So, what is the Momo Challenge? No, it has nothing to do with eating the yummy momos, but yet another challenge like the dreaded blue whale.
The Blue Whale challenge which led to suicide among teenagers was a major concern almost a year back. Yet again, another challenge strikes in the world of the social media. The challenge, also known as the ‘Momo Challenge’ is influencing children to perform perilous acts in exchange for their death. The challenge finds its roots in Japan, which quickly spread to Latin America thereafter. Recently, a 12-year-old from Argentina died and the cause is suspected to be this challenge.
The Momo Challenge
What is Momo? Momo is a social media account on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. This usually uses an artwork which invokes horror. This artwork creates an eagerness to know more about it among children. It urges the children to make a contact with an unknown number. The Momo creature, as I like to call it, is quite horrific and seeing it on your phone screen is sure to make you scream or jump off that comfortable chair.le
Many users of the social platforms who have tried to contact Momo, have not got a reply but instead got a warning against the possible dangers and risks that they may encounter if Momo responds. And in case a person gets a response then Momo tries to toy around with the person. Many are also met by insults and challenges and ultimately death.
The Momo account is connected to three numbers from Mexico (calling code 52), Japan (calling code 81) and Columbia (calling code 57). Those who do create a contact with Momo are greeted with a monstrous looking doll. This artwork is known as the Mother Bird by Link Factoryand is inspired by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi. And yes the artist has no involvement in this challenge.
Risks of Momo Challenge
The recent death of a 12-year-old Argentinian girl is suspected to be linked with the challenge. Investigating authorities believe that the girl was encouraged to commit suicide.
India is also affected by the Momo challenge. On August 29, 2018, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) indicated that claims reported in the media about the death of two teens were linked to the Momo Challenge were “far-fetched and devoid of any evidence”. CID believes most of the large volume of Momo Challenge invitations in India originate locally and pranks sent to spread panic. CID spokesperson stated that “so far, the game has not claimed any victim, nor has anyone approached us saying they have played even the first level of it.” Source: Wikipedia
How to Protect your Children from Dangerous Online Games
These days it is easier for children to withdraw from friends and family and in turn, they find solace in the online world, with the people online who give them a viewpoint on what they need and in worse cases encourage destructive behaviour.
The Internet is not the problem, or the suicide groups and games. Children would not just go ahead and kill someone just like that and they also don't play such games unless they are already in some state which encourages them to do… Click To Tweet
Here is how you can help your child:
- Be an important part of your child’s world: Connect with them and keep a track of what is going on in their life – both online and offline. Find out about their feelings and friends. If you find them online for the most part of the day, do visit the sites they are checking.
- Respect them and their values: Let your child do what they love doing the most. It is often observed that children who spend their lives doing what their parents want they end up depressed.
- Don’t pressure them: Stop worrying about what is in store for their future. “Que será, será, Whatever will be, will be, The future’s not ours to see, Que será, será.” Engage them to live in the present rather than messing up with their future.
- Teach them about all the dimensions of life: Agreed success is great and everyone enjoys being in the limelight, but teach your kid that it is good to fail. Tell them that success comes after failure and kindness after cruelty, gentleness after harshness, and helpfulness after laziness. Talk to them about both sides of the coin rather than one.
- Keep a tab on your child’s diet and behaviour: A depressed child often lacks nutrients and vitamins in their diet. Ensure your child is getting enough omega 3, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin B3 and Probiotics. Also, look out for changes in their behaviour, like, change in sleep, lack of appetite, sudden withdrawal, irritability and a loss of interest for the things they love
- Help them to disconnect from their smartphone and internet: These days it is very common to spot smartphones in a child’s hand. Make sure you check out what they are doing on the internet. Check the sites they see. Ensure they get free time to do what they love. Indulge them in activities. Make time for them so that they spend time with you rather than a warm phone.
- Love them to bits: Last but not the least, love them to the core, after all, it is love that everyone seeks. Make them feel special. Never miss an opportunity to let them know that you love them. Often we take it for granted that our children know that we love them, but communicating it makes the feeling stronger.
Help your child stay happy, stay safe and build a beautiful relationship with life
This is my first post in the #MyFriendAlexa Campaign. I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter
Also, linking this with Corinne’s #FridayReflections (The prompt for this was my take on the word ‘disconnected’. I feel that children and us equally should disconnect from the virtual world and spend more time together face to face rather online).