These Uber TikToks are keeping women safe at night
There’s even a mum version
As it turns out, TikTok is not just a place for stealing dance trends, lipsyncing to viral clips or sharing alarmingly detailed and personal storytimes. It is now a valuable tool for women wanting to help keep themselves safe whilst using ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber.
Women’s safety in taxis has been a concern for a few years now. Alarm bells were raised in the mainstream for the first time in 2019 after Amanda Harris’ Uber driver asked her out on a date and charged her a fee despite her declining both his romantic offer and the lift itself. Uber drivers making unwanted advances towards women is unfortunately not uncommon.
This has led Gen-Z to come up with their own solution on their platform of choice – TikTok.
It’s not uncommon to call a friend when you get into an awkward situation to help calm your nerves, but they might not always be available when you need them. Instead, TikTokers have now made it possible to download a fake phone call, designed to be played out loud, which can help keep you out of danger. This is how it works:
How can this sound help?
@officialjamielynnSelf defense videos to come! #selfdefense #besafe #fyp #fypdoesntwork
A concerned passenger can mock-up important details about their journey using a pre-recorded fake conversation. These conversations usually ask important details such as where the person in trouble is be travelling to, who is meeting them when they get there, and the fact that someone is tracking their drive.
The latter is especially effective as it is possible to share your journey on Uber and allow a friend at home to trace you on your travels.
How can I use it?
@doctor.chrisThought I’d make my version of this🙏🏻 #uber #safety #pov #MyStyle #BachelorReady ib: @jakegoodmanmd
There’s some variation in the way these TikTok’s can be used, but if you save them to your phone so can see them even when you don’t have phone signal.
Either a creator will record themselves performing quite a one-sided phone call with small gaps for the passenger. Or, as others have done, they may leave an entire script for someone to recite. Usually, these scripts distinguish between the two lines of dialogue by writing the text in a different colour.
Some more detailed examples provide further reference to other iPhone apps, such as FindMyFriends or have gone to the extra effort of adding an end dial tone at the end.
Many people in the UK became increasingly concerned with the believability of this trend when it initially became dominated by American teenagers, the odds of them having an American friend may seem slim.
These issues have since been tackled, and versions of phone and FaceTime calls with British accents have been created. There is also a mum-version (although with an American accent) for younger passengers or those looking for a different escape option.