This is what
I look like
according to my kids.
Hello. I'm the writer who went viral after spending months undercover on the popular video-making app, Musical.ly. (Now re-named TikTok.) My commitment to using the app as an engrossed child might, and not as a mildly interested adult, led me into a social network where kids as young as eight sexually objectify themselves. I found hundreds of self-harm videos that showed suicide options—bathtubs filling, images of blades, a child’s voice saying she didn’t want to live anymore. It only got worse from there.
Nearly every kid in my daughter’s fifth-grade class used the app to film themselves or each other. Parents insisted it was harmless fun. (And it can be—initially.) I was prepared for my findings to be met with silence. No one will ever read this, I said to my husband. Parents don’t have time to dive into this sewage. I went to bed that night acutely aware that I’d spent the last few months pushing a Sisyphean boulder up a mountain only to, probably, discover it sitting at the bottom again come morning.
Wow. Was I ever wrong. Not only did parents dive into the sewage with me, they continue to sort through it even now, bringing to light things I missed. The article has been read and shared by millions of people across the globe. The lesson I learned? Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything.
The question I'm asked most is: Shouldn’t we prepare our children for the real world? Wouldn’t it be better if they learned how to be safe on Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media apps now?
We don't let our 10-year-old drive the car around town so they're prepared to drive the highways at 16. We don’t have to prepare our 10-year-old for being 13 or 16. Right? We can just let them be ten. ❤️
If you'd like, you can read that article here.
Thanks for stopping by. I love connecting with readers, parents, and good humans everywhere.
Click the red buttons for some book suggestions. I've read each one, a few twice. I love Kid Lit! I promise to add more titles when I can, but being "the meanest mom in the world" takes up A LOT of my time.