Social Media and Suicide
Are your kids constantly checking their phones?
More and more studies are being released linking teenage suicide and social media. As a parent, you need to be concerned! Internet access is widely available in almost every major city in the Western world and with the introduction of 4g and 5g hot on its tail, emerging markets are also being impacted. Internet access and availability are no longer considered a privilege, it is more and more being described as a right.
The Internet is available at schools, restaurants, homes, even on air planes. Smartphones are no longer a status of wealth, thanks to manufacturers in China, they are becoming affordable to almost everyone. Additionally, as the middle classes constantly upgrade to the latest model, second and third-hand smartphones are available to the poor, data prices are constantly dropping and with data becoming more and more viewed as a human right, we can expect this trend to continue.
Consequently, it is becoming all but impossible to “unplug” and take a break. For children this has an even greater impact. Social media is now considered as normal as the playground once was to children. Gone are the days when parents could simply take Oprah’s advice and make sure the PC with Internet access was in the living room, preventing lurking paedophiles from luring their children into some nasty and deadly trap. Scary as that was, it effected far fewer children and caused far less lasting damage than that of social media these days.
Children have always sought the approval of their peers, this is not a new phenomenon. However, in days gone by, this pressure occurred mostly during school hours, on the playground or at recess. Once children reached home, they were safe from the cruel kids at school, cruelness at school was still a nasty thing, but for the most part not a deadly one. Being away from the cruelty of the playground once school was over, during weekends and during vacations gave parents a chance to identify self-esteem issues caused by schoolyard bullies, there was space, there was time, kids could heal.
The Internet has taken that away completely. The playground is now a virtual one and attendance is 24/7, 365 days a year. Children are judged and judge others by the approval of their peers on social media, bullies now have access to your kids all day and all night, and social media provides the perfect platform for bullies to form mobs and deal out their cruelty in very public and very permanent ways, we have added the term cyberbullying to our daily lexicons, it is that common.
This 24 hour, 365 days per year harassment is hard enough to deal with if you’re a fully developed adult. Children are simply unequipped developmentally to deal with it, they do not have the benefit of perspective and how their peers treat them, talk about them, taunt them online is having devastating effects on kids across the world.
Suicide and depression rates in pre-pubescent and teenaged children are at an all time high.
So who is responsible. In previous generations, responsibility could be laid primarily at the school administration and teachers. Bullying took place during school hours and mostly on school premises. Parents had some expectation that the adults in charge would be responsible and protect their kids from the bullies.
This is no longer viable. Governments across the globe are scrambling in an effort to produce regulation that protects children from harmful content on the Internet. However, as any reasonable adult knows, regulation is slow and often difficult to enforce. Leaving the development of our youth to the Government is about as reasonable as trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon, it will not save your kid. The responsibility lies with you, the parent. Abdicating this responsibility can have severe and lasting consequences.
Over and above this, regulation is unlikely to prevent kids from accessing social media, this is not a category that is likely to be considered “adult only”. Your kids development and well being is your responsibility, and it is daunting.
LucidView is well aware of this troubling situation, and as such has provided an easy and free way to protect your kids from the Internet. You can make it yourself, using our easy to follow step by step instructions, or you can ask whoever usually helps you with technical matters to build you what we call the LucidView Enforcer. Finally, you can insist that your ISP provide you with this easy to manage product that provides strict web content filtering, time-based rules ensuring cyberbullying is limited and reporting on where your family is spending most of its time when connected to the Internet.
Harmful Effects of unfettered Internet Access on our youth.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is having a huge impact on the adults our children are growing up to be. The future, if we leave web content filtering to Governments is not pretty. Kids are spending more and more time behind the screen, sometimes they are gaming, which may seem pretty harmless, but, make no mistake, it is highly addictive and it is being increasingly recognised as the cause of children being unable to develop real and lasting friendships. And yes, while we have seen a few children make a lot of money in recent years from gaming, the chances of our kids getting to that level is much like the chances your kid will become Tiger Woods if you stick him on a golf course for his entire childhood. It’s unrealistic.
Pornography Access and Addiction
Pornography makes up at least 30% of all Internet traffic. Research indicates that its wide availability has caused a level of desensitisation to pornography and that frequent viewers of pornographic material are increasingly looking for harder more violent pornography. There is still much debate about this, with various groups with varying agenda’s manipulating statistics to suit their argument.
What we can say is that we have been in the web content filtering arena for some 15 years and our web crawlers are pulling out hundreds of new pornographic websites every hour. Many of these show violence against women, many are simply too deviant to even describe in this article. Regardless, this content should not be available to developing minds, we can see no positive rationale for this.
What we can say, with some certainty is that addiction to pornography is more and more becoming a recognised addiction.
Porn addiction and the inability of young men across the world to be unable to form real relationships is a direct reaction to unmanaged, constant Internet access during developmental years. This problem has become so pervasive there is even a new word created to describe the condition – Coomer. The impact of the Coomer on young women needs no explanation.
Our children are being raised in a new culture and if we don’t take control during their developmental years, we are doing them a huge disservice and creating catastrophic futures for this Gen Z and the next one to follow.
LucidView has provided a solution that you can either build yourself or insist your IT service provider build for you.
If you are at all technically minded, this is equally a potential business opportunity. LucidView provides the configurations and instructions on how to apply them in easy to understand install guides and videos, you simply need to purchase a MikroTik Router running RouterOS and follow these instructions and you will have created a powerful Web Content Filter and Internet Management tool.
MikroTik Routers are available globally and are inexpensive compared to their competitors. The LucidView solution is approved by MikroTik. The LucidView Professional Enforcer solution is a 100% white-label, backend product that can be branded on sold on as your own.