KAGOY

KAGOY – Kids Are Getting Older Younger

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I know I’ve seen picture like this often and give a little nod in mutual understanding, but this essentially makes light of a much larger issue. The acronym above is from the documentary ‘Sext up Kids’ by the Doc Zone that I watched earlier this week. I also watched, for a second time, ‘Sextortion of Amanda Todd‘ by the fifth estate. We only had to watch one of them for our ecmp355 class, but after the first I needed to continue to understand what was happening. And I’m a sucker for documentaries.

Both documentaries really make a person look around and open their eyes in a way to the world. Kids are being bombarded daily by social media, toys, clothes, and books pushing sexualization. One of the scariest things from that first documentary was that advertisers have found ways to advertise straight to kids rather than through parents. Whether that’s online, through tv, or toys kids are wanting to look and be older when they should be outside, using their imaginations, or playing with their friends.

Because, I think when we look at the sextortion of Amanda Todd, this is just one result of this sexualization. Boys have expectations of girls and can find them online, and girls have ingrained in them what they think boys want. This sexualization at a young age is becoming ingrained in kids when they are at such a crucial point in their development. Before they have time to figure out who they are and who they want to be we have everything telling them what they should be. I would compare it to the picture of a frog in water, if you throw him in a pot of boiling water, he will obviously jump right out. But if you put him in and slowly turn the heat up, he doesn’t even realize he’s boiling to death. I think society as a whole has been increasing the sexualization of EVERYTHING, and now all of a sudden it’s at a point that is impossible to control.

With technology becoming so widespread and common (it’s now rare if someone doesn’t have access to the internet 24/7), if kids want to go online they will. We can put all kinds of filters and restrictions up, but at the end of the day kids are sneaky. Now part of our job is teaching these kids how to be kids. Giving them real, authentic experiences and expectations. Giving them the freedom to be kids, and to figure out for themselves who they are and who they want to be. However, this is difficult. So let me ask, what are some things you think we can do to change this generation of sext up kids?

 

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3 thoughts on “KAGOY

  1. Great question Ashley! I think the only thing we can do is warn them of the dangers of sexualization. Allow students to dig deeper into the concept and question why social media and society is so hung up on it. As well we can teach students how to create a positive digital identity and how social media can be used for spreading awareness on social justice issues or even issues like sexualization.

  2. Intriguing and thought provoking question, Ashley! I definitely think that we need to pull our children’s and students heads away from the screens and give them some more real life experiences. When I think back to my childhood, I remember all of the outdoor activities and experiential learning and playing that I participated in. They have long lasting impressions on me and I think think back and smile at the of the fun I had. What are the kids now a days going to look back and remember? I struggle to believe that there will be much positive and memorable experiences to remember for them. One other important thing that we need to do is teach them how to use technology and screen time for more useful and beneficial purposes. Teach them how to properly use the digital world to their benefit and disposal. There is evidently a lot of good that technology bring and I believe that we have just barely skimmed the surface of it!

  3. You’ve asked a great question, Ashley. I think that in the past parents and teachers went the route of trying to scare kids into being “good.” By showing kids horror stories about what can happen on the internet, they assumed that kids would automatically stray away from online behaviours that could get them into trouble. While it’s important that kids understand the dangers of the internet, I believe we also need to be having honest conversations about technology, sex, and societal pressures. We need to show them that when they stop and think about their actions on and offline, and take pride in their actions, they are less likely to do something they will regret.

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