If You Think "Not My Kid," You've Got It Wrong

Online Safety
By
Cyber Dive
Sep 27, 2022
3 min

There’s a new pandemic sweeping over the nation. It’s not THAT pandemic, yet it’s just as important for parents to be on guard. What is it, you ask?

We’re talking about the “Not My Kid” pandemic that has crept into many homes across the country.

It starts with the simple thought, “I have a good kid. They would never do anything bad online”, and the roots take hold. Over time, it infiltrates a family dynamic, pushing kids and parents further apart.

Let us tell you a story of how quickly it can start:

Jeff, our CEO, started scrolling through his Instagram reels. Suddenly, a vulgar reel popped into his feed. Shocked by what he was seeing, he paused in horror before scrolling away. A few videos later, another reel with mature sexual content came into his feed. The same shock and horror stopped his scroll for a few moments. Within a few days, the majority of his feed was overwhelmed with explicit reels Instagram was actively pushing to him.

Why would Instagram flood his feed with explicit content when he didn’t want it?

The answer is simple.

Instagram (and most social media platforms) want to keep users on the app, so it pushes out reels and posts planned to hook the viewer. The algorithm tracks how long they stay on the video or post (in technical terms, it’s called dwell time). The longer the dwell time, the more it signals the algorithm to keep putting that content in front of the user.

That’s what happened to Jeff.

Instagram captured him with the shock and horror of an explicit video to stop his scroll.

After that, the algorithm took over and he couldn’t escape.

Now, we get it. Your first thought is probably to rip away your kid’s smartphone and deactivate all their social media accounts. Yet, this doesn’t solve anything, especially if this has already happened to your kid.

If you’re wondering how you could possibly help, we’ve got you. It starts with just two steps.

1) Stop thinking “not my kid.” Right now.

It’s comforting to assume our kids know enough to avoid coming across mature content online. While we grew up in a world where sexual content had to be sought out, that no longer exists for our kids.

It’s not a question anymore of IF but WHEN.

Take Jeff’s story. He wasn’t seeking out those reels; they were actively pushed in front of him. All it took was a few moments of shock until he was pulled into a vulgar corner of Instagram.

If it happened to him, it could definitely happen to your kid.

2) Have a conversation. Especially with the “good kid” in the family.

Wait, what? Wouldn’t that kid need the least guidance?

It’s tempting to think that but EVERY kid in your family needs to be part of the conversation.

  • Without creating panic, prepare your kids to understand that social media comes with risks. It can be positive in many ways but it’s possible that they may come across negative content while online.
  • EXPLICITLY explain that no matter what happens, you are there to guide them through any negative experience without shame or judgement. It’s not enough to assume your kid will know they can come to you for help; it must be stated over and over, out loud.

This is why it’s vital to include the “good kid” in the conversation.

Imagine this:

Social media pushes explicit content to their feed for the first time. Naturally, their shock and horror stops their scroll and the algorithm kicks into high gear. Suddenly, they find themselves trapped like Jeff.

What happens if they don’t explicitly know you’ll give judgement-free guidance?

  • Shame builds up, because even though they didn’t seek it out, this content found them.
  • Anxiety that they’ll be blamed for something that was NOT their fault creeps in.
  • Fear that they will be viewed differently takes hold, keeping them from saying something.

Instead of finding comfort with you, they feel they have to hide. Shame builds barriers and eats away at their mental health.

What could’ve prevented this?

Open conversations with EVERYONE in the family.

So, now you know. It’s time to stop thinking “not my kid” and start saying “how do I prepare my kid?”

Assuming your kid would never find harmful content online doesn’t help them. In fact, it could hurt them.  Let’s take thoughtful approach to parenting in a world filled with technology and toss this idea out. It’s time to be proactive by preparing your kids and having open conversations with them repeatedly.

What if you could be the first person they turn to instead of the last one?

Tired of feeling in the dark? Want a phone that shows you EVERYTHING your kid does?

You need the Aqua One.

Pre-order now!

Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desiree Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com
Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desire Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com

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