YouTube is too messed up for young children

By Kaitlyn Smith, A&E Editor

While scrolling through my Facebook feed during the last couple weeks, I have continually been startled by the creepiest picture of a distorted woman’s face with enlarged eyes, stringy black hairy and a beak-like smile. Along with this creepy character, Momo, is usually a long post by some concerned parent sharing the horror stories their children have endure because of this creature.

Multiple sources have said that the Momo challenge is a hoax. I’m calling BS on that. I don’t know what or why they are classifying this as a hoax because obviously it is affecting people. Even if it causes one child to partake in inappropriate behaviors, I would call it a major problem. Most of these kids don’t realize what is happening when watching these videos. They don’t have proper judgement to choose to turn their devices off. Instead they sit afraid of the thing talking back at them.

When I picked my nephew up from preschool earlier this week, he told me about someone named Jeffy. Jeffy is a puppet with a pencil up his nose and an annoying voice. It’s a puppet so parents and babysitters might not think twice about it, as the videos typically start off harmless. The further you listen to the video, vulgar language is introduced and explanations are given on how to self harm and perform sexual acts. THIS IS DIRECTED AT CHILDREN, PEOPLE.

Last week he told me that he has seen Momo while watching shows with his friend. His favorite song is “All My Friends are Dead” and he constantly asks me to play a song that has lyrics referring to someone killing a girl. When I babysit him, I catch him watching scary clips like “Real Life Happy Death Day” or haunted house walkthroughs.  

When I catch him watching these scary videos, he tells me he watches them so he won’t be scared of them. He wants to be brave. Wanting to be brave is a good thing, but no 5-year-old child can reasonably watch these things without being scared. I hear all the time about the bad dreams he has because of what he ends up watching.

There are more videos with children’s favorite cartoon characters performing skits that are inappropriate enough to make a nun blush. Language is not censored. Pedophiles run children channels. Kids are being told how to harm themselves.

Wake up parents, before it’s too late. The reason kids are being exposed to these things is because parents aren’t doing a good job monitoring them. I get it, life is hard, kids are difficult and it is so much easier to shove videos in their face than trying to entertain them for hours on end. Guess what? That’s what you signed up for when you decided to become a parent. We need to uncover the old ways of parenting and learn how to deal with our children without shoving a phone in their face.