This week I’ve learnt a lot about the internet.
I mean, I’m not stupid, I know there is a lot of terrible stuff on there and I know that perverts, paedophiles, sadist…let’s not go on, you get the idea, are all on there looking for their next victim.
Worse than me learning a lot about the internet is lovely ten year old Munki learning about it. She lives here with us and has for the last four years but in my head she is still a four year old innocent. That’s probably why I found this so shocking.
Having been so thrilled about getting her own phone as recently as Christmas. It has now been taken away from her. The reason being that she has spent 90% of her time since getting it sitting alone in a corner chatting to people she doesn’t know and forming relationships with them.
Luckily for her, her mum checks her phone regularly to make sure that nothing untoward has been going on. Luckily for her, her mum checked her phone the other day and found a conversation on there that was way beyond Munki’s years and very worrying.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t a paedophile grooming her but it was highly inappropriate and shocking to read. It’s not my business to share on here and I’m only mentioning it as a way of flagging up other things.
Lots of conversations followed in the wake of the phone discovery. One of the things that came to light was an internet character called Momo. You are probably much more savvy than I am and not shocked by this but I have been sideswiped by it.
For those who don’t know. Momo is an internet character that frequents children’s chat rooms, instagram etc. It develops from a small egg and is a cute endearing little character. It pops up in the middle of children’s programmes like Peppa Pig. It threatens to creep into the child’s bedroom and kill it. It sets challenges for children. Small things like, ‘Hide your mum’s glasses. Don’t tell anyone, it’s our secret.’ As time goes on Momo, and the challenges get bigger and more serious. Always the message that accompanies the challenge is, “You can’t tell anyone. I’ll come and get you if you do.”
Kids are being sucked into this and are so scared of Momo and the threats that they are suffering nightmares and stress. Such is Momo’s power over these kids that eventually they get told, “You have to go and kill yourself now.” And kids have been so scared that they have been doing it.
Just typing this gives me chills. The more I think about it the more upset I get.
The message that has got to get out there as a matter of extreme urgency is to keep your kids close. Know what they are looking at. Make no bones about looking at and checking their phones and everything they look at. Limit their time on the internet but mostly; love your kids. Let them be kids. No child should be subjected to such emotional distress that they kill themselves.