By: Becky Roach, Guest Contributor
You’ve probably heard about the “MOMO Challenge” that has recently resurfaced in the news and all over social media. Some claim that the challenge is merely a hoax, but other families report incidences of a creepy character, “MOMO”, suddenly appearing in children’s YouTube videos and on other popular social media sites. MOMO challenges the children to play a game that involves self-harm and encourages suicide.
It really doesn’t matter much if this is a hoax or not, because either way, the Internet can be an extremely dangerous place for your family. If it’s not MOMO that your child sees, it could be something equally as harmful. Statistics show that children as young as eight are being exposed to online pornography. Child predators leave grotesque comments on YouTube videos and lurk in popular games, waiting for an opportunity to connect with children. What often appears innocent is far from it when it comes to the entertainment and games geared towards our children. Child predators and the pornography industry are targeting our families.
Jim O’Day, Executive Director of Integrity Restored, says, “It is increasingly clear to me that the assaults upon our children’s innocence are increasing and we parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, educators and coaches are the only ones standing in the gap. We cannot expect, as I’m sure many people do, that these online companies are protecting our kids, from seeing, hearing or being confronted with things they are not supposed to be.”
What can be done?
Lent is the perfect season to set aside some time to evaluate how your family uses the Internet and what safety precautions you need to have in place in your home. In a recent blog post, Jim offers six suggestions on what needs to be done to protect your family from internet dangers. You can find these practical tips here on the Integrity Restored website.