Can the Internet Hurt Your Child?

The answer is yes. I want to talk about kids. This is a first for me and will probably be a rarity. See, I don't have kids but I was very bothered and sick to my stomach by this article. So much that I have already decided my unborn kids will not have smartphones and social media until they are about 16 or so. The article is by an amazing mom who wrote about her experience on a social media app. Her child had begged her to sign on to it, but mom wanted to try it out to be sure it was safe. And my God, thank goodness she did. That app is HELL. Preteens dealing with body issues; older men sending naked photos to little boys and girls; little girls posting nude photos of themselves; little boys using sexually graphic and violent names; little boys and girls talking about suicide and violence; and these are not the worst of it. Just read that article for a better description. I'm so glad that mom said no to her little girl. In fact, the woman also wrote another article one year after showing that it is possible for your child to not have a smartphone and still SURVIVE. Yes. Now if you go ahead and listen to this cop whose job it is to protect your kids from the internet, you might altogether give up having kids because this world and the internet is crazy.

Think about it, what is a ten year old doing with an iPhone? I'm a fully formed adult with fully formed frontal cortex in my brain and even I find social media to be too much and overwhelming sometimes ALL THE TIME. So imagine a child on social media. A lot of parents are convinced they KNOW their kids, but they don't. A lot of parents are also to concerned with being "besties" with their kids. This is hard, because examine your life: how many of your best girlfriends can you say no to? The answer is, not many. Yet, children need to hear NO. Their brains are not even fully formed yet.

"Tweens and teens have an underdeveloped frontal cortex. They’re impulsive and self-centered. They make terrible decisions and they can be meaner than a bull shark. Also, their conflict-management skills are lousy. Sixth graders have yet to master the skill of fully rinsing conditioner from their hair, and we’re giving them the power of unfettered public expression?"
- Anastasia Basil

I, myself did not have a phone till I was 15 or so, and there was no social media in my time. I mean, there was Hi5 but I think it was mostly for losers or something haha. Anyway I begged my mother for a phone: BEGGED, appealed to her ancestors, I even went for those extra lessons she organized for me. A little background on those lessons: some kids rebelled by smoking or partying, my form of rebellion was never attending after-class lessons my parents organized for me. I'm laughing while typing this because it's a touchy subject for my mom. I mean, they paid so much for those lessons and I really had no reason not to go except again, teenagers can be sociopaths. They don't think. So no, I would chat away instead of proceeding to my lessons. This time around though, I even went to lessons/classes I hated to appease my mother. I thought, perhaps, I would get a phone. Noooppe. I resorted to anger and silent treatment because ALL my friends already had phones and were therefore cool kids so I needed one. Nope. I did everything short of offer myself as a living sacrifice so I could have a phone. The answer was No. Now, my parents, bless their souls, were a very unified front with us. If mommy said no, it meant daddy was saying no too and vice versa. So no, I never got a phone until towards the end of secondary school (high school) or maybe after secondary school graduation? And you know what, I did not die. I was fine. So if your child does not have a smartphone or access to Instagram, they will be okay. More than okay; probably great.

"Kids don’t belong to parents. Their childhood is on loan to us. It’s our job to raise the kid part the best we can, and then they’re supposed to take it from there." - Anastasia Basil.

Hey, do what you want with your kids of course, but please try to monitor them. Ultimately, there is only so much you can control but there are still some measures that can be taken to protect them. Again, take this with a grain of salt because I do NOT have kids and know nothing about raising them. And if there is one thing the internet has taught me, it's that y'all really despise hearing advice about raising your kids generally. But this disgust is multiplied by 100 when the advice is from a childless person. So ahem, don't be too angry.



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