It caught the Internet by storm, but not really for the reasons you would expect. The so-called “Momo Challenge” was always more myth than reality, and yet the viral nature of the Internet along with the especially delicate subject matter caused it to completely perpetuate itself into social media’s version of society.
Momo is nothing at all really. The concept was that this sinister looking figure shows up on websites and Internet places that are particularly attractive to children and encourages them to do things to harm themselves or others. So, as the story goes, tell your children about Momo, warn them, and watch out for it. It caught on like wildfire and became an international sensation.
The reality is that this Momo challenge, if it was ever real, has caused very little actual harm. Only one child is supposedly dead because of Momo’s influential meanderings, and that can’t even be truly confirmed. It’s just another Internet legend that has made the rounds. Like the Facebook “your account has been hacked” messages that are all over the Internet at any given second, the Momo challenge was spread a whole lot more by people not recognizing it as a hoax than as an actual harmful agent itself. This happen a lot on the Internet, and it causes a lot of things to be taken as truth when there are no facts to back it up.
So, the bottom line is that Momo isn’t a real thing. Momo hasn’t really hurt anyone. And each time you spread another warning about Momo or click another meme, it’s actually you that are helping Momo survive, not whoever originally created this concept.
We should point out that the general idea is very real though. It is known that pedophiles and human traffickers do attempt to lure children on the Internet. Your guard should always be up against this as a parent. Don’t stop at telling your children to look out for Momo though. The real threat may not be so easily recognizable. It’s better to teach your children general concepts on what to look for. Better yet, be involved in what they are doing and use parental settings to increase their safety while browsing the web. The Internet is still the last bastion of freedom in our society across international boundaries, but that freedom has a price. It means that no matter how good the censors for a service may be, sometimes something your child is not supposed to see may still slip through. The burden is still on you as the parent to monitor what the kiddos are viewing.