So here I am at my desk, minding my own business and having a scroll through my buzzfeed app, procrastinating like a good’un and what should I come across?
A BRITISH SCHOOL IS WARNING IT’S KIDS NOT TO EAT TIDE PODS
I’m sorry, come again? A school is having the tell it’s pupils not to eat laundry detergent… WHY?? Isn’t this something that we, as parents, fret about when our children are young and not aware of the dangers of eating laundry detergent, drinking bleach etc? Aren’t these fears that we leave behind once they are old enough to understand the basic principal of “Hey dude, don’t touch that. See the big scull and cross bones? Yeah, it could kill you, so be a poppet and never take it out of the cupboard because mummy is having a new kitchen put in without the locks mmm’k?”
Well apparently not, and what, I hear you shriek in horror from behind your screens, could convince a child of school age to shove the very thing in the scull and cross bones box in their mouth despite relentless warnings from us boring old folk? A meme.
Yup, it’s the tinterweb once again folks and I have to say that I’m beginning to understand why some parents try so hard to stop their children from embracing technology.
I’m a massive advocate for tech and embracing it – our society is becoming more and more tech centric and I think that depriving children of technology altogether when they are young for some out of date idea that it will harm them in some way is a bit silly. Don’t get me wrong, to each their own, but it’s one of the things that I really can’t wrap my head around and the fact that it is pushed on parents who DO embrace tech annoys the living daylights out of me… until I hear a story like this and then I really do question whether or not the content that is out there is something that younger children, or even teens, need to be seeing.
Take for example Logan Paul, a youtuber who came under fire at the start of the year for filming the body of a suicide victim in Japan in the “Suicide woods” and uploading it to YouTube. Not only was the content NOT removed by youtube but it had hundreds of thousands of views, thousands of likes and was shared, shared and shared again. This is someone whose online reach is at WAY into the millions and he builds his vlogs around the “bro” style with pranks, silly (often offensive) videos and just a general lack of consideration for anyone or anything but himself and his “bros”. Honestly, I struggle to type the word “bros” unless I put Warner before it.
This attitude, the stupidity of it and the blatant disregard for intelligent, thoughtful decisions not just for yourself but for those around you is the kind of content that is seen all the time. All. The. Time.
It’s scary when you think that young impressionable children and teens are growing up thinking that the “crazy challenge” lifestyle is the one to emulate, so much so that schools are having to issue warnings that really ought to be simple common sense. We’re losing our common sense, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to claw it back in a world where youtubers are the new godly beings and their sway over the young and impressionable isn’t being monitored or used well.
Don’t get me wrong, I am currently making a bit more a push into YouTube and I think I’m going to really enjoy it, but I have found that since doing that I have become more of a watcher of YouTube and it is scary! The crazier the star, the bigger the audience seems to be and unlike in the traditional media industries where ideas would have to pass through a load of people before they were approved, this is uploaded at the push of a button and ready for everyone to see. Personally, as parents, I feel like it’s our job to step back and say that whilst tech might be a part of the world now and we’re embracing it, we’re not going to allow it to be as shoddily monitored as it has been and we need to re-evaluate the way that we talk to our children about the online content that they enjoy.
And perhaps put the locks back on the cabinets.