SPRING HILL, FL – When television was introduced in the 1950s, our culture changed significantly. Most Americans could not foresee how much the culture would change especially on the morals of our youngsters. TV was a social change agent without boundaries or limits. Children were influenced by popular television programs to alter their appearance, mannerisms, and values. The changes in the culture have come fast and furiously.
Yet the power of TV was like a slow burning flame is to a powerful exploitation of the Internet powerful explosion. The Internet with its companion social media is far more devastating and dangerous to children. There are practically no violent or sexual subjects a child cannot explore to whatever depth they choose with no supervision.
Currently, there are few neighborhoods where parents feel comfortable letting their children play outside. In many communities there are few same age children nearby to interact with even if the parents were courageous enough to let them go outdoors. Too many are stuck inside their homes.
American parents feel guilty that their child has no real friends. They believe it is their responsibility to provide their child with the opportunity to be around peers. Their parents chauffeur youngsters to one activity after another. As the child’s interest fades in the newest activity, they move on to another interest, which results in losing recent acquaintances and temporarily making others.
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In the preteen through early teenage years children have turned towards social media to make contacts. Due to the lack of friends in the neighborhood friendships made at school are often difficult to carry on after school. Our modern children have solved this issue through social media. Youngsters are involved not only with school but also virtual relationships.
The parents are delighted with this set up. Children are home safely in their rooms on their phones. Modern parents are aware that with their knowledge of social media they think they can easily monitor their child’s activity. Parents believe they can control the time their child is allowed to play video games on their phones. Most parents feel cyberspace is safer for their child than being outside the house in the community. Parents are being naïve. They should think long and hard about the potential perils of virtual reality.
Incredible advances in technology are making it difficult to keep up with the rapidly evolving electronics scene. The ever-increasing social media, apps and video games are expanding opportunities for youngsters to become involved with “sexting” inappropriate photos and false profiles on the Internet.
Knowing what your child is doing on electronic devices has become an almost impossible proposition. Presently Apple and Google Play have millions of apps available to them.
There are some physical dangers in the cyberspace world. Perverted individuals can lurk on social media and appear to be an appealing person who wants to meet the vulnerable youngsters. These online relationships with adult deviants can become dangerously exploitive and detrimental to the child’s future.
Video gaming may keep youngsters off the streets but there is a potential price to pay. These games have reached a level of psychological sophistication that the American Psychological Association is including video game addition in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual V. There are addiction centers established in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and many other countries to assist youngsters to deal with their addictive gaming. This issue is becoming more pronounced throughout the world even in third world nations where children are joining the addicted crowd.
The most common and potentially most damaging consequence of living a virtual life is to the minds of these children. Parents cannot protect or guide their children when they have no idea what they are doing or thinking in the world of virtual reality. The social media readily alters their desires and moral values with influencers and gaming. Not only are these immoral humans advocating for evil temptations by unknown perverts but can ruin the lives of these naïve youngsters. These low lives can corrupt the souls of the innocent victims.
Television babysitting impacted the values and expectations of youngsters years ago who passively watched advertisements and programs. Active interacting with others in the social media or playing video games has a far more immediate impact on their thinking, behavior and spirituality.
Parents, beware these modern electronics are far more dangerous to the soul of the child than getting into a verbal or physical fight with another child. Significantly limiting the access on electronics may be the only way to insure children’s minds remain open to parental direction and are attuned to the real world not pathetically floating in the dangerous virtual world.