26 Sep Blue Whales Of Another Kind
On 7th September, 2017, in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, a 17-year-old girl, who was saved after she tried to commit suicide by jumping into a lake, tried to kill herself again by consuming tablets. She was depressed but she was also playing a game where one wins after one dies.
Seeing the news these days is a constant source of worry, especially for parents of young and growing children, while the Blue Whale Challenge has claimed the lives of 200 teenagers worldwide, it isn’t the only digital monster to worry about.
While the internet is overall an amazing place, where technology has made access to information freely available, yet it comes at a price, there is a dark side to the internet, one where a world of predators hides online and sadly the blue whale is only one of these for parents to worry about.
Research shows that by watching three to four hours of non-educational TV per day, children will have seen about 8,000 murders on TV by the time they finish elementary or middle school. Yet these murders that’s the biggest worry for me, as a parent, it is a danger of another kind that is lurking under the friendly face of cartoons and shows that subconsciously preaches to our kids to be overtly violence all the while encouraging some life altering and damaging habits.
One of my biggest worries is that everyone’s favorite TV show or YouTube series might have dangerous pranks and stunts, the shows ask for kids to upload their own misadventure as a response.
While superheroes may save the world, the same superheroes may inadvertently also lead to a loss of life for the children. Remember Shaktiman? Kids across many cities set themselves ablaze on fire, jumped from rooftops hoping the just hero will come and rescue them. Did they not understand that he was only a man of fiction?
Chota Bheem, a possible role model for your child, prides himself on not going to school, encouraging a frenzy of activity fueled by the creators version of Popeye’s spinach, a healthy choice is now switched an unhealthy sugar laden Ladoo, battling evil with acrobatics, stunts and an unhealthy dose of violence and leading an army of little children to fight, the list of worries goes on, and yet isn’t he the perfect hero, is he?
The target audience, the youngest, from babies who set their eyes on the screen to toddlers, start to see the ‘suicide gags’ splashed across the anarchic Looney Toons series with characters shooting themselves in the head or jumping in front of the train or a cliff out of frustration, these may be funny to kids and yet may leave deep scars, especially when in the next episode the character seems to survive fatal accidents. As the young minds grow, it’s an unending stream of crime fighting Ninjas slicing their enemies with swords and finishing their day by devouring unhealthy pizzas. Hello violence, consumerism and obesity!
It is with studying this trend and seeing a lack of safe content for young minds that get influenced easily, with the damage being done, scarring them for the rest of their lives, we at OckyPocky set about to create a safe digital learning space for kids, using content, cartoons and characters that the kids admire. Our team has worked with educators, mapping entertaining content to curriculum, in this way a child absorbs key learning concepts in a fun manner, without any of the negatives found on TV shows or the internet.
I feel the OckyPocky platform works best for children between 0 to 6, giving them a safe digital learning space all the while entertaining them. Please spare 2 mins to watch this: