The Momo
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - March 2, 2019 - 12:00am

It is now proven that the internet is a scary tool for children to meddle with. Period. With the recent Momo challenge that has been circulating on different websites and applications, I have to rule out that giving a gadget to a child is never ever safe at all. I did have gadgets growing up, but then the internet was not as accessible and as scary as today. To connect online, we had to endure the pains of dial-up internet. The screeching sound of the connection plus the hassle of being disconnected when someone picks up the phone was altogether fun. Today, with one swipe and press of a fingertip, the worldwide web is there in an instant.

 

We are hearing reports of children allegedly doing different challenges from certain individuals who offer the prize of a "Momo". An image of a very disturbing sculpture scares the child when there is an attempt to refuse the tasks involved in the challenge. Ultimately, the goal is for the young one to inflict pain or kill himself or herself. I cannot believe how there could be crazy individuals promoting these kinds of actions and behavior among children. It is like they are destroying the future.

I like "no-screen time." This is what my boyfriend and I observe when we are together. No-screen time means no cellphones except for taking food photos and quick selfies. When we are spending time, we see to it that there are no screens between us. I like to liken the screen to a momo (as in “monster” in the Cebuano language). It eats up all your time and attention which in turns decreases your interaction with others. We should not be preoccupied with something during the time we spend with our loved ones.

This is a wakeup call for all parents to be on guard. They should consider giving gadgets away in the absence of their presence to spend time with their kids. It is very dangerous and evil, which could result in destroyed relationships and even death. A gadget should supposedly be a helpful tool in education, not for gaming, pastime, or entertainment. There are other things worthwhile that would even enhance the relationship that we have with one another. We should think twice if a gadget is worth it.

Sometimes I like to go back to the day when Lego blocks and Barbie dolls made me very happy. I was entertained by the way my imagination was stirred by the toys I had in hand. I was happy with the sun and how we played on our bikes in the streets. Street food made us feel like we were eating at the buffet but we were all well. We had friends that are until now still part of our lives. I wish all kids are like that today as well. Not everything that the digital world offers is safe for our children.

 

MOMO CHALLENGE
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