I had no intention of writing this blog, probably because my opinion would upset a few. Like many, I have seen numerous references over the past couple of days about Momo. I also noticed comments about warnings from the Guardia Civil and as I follow them on Twitter I curiously wondered why those specific tweets hadn’t dropped into my reader, so yesterday I checked their official Twitter account. The only reference Guardia made to Momo was back on 19th July 2018.
I am guessing that the panic started because of the totally reliable source … you know the one that says Teide will erupt any moment and Tenerife earthquake leaves tourists terrified THE SUN. This time the British paper is warning about an internet ‘suicide game’ and how children as young as eight years of aged are being encouraged to self-harm. Now if I have translated the Guardia tweet correctly it is a warning but no reference is made to very young children or anyone being coerced into harming themselves.
Nevertheless, if this is true and because of the source, I wouldn’t like to speculate, but if true, I am left with a question WHAT ARE THE PARENTS DOING?
In my youth, parents would never have dreamt of asking social media (if such a thing had existed) or anyone else for that matter, to monitor that our children were safe. They were, after all, our children and their safety was our responsibility. It was for us to know who they were with, where they were going and what they were doing. But it seems that many modern parents expect others to impose boundaries, rules and limits rather than take responsibility themselves.
It’s in kids’ nature to test their limits and I appreciate parenting in the digital age may be difficult but it isn’t impossible, parents should set boundaries around technology in the same way they set them for regular bedtime, a healthy diet and other routines to keep children healthy.
Any responsible parent must know unlimited and unsupervised access to smartphones and social media can present some very serious risks. Personally, I wonder why little ones need a smartphone, after all, they are kids and social media is not designed for under-13s. It is often against the terms and conditions for children to be using these platforms.
If you check YouTube and Snapchat, they bar children under the age of 13 from using their services because of COPPA. Facebook requires everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account and WhatsApp’s (where this Momo is said to be appearing) users must be a minimum age of 16 years old if you live in the EU. Therefore, hoax or not, if an 8-year-old has access to such sites this can only mean the parent has abdicated responsibility.
As I said at the start, I wasn’t going to give my opinion, but I did and I don’t expect many to agree, but as the saying goes opinions are like noses we all have one and my view is responsible parents must be RESPONSIBLE!