going to this concert, they’re coming, too.

I wasn’t allowed to go on social media when I was in junior high school, and I put up with that. But I feel like my parents have just completely shut me down here, and I’m frustrated.

I know it can be dangerous meeting someone you only know online. I know why my parents are against this, too — because they’re worried. It’s just that I really have to go to this concert.

The concert is getting closer and closer, and I still haven’t found anyone to go with, so I’m getting impatient here. My parents don’t get this, so I’m hoping to get some outside advice.

T, Ibaraki Prefecture

Dear Ms. T:

Social media is a useful tool for interacting and connecting with people, but it also enables strangers to contact each other. So it cannot be said that you will absolutely not come across danger as a result.

If I were your parent, I would reach the same conclusion. I wouldn’t say you can’t go to the concert — instead, I would suggest we leave together and I would wait at a nearby cafe until the concert was over. Or I would buy a ticket — no matter the cost — to go to the venue together.

This is because, first and foremost, you are still a minor who relies on your parents for everything. On top of that, you are still new to social media, and your judgment is clouded by your excitement to go to this concert, making your parents even more cautious.

This person you want to go with, do you know who they really are? Do you know their name, sex or age for absolutely certain? Can you say for certain that a bad person would never try to pose as a fan to con you? If something were to happen to you, your parents would never forgive themselves. I think your idol entertainer would also be saddened.

I know it’s depressing, but there aren’t many parents out there willing to go to a concert with their kids for their sake. Why not put up with going with them, seeing it as the price for your good luck that helped you win the ticket?

When I was your age, my parents opposed my going to a concert for a foreign band, and so I didn’t go. I cried for a whole week. If even I, who experienced something like that, think you shouldn’t go with someone from social media, then please know this is serious.

You wanted me to help you out, but you’re probably wishing you hadn’t asked now.

Hazuki Saisho, writer

(from March 9, 2018, issue)Speech

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