Instead of candies or toys, most parents these days use digital devices as instant calmer. I know it’s incredible that kids under 5 in this generation are so spontaneous that they can use a smartphone and navigate through the applications installed without any assistance needed. Some of you may certainly claim that it’s alright, restriction had been applied to the device and kids wouldn’t understand most of its content anyway.
I have observed that YouTube for instance had already become the new “baby sitter” to numerous working parents. It’s where kids can spend endless hours watching videos until they are off to dreamland.
Honestly, parents should be conscious that this application could easily give anyone an access to videos that are inappropriate to kids. There are thousands of violent clips uploaded, mostly with themes that require parental guidance. This is the moment when you should be thinking again. Are you sure that your device (let alone the applications installed) is impervious to your children’s incompetence and is it a safe place for them to explore?
While I was browsing huffingtonpost.com, a headline read “a user named Marco Acevedo started a petition on Change.org asking Google to recall the YouTube Kids app because it allows access to content that’s unsuitable for children under 5.” Moreover, a certain coalition of consumer advocates recently filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission claiming that Google has “deceptive and unfair ads” in its YouTube Kids application which was advertised as a “child-friendly app” that parents can absolutely feel at ease leaving their kids alone to navigate through. Now I know why YouTube Kids is nowhere to be found in the app store.
But there’s always the regular YouTube and it was hailed as one of the most important apps today; I am also an avid user. It’s the most convenient cross-media-platform for entertainment. Although you can find lots of educational clips in it, a parent must fully understand that when a kid clicks on a recommended video, it will only allow the application to suggest more videos to visit until it opens a gateway to problematic videos. This is where the tension lies.
I may have subscribed to Disney clips and Peppa Pig Episodes but I am still anxious that someone out there have just uploaded a clip of robbery or terrorist attack to let the world know or just plainly make it viral.
Fool proofing may mean taxing and double-effort but every parent should responsibly guide their kids well. The current commercial culture has an immense impact to our lives and it can definitely influence our kids at a very young age.