We all remember that time in our childhood when we discovered our first swear word. We would say it to ourselves quietly making sure nobody was around, that way you wouldn’t get a slap up the side of the head from mom. You would start to say it to your friends in conversations and they would introduce you to a whole new swearing vocabulary. You would even slip the tongue around some people you probably shouldn’t have and felt immediate guilt afterward if you were anything like me. These were the beginning stages of finding out you couldn’t say a word that adults would react too and give you attention for, but it was negative attention, unfortunately. Kids these days start cursing to young because they are exposed to young. Children are going on social media before, after and even during school. The bad thing with all these five-year old’s walking around with a phone is that there is often no or very little filter on what they see.
Gaming and Cursing. My brother loves to play this online game called, league of legends. League is a strategic game where your team plays against another team to win, it has a real-time chat as well. People get upset in this game and say the meanest things to each other, so much so that you can get banned from the game if you go too far. The swearing is blocked by little stars and you also can block somebody if they are being verbally abusive. My brother got banned from this game, twice. He didn’t consider that these people take what he says seriously and it’s not all a joke just because he thinks so. Now, would he do this in real life? No. But online, it just seems so much easier to take yourself out of the mindset that people are on the other side of that screen. You can really hurt somebody’s feelings, especially if you have no clue what gender or age they are.
Why Not Let Them Curse? There are plenty of obvious reasons why children shouldn’t swear online, which makes this such an easy argument. They are being taught bad behavior by their peers, strangers online and even by parents. They see this language online and its normal to them. F this, f that, you mother f-er, Idgaf, and stfu are all examples of stuff online that parents can read but not necessarily understand it as swearing. If your parents can’t catch it, your friends are involved in it and its seen as cool then why wouldn’t you swear online? If a child gets comfortable swearing online in text, they can evolve to videos and reality as well. Swearing at other classmates or teachers nonchalantly can land your children in detention and can give them a bad reputation as well.
How to stop it. Just because you can’t stop social media from becoming part of your child’s life, doesn’t mean they have to turn into the kid with the potty mouth. Watch your children when they are online and having fun, make sure its healthy interaction and to focus on all your child’s vocabulary. Make sure you are enforcing the rules because if they get out of hand online, they could become a cyberbully. I also believe that teachers should give reminders in class about polite behavior on social media. Teachers should be getting involved in social media themselves, so they understand and can deal with an issue effectively. If social media aligns with online education, then we should advance to new technology as well. Networks should star out swear words online and report them if a child is deemed underage (10 and under at least). They should also incorporate a warning that can be given saying if it happens again there is a consequence, like banned from Instagram for a week. I believe that if it continues, the account ban should be extended little by little and eventually taken away as a whole. Do you think it is okay for children under the age of 10 to swear online feely? Let me know your thoughts! Thanks.
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