Today I’m here to talk about filters. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are full of them, and whilst I love them like the next person, they are beyond damaging. My qualm is not for us adults, we’re old enough and switched on enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality. My fears purely lie with the younger generation.
Children these days are getting older younger. Whilst we try to shelter them from the things they shouldn’t be seeing or having, we can’t do it forever. I am the parent that didn’t want my daughter having all of the technology. Since she went to school it’s just become totally unavoidable. The world is changing and I’m aware that makes me sound like an old woman but it is. Everything in school these days is online, and for her not to have that at home, it would be restrictive to her education. So she has her own laptop, she watches YouTube, (although not with this MoMo bullshit at the moment) and she has RoBlox. All of them are monitored and have parental controls. I check everything, and I mean everything. I read her messages from her friends and I check every friend request. Some may think that is an invasion of privacy but in my eyes, I’m being safe and protecting her.
She’s just turned 10 and she uses my phone and Snapchats on my account. She looks at Instagram and sees the comments under posts and YouTube videos. We have a very close and open mother and daughter relationship and she knows she can talk to me about anything. A couple of months ago she came to me with a question. “Mum, why do people comment such nasty stuff under peoples YouTube videos?” I asked her what she had seen and she explained…someone had commented telling the person in the video to kill themselves. Wow! Like any decent parent, I sat her down and spoke to her about the horrible people in this world. The people that choose to destroy a persons self-esteem, bullying them to the point where they believe they’re unworthy. I showed her the block buttons and told her she could always come to me and tell me if she is being threatened or bullied or trolled.
A few days later another question cropped up. “Mum why cant i be prettier? Why cant my face be thinner like it is with a filter?” Again…wow! Obviously I sat her down again and we had a talk. I am certain I’ve got through to her as now she will ask to take pictures with me with no filters. Her being thinner has not come into question since. My worry is that, whilst these filters make us all look and feel better, they are posing a real threat amongst our young children. A 10 year old, 9 year old at the time, asking her Mum why her face cant be thinner is not acceptable. Its naive of us to think that we can shelter our kids from this stuff, that’s a lesson I myself have been learning. But how do we address this? How do we deal with our children not feeling good enough? How do we make our children confident in themselves to know that, the way they are is perfect?
In schools we are teaching kids about online safety and whilst it is not enough, (we still have kids sadly hurting themselves because of cyber bullying,) I think there needs to be something in schools that promote a healthy body image. I’m unsure if they have this in secondary schools, but it needs to be addressed in primary also. Children need to be educated more on this, otherwise in 10/20 years time we’re going to have a huge problem on our hands. I cant imagine it being worse than how it is now. Its a worry! Do you agree? Comment and lets discuss.
Kimmi’s Qualms Xx