Digital Caffeine

The “Momo Challenge”.

No, I’m not going to post any of those pictures of the Momo Challenge. Yeah you know the ones, the pictures of that creepy lady with big eyes. She’s probably found on your Facebook.

Creepy lady associated with a suicide game aimed at kids. Yeah flip, be worried about that one. She and it are the stuff of nightmares.

I’ve had a dig around the internet about the Momo Challenge. While there seems to be concerning stuff there, its worth bearing in mind some of the following…

The Momo challenge is an alleged form of cyberbullying which spreads over the phone messaging service WhatsApp. Children receive threats from an anonymous number associated with a picture of “Momo” – an alien-like woman with bulging eyes, an eerie stretched smile, and straggly hair. Momo allegedly forces children to undertake dangerous tasks – up to and including suicide – by threatening them with violence.


https://inews.co.uk/

Creepy, but The Daily Mail could only manage this

A 12-year-old girl from Argentina allegedly took her life after playing the game 

dailymail.co.uk



Allegedly. The Buenos Aires Times article from the time can be found here. While it says a link was investigated. There doesn’t seem to be anything confirmed.

The BBC article on this seems to focus on the (in comparison) more basic data security issues that Momo presents:

Momo may be creepy, but police believe it is clear it is being used by hackers to harvest information.

Officers in Northern Ireland moved to reassure parents about the doll figure with bulging eyes and a creepy grin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk

But should people be concerned? The answer from rollingstone.com is no…

The Momo Challenge and the subsequent moral panic it has spawned is eerily similar to that inspired by the “Blue Whale” challenge, a Russia-based phenomenon that went viral last year. According to reports in the Russian media, the Blue Whale challenge involved teenagers following a series of increasingly self-harmful tasks over the course of 50 days, culminating with them being encouraged to take their own lives.

Additional reports linking Blue Whale to other teen suicides, like that of 15-year-old Isaiah Gonzalez from San Antonio, have proven to be largely uncorroborated. “There’s no real truth to [games like the Momo Challenge] or evidence that it’s a real threat,” says Benjamin Radford, a folklorist and research fellow for the Committee for Skeptic Inquiry.

https://www.rollingstone.com

The independent, suggests the we (parents) should be more concerned about our own wellbeing

“In terms of whether Blue Whale did cause the deaths of any children as was reported, this has been difficult to validate – however there is more evidence to suggest parents talked about their fears of their children undertaking the challenge, rather than their children actually doing so,” Sugiura says. Momo, she says, seems to be following the same pattern. “It is more likely to endanger the well-being of parents and carers, concerned about their children.”


https://inews.co.uk

I guess this is all a drawn out way for me to say. Can we please stop sharing pictures of that creepy lady character. She’s creepy. We’re creeping ourselves out, and possibly terrifying any kids who see the images over our shoulders.

Please read the above links for more information, and dont have nightmares.



Daddy, can I have your phone?

Daddy, can I have your phone?, she asked.
“I’d like to play my games”, she went onto explain.

We were sat there in the car, within Sainsburys carpark, and I decided just to pass over my phone.

I could have said no. But I wanted a quieter life.

As I repositioned myself in the car, I realised what this meant.

Nothing.
No music.
No Facebook.
No Kindle access.

And I stopped.

I did nothing but think.

I managed to think about thoughts that I decided to think. Not what my little black mirror told me to think about.

I heard someone talk awhile back how “doing nothing” was once scheduled into our lives…. waiting for public transport… walking to work… standing around waiting for people… This time naturally gave people a chance to think and process what was happening in their lives. This was argued as a reason for an increase in people having problems with stress… anxiety… sleeping…

Maybe we just don’t like being bored.

But we’re surprised when our kids complain about being bored.

Perhaps, it would help us all out if we were all a little bit bored at times?


Mission Mindfulness

Are you Will Ferrell The Smartphone-Addicted Dad?

Love this from Common Sense Media’s #DeviceFreeDinner campaign.

Even though I’m probably a little more like this…

 

We’re not bad at having a device free dinner… but its not like we have a teenager… Could I actually be Will Ferrell?

While I’m not sure how well it works for families with little little ones, if you have concerns, or just want to find out abit more about the affect of using Digital technology on family life, I recommend giving Mark Ellis’ Digitox a read.

Digitox is split into two sections; The first is looking at why taking a break from digital can be good for you. The second looks at what happened when Mark decided it was time for his family to take a one day break from digital living – every week.

Lesson 1. Plan what you’re going to do with your time in advance.

Grab it here from Amazon. 

(Affiliate links above)

I originally posted this over at Digital Caffeine.

What My Fridge Says

A Digital Ghost?

Have you ever received a Facebook notification reminding nudging you to wish Happy Birthday to a deceased friend? It’s an odd experience, almost as if the internet is nudging you to hang out with an old friend. It’s almost, because any interaction is strictly one way.

What if interaction could feel like its two way, and you almost feel like you could see the one you lost?

The below video tells the story of one guys experience playing a computer game against his dead Dads previous best, and at the same time, giving what could be the best reason to play computer games.

The voice over is pulled directly from a YouTube comment that was under a video called, “Can Video Games Be a Spiritual Experience?” Could the above be described as a spiritual experience?

I sometimes wonder what technology would look like in 20 – 30 years time. If people can have experiences like the above with what would now be consider old technology, what does the future hold?

In fact, is (what we might consider) a future technology already happening?

I read a theory a few months ago, that you could argue that human beings are separated into two separate states. One is our physical bodies. The other is our identities, or our souls.

Most (if not all) religions have a concept of an afterlife. A place where the soul lives on, but what if our earthly identity could be captured?

Eternime is one example of a company with plans to help your digital identity live on. They plan to combine everything you put on social media, photos from smart phone, email, and so on – the aim being to create a digital version of yourself, that will be accessible after you die.

According to the BBC website:

“Depending on the facts it has collected, the avatar will be able to offer anything from basic biographical data to being an engaging conversational partner,” says Marius Ursache, Eternime’s founder.

It is set to launch next year, and according to Eternime, more than 37,000 people have already signed up for the service.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how I feel about this.

On one hand, I’m not going to be around for ever. Could there be some comfort in having a “digital dad” available online after I’m gone? But what if the service fails? Wouldn’t that be some sort of “second death”?

Doesn’t the idea of a “second death” sound creepy?

Does the whole thing sound a little creepy? People I’ve spoken to have commented on how weird it sounds. Is weird, because it sounds unnatural? And is it so unnatural, that we’re in danger of not just playing God, but going full blown Black Mirror? 

One last thought. If parents are meant to set an example to their children, how are we meant to set an example about something like this? 

sat sash
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