A single mom, doing all she can to provide for, educate, & protect her little ones, has a six-year-old son with his own cell phone. Not her decision. Not her preference. But so goes life at this stage for many split family households. At least the parents agree to put strict parental controls on the phone. No browsing the internet. No downloading unauthorized apps. Time restrictions. No giving out phone numbers to anyone mom or dad doesn’t approve. At this point, one may feel they deserve a good pat on the back. Perhaps a, “Great job protecting your kid!” Or possibly even a, “Way to go being a responsible parent! You earn five gold stars!” Heh. Wouldn’t that be nice? The sad truth is anyone who’s mildly tech savvy will tell you that none of those are a guarantee of safety.
Any feelings of safety came crashing down the night this mom stumbled upon this text message on her sweet, innocent six-year-old’s phone:
Iam Nikky (23) live in your street. Looking for a sex partner in the neighborhood. Therefor I’ve a picture on here::>[xxxxxxxxxxxxxx](no need cost) you also got my contact number there if you wanna give me a call. I guess if you’re attracted to me. I will be talking to you soon.............”
This. I wish I could say this story was the rare exception, or even as bad as it gets. Unfortunately, as we become a more technologically advanced society this kind of thing is becoming more the norm rather than the exception. And this instance is on the mild side. There are countless stories like these & worse that flood chat rooms, facebook pages, churches, & organizations like A Circle of Joy each & every day. Parents, grandparents, young adults, & even youth crying out for help, for some kind of solution as they grieve the loss of innocence taking place in their lives or in the lives of the ones they love.
No doubt, technology is moving things at an alarming rate. What used to take some effort to obtain is now literally at even your preschooler’s fingertips...one tap away from being exposed to x-rated content that would make our great grandparents turn over in their grave. Content that could stay with these precious children for a lifetime, even grow into an addiction or lead to illegal behaviors.
So HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN from this madness? What recourse do we, as the responsible guardians, have in this battle we might feel we are already losing?
Take heart, dear friends. You’re not alone. We’re in this together.
For the next 5 weeks we will be opening up our social media floor, so to speak, for an open discussion as we post questions related to each of these topics:
3) Be a Safe Place
4) Prepare for Independence
5) Recognize the World They Are Inheriting
If you were paying attention to the news, recently, you may have stumbled across the SnapChat fiasco (a picture app used by kids everywhere), where a “Cosmo After Dark Discovery Channel” was recently added to the app on May 18th. “Cosmo After Dark” described itself as “an X-rated weekly edition that goes live every Friday at 6 p.m. and is exclusively dedicated to all things hot and h*rny.”
This addition gave unguarded access to pornographic material to any curious soul, & there was no way for parents to turn off the feature.
ProtectYoungEyes.com was among the first to bring this to public attention. Then a rare, and dare I say even historic, event happened. As this news story became viral with thousands of social media shares, an UPROAR began to surface from adults everywhere! And just like that, it was confirmed on May 24th, mere days after this addition to SnapChat launched, Snap, Inc issued a statement notifying the public that they have discontinued that feature on their app!
If there was ever a time to get in the know & get involved to protect our children from internet dangers, the time is NOW! We need not sit back & accept the cards of society as they fall onto unsuspecting future generations. There IS something we can do!
Please join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to get in on the conversation!
Looking forward to hearing from you,