Parents of the 21st century, the Logan Paul controversy must become your wake-up call.
If our kids can swipe their finger to watch a prankster filming the body of someone who committed suicide and then joking about it, then we should realize something went terribly wrong with the younger generation and we are either oblivious to it or simply don’t care.
Parents, after you pinch yourselves to check if you’re awake, please bring yourself up to date with what’s going on: YouTube pranksters in their twenties have become educators and role models for our kids. They aren’t scripted characters in a fictional movie, they are real people doing real pranks in the real world. Kids look up to them more than they look up to their teachers and in some cases more so than their parents.
Here are some questions for parents to ask themselves: Do I know what my kids are learning from Internet idols they’re following? Do I know what examples they are imitating? Do I know what level of explicit content they are exposed to?
Now let’s talk about why Logan Paul did what he did. Obviously, because he makes over $50,000 per video, he wants to attract as many viewers as possible, and he turned to showing a dead body to increase his fame and fortune. But how on earth did he get the idea that filming a dead body is appropriate?
My answer. Logan Paul is a 22-year-old who grew up in a culture that surrounded him with visual depictions of gore and violence, and naturally, he got somewhat used to it. Like typical Americans his age, Logan had watched more than 200,000 acts of violence that include more than 16,000 murders by the time he was 18. He also watched children’s programming that displays up to 20 violent acts per hour.
Long story short, we allowed Logan’s generation to pick up their examples, role models and values from a media culture that’s extremely saturated with violence, and now we are letting them be the role models for today’s kids.
Also, Logan Paul’s “We Found a Dead Body” video was liked by about 600,000 people before the backlash began, which means he wasn’t just intoxicated by his ego when he thought this video would fly. He actually knew his audience well enough to know that many of them would accept it.
Parents, it’s time we take a look at the bigger picture and recognize the downward spiral of violent media, the degradation of social values, and the horrifying results. If we continue down this road, we will be growing human beings that are completely numb to blood and gore, show little respect to human life, and take into account nothing besides the instant gratification of their ego.
Parents, It’s Time to Act
So parents, if you’ve had enough to make a stand and take back control over your children’s upbringing, first I suggest you join hands and demand from YouTube and other social media platforms to toughen up their regulations, and dedicate the resources needed to make sure their users cannot upload inappropriate content. Saying no to violence and gore should be one area we can all agree on. There’s no reason we should allow anyone to make money by filling our kids’ minds with violent content.
That said, regulations, sanctions and precautions are more like emergency band-aids compared to what needs to happen. Sooner or later, there will be no escape from taking our education system and its methods through a complete makeover. We will have to apply the formats, mediums and styles that appeal to kids, and repurpose them to spread positive values, set good examples and, most importantly, raise human beings that are considerate of others.
Parents, understand your kids’ world. Growing up with the Internet in the palm of their hands has turned them into the first “global-virtual” generation. It’s no wonder that we sometimes think our kids are entirely different creatures. They spend 8–11 hours a day glued to their screens, mostly on social media. They get bored easily, and quickly move on to the next attraction with a swipe of their finger.
And as more of the world goes online, their thinking, interactions and sensibilities become global too. 58 percent of adults worldwide ages 35 plus agree that “kids today have more in common with their global peers than with adults in their own country.”
Spending most of their waking hours being glued to their screens, our kids have become more attracted to the global and virtual than the local and physical. Keep in mind we are all moving into the global-virtual reality, and in that respect, our children are better prepared for these shifts.
We passed the stage where education was about information and knowledge. Today kids can look up the answers on Wikipedia faster than what their teacher tells them at school.
Our education must now focus on building the human being. And that means building a value system within the person and a social environment around the person that balances the human ego and directs it towards positive realization.
This isn’t about preaching moral values. Our kids won’t buy it since their egos have evolved beyond it. We have to help them realize their potential and find their expression in a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, by giving them tools to better understand themselves and to forge meaningful, healthy connections with others.
This does not need to be boring and didactic for them. We can certainly find exciting ways for them to experience positive human connections, through circle-style discussions and collaborative projects with their peers, both virtually and physically.
But for all of that to start happening, parents must get on board. We have to make a decision to get involved in our children’s future, and recognize the need to cultivate the global mindset that matches the conditions of the new global era.
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