I’ve always been amazed at how tech savvy my girl is, She’s Three? I come from a generation that the smallest in the family was used as the tv remote control, It was always my job to turn over the telly, (my god I’m old) Since my girl could sit up she could swipe a phone and use a touch screen, I think one of her first sentences was “mammy can I watch your phone?” It’s the times we are in.
I embraced this new age and got her own tablet. Honestly, it,s been a life saviour on countless car journeys, flights, long shopping trips and family meals out (also the odd hungover Saturday morning, It has been a god send ). Everything in moderation that my motto! Her tablet came with the Youtube kids app installed already, I never thought twice about needing to police it. She,s 3 and can’t write or spell so I honestly didn’t think she would be exposed to material that wasn’t aged appropriate. Another thing It was me who would type in her viewing, it mostly Peppa pig, so no harm in that eh.
well, that’s what I thought… until a few weeks ago, she was watching Peppa on Youtube while I was tidying the kitchen. I heard an ear piercing scream coming from the other room and a huge bang, (which was her throwing the tablet across the room.) I thought at first (the worst) she had been severely hurt from doing a tumble or acrobatic move on the sofa (that she’s not allowed to do by the way, but still does) I ran in and was met with screaming and roaring, that’s a scary one mammy, make it go away? Peppa pig is scary I asked? it was a scary Peppa, George got sick and he was crying and he was getting sick and sick, I don’t like it, mammy. She sobbed and told me to PLEASE make it go away and not talk about it anymore… I gave her a hug and read a few stories, just to distract her and forget about it, but we both got a fright.
It took loads of reassurance putting her to bed that night, but after 50 million stories, 6 drinks and 25 hugs and kisses she slept. I was curious about what she had been exposed to. So I did a bit of digging and looked back on the Youtube history. The Peppa clip that popped up was really similar to the original Peppa! It was identical, only this one had a more sinister tone, with loud screaming, sirens and crying. George was getting sick like she said. It was like the animators had set out to frighten a child. I uninstalled Youtube and told her the next day it wasn’t allowed, she was happy enough and kept saying, “yeah mammy “Youb Tube is garrrrry”, I don’t want it anymore”.
After a bit of “mammy digging and delving into it” I discovered we aren’t on our own, there are loads of videos appear to be popular children,s charters, like Peppa pig and mickey mouse but contain really frightening material for children. Episodes like Peppa getting all her teeth pulled out while screaming and Micky Mouse getting his ear cut off” and because they appear as thumbnails on the side of the screen children are clicking on them thinking they’re innocent. You can flag them, and report them, but my girl got such a fright she won’t watch youtube again, telling every family member she meets “youb tube is garrry”..
It’s not worth it any way, Netflix all the way here, Its so much safer and you know exactly what they are watching. Next time it could be a hell of a lot worse.
how do you feel about you, re children watching You tube?