I recently watched a movie on YouTube called Childhood 2.0.
A lot of the information shared was a reminder, but some of it was new and eye opening to me. ALL of it was very important. I have been recommending this free resource left and right since I saw it. Honestly, I feel like every parent needs to watch this!
I know it looks like it’s a fear mongering documentary, but it’s really about awareness and how to be on guard. I can’t shield my kids from everything, but I can be proactive about some of the imminent dangers that they face as kids and teens that I never did. Also, some of it helped me to see where I am struggling myself with addiction and insecurities that are social media based.
The video is an hour and a half long and I know how hard it is to carve out time for something like this, but to me it’s worth it. So much so that I watched it again and took notes. Side note, there are some “icky” images that they put in there to show how bad things are. Some of them are blurred, some aren’t. I could do without seeing that stuff personally, but it’s no different than what you would find on billboards or magazine covers.
My biggest takeaway is that most parents of teens grew up in the 70s or 80s (like myself) and it was a different era. We lived in a world where we spent most of our childhood playing outside. We learned about stranger danger and physical threats. Many parents are now using devices to keep our kids safe from those physical threats by location tracking or having 24/7 connection to them, but statistically speaking our world is much safer outside than it ever has been. Those physical dangers in most neighborhoods are much less likely to happen than the dangers that are happening online. As is stated in the film “We have traded a false sense of safety and security for actually putting our kids in riskier situations”.
The movie talks about cyber bullying, suicide, pornography, depression, anxiety, addiction and more. One eye opening analogy that was shared was about pornography online. 27% of all video content on the unfiltered internet is pornographic. Imagine a coffee table that had four magazines on it and one of them was pornographic and three of them weren’t. Now imagine a parent had this in their home and just hoped that the kids didn’t look at the wrong one. That is what the unfiltered internet is today, only it’s in their pockets and it’s far worse than anything the former generations were ever exposed to.
Again, this isn’t about fear or helplessness and I am not anti-technology or screens. My husband is a computer programmer who works on apps for a living. I am a blogger/influencer and it’s been my passion and side hustle for 14 years. My oldest son is a programmer in VEX robotics and competes in Esports which are video games!
We are the quintessential tech family, but I’m in the trenches trying to send out a signal flair to other families and younger generations. The hazards of kids and the internet are real but there is hope! There were several different experts that shared in this documentary. One of them was Patti Agatston, PhD, LPC who said “The best [content] filter that your child will develop is in between their ears. So having an adult that they can go to that they trust is critical.”
Also Detective Richard Wistocki who works specifically with cyber crimes said,
“There is no bigger God’s gift than a mother’s intuition. When a mom knows something, feels something- there’s something wrong with their kids. God has given this gift to moms to protect their children.”
I smiled at the end of the movie when it was noted that we have so many more resources than we did even five years ago! Many of the logos that popped up where resources I am very familiar with and can personally vouch for.
I’ll end with a quote that is alarming but hopefully a wake up call. It comes from Joel Stoddard, MD MAS Pediatric Mental Health expert, he says