Are you parenting your children or is the internet doing it for you?
It’s no surprise that in this day and age with the internet being so wildly available that parents hand their children things like iPads and cellphones to get a quick 20 minutes of peace, but that 20 minutes could cost some children their lives.
Many parents hand over their phone to children so they can watch videos on Youtube and other streaming networks, but with hoaxes claiming ads are promoting children to self harm and children’s content creators going to jail for pedophilia related charges, parents and sites like YouTube need to change.
Hoax known as the Momo Challenge has taken the internet by storm as many parents have been posting the distorted human-like figure on the internet with a warning.
It claimed that a creature pops up in the middle of a normal children’s Youtube video and encourages children to go on WhatsApp and message her to do things like turn on the gas stove in the middle of the night while the parents are asleep or stick a screwdriver in a plug socket and if the task is not completed Momo promises the child that she will kill them.
Now Momo may be fake but popular apps such as Youtube, WhatsApp and Tik Tok have been known to have controversy with exposing children to internet harm.
Parents should be able to trust that their children are safe when scrolling through the Youtube Kids app but websites have arguably not done enough to ensure children’s safety when streaming videos.
Tik Tok, once known as Musical.ly, has been under a lot of heat for collecting and selling children’s information through the app.
Tik Tok broke Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which prohibits websites from obtaining any information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
COPPA protects children from some the dangers of internet but parents should be more proactive in monitoring what their children are watching and platforms like YouTube and Tik Tok need to take a more hands on approach when creating places for children to be on online spaces.
Parents often times find themselves tired and unable to fully give their children the attention that they may need so sometimes the easy fix is handing them a device with internet connection.
However, the easy way isn’t always the best way. Parents should be more involved in what their children are watching and doing on electronic devices.
Momo is an prime example of why parents should be paying close attention and if that attention can’t be given; turning to streaming websites like Netflix and Hulu which have children friendly options that are very strict on its content would be a great option.
Being a parent isn’t easy but ensuring children’s safety both physically and mentally is extremely important.
Limiting children’s internet and T.V. time can benefit them in the long run and make a difference in both their motor and social skills.
Let’s all be the parents that we show our Instagram and Facebook friends that we are pay attention to our kids.