The Internet - a vast and plentiful land of entertainment, commerce, resources, knowledge, truth, lies, and maybe even danger. With children, would it be wise to allow them to traverse the countryside of your home state without an adult that would guide them away from physical harm? What mental harm could be done to impressionable children via exposure to sources of "entertainment," adult entertainment, language, unsubstantiated conspiracies, and other theories floating around the web, possibly equal to or worse than physical harm found in the wild?
IDX.com says, "This generation is a digital one: a recent Nielsen study shows that over 75% of kids are on a mobile plan by the time they’re 12 years old, and most of those plans include text messaging and data. Another study found that kids under 9 are already spending more than 2 hours a day on screens. All that Internet exposure, much of it without adult supervision, leaves many parents and guardians wondering how to protect their increasingly tech-savvy kids. It’s a big risk and a big challenge"
An Article by Kids Health discusses the internet as a great resource, but in many cases, "hazardous to kids!" Find the full article in my references below.
It is up to each and every parent/guardian to determine what is acceptable for their children to view on the internet browser, Netflix, Youtube, etc. here are a few things that have recently brought some concern to parents around the globe. Disney Plus recently released a Short Cartoon about 2 homosexual men who are living together and one of the young men is struggling with coming out to his parents about his gay relationship. However, he conquers his fear by the end of the cartoon, and his parents are not surprised, neither are they disappointed in him. This is a positive story on the one hand that allows us to see the pain and difficulty that the homosexual community may struggle with on a day-to-day basis.
While this exact approach to the message of sexual diversity has been acceptable in the past as a commercial, short, or show/movie on an adult TV Program or TV App such as ABC, MTV, CW, SYFY, TNT, A&E, etc., there has been an uproar of feedback to Disney about exposing young children to the ideas of alternative sexual lifestyles before they ever learn in grade school of sexuality in its primary purpose of procreation. Not giving education systems, or parents for that matter, a chance to educate their children about relationship, the purpose of relationship, the primary purpose of sex, etc. Also, not allowing the Islamic, Christian, or further Eastern-based religious families to have a preference of how to teach their children. This is a non-biased approach to religion, belief, freedom of speech, and parental rights. All the things that American culture stands for.
Tim Winter writes for USA Today, and says that Netflix has turned its back on families. He specifically mentions the recent controversy with the show entitled "Cuties," among other controversial shows, including one Netflix show entitled "Desire" which depicts some very disturbing sexual content involving children. Winter says that this wouldn't be as much of a problem if parents could keep kids on the 'Kids' profile, but such security settings are not available on Netflix to keep children from navigating out of the 'Kids' profile. You can read more at this link: NETFLIX (Not Safe For The Whole Family)
We all agree that parents should be able to monitor what their children watch or experience through the medium of the internet and that our kids learn too much from the entertainment sources that internet apps and TV programs have to offer. But we may not all agree as to whether any of the blame is laid on the networks or apps.
Regardless, it is ultimately our responsibility as parents to monitor and protect our children. Let us guard the hearts and minds of young children. Monitoring what kids watch and experience on the internet can help determine what they do with their future - the future of this world is in their hands.
Thank you for reading!