from your St. Matthew's Technology Ambassadors
The age of YouTube Challenges
The internet is full of challenges. Some are silly (Silly Salmon), and some are even for good (Ice Bucket Challenge) while others can be perceived as dangerous as the current Momo Challenge. There has been a lot of press and buzz about the Momo Challenge so we thought it would be helpful to give you the real deal on this challenge and some strategies to help navigate these types of reports in the future.

What is the MOMO Challenge?
A recurring viral hoax that recently resurfaced includes a creepy image that finds its way into different social media outlets specifically YouTube. It is reported the challenge lures children to harm themselves by the threat of humiliation.

What makes it dangerous? 
The challenge is rumored that it asks kids to do dangerous things that could harm themselves. However, there is no evidence nor any credible reports of children who have actually participated in the challenge.

What should you do? 
Use this as a teachable moment. Get the facts, explain to your kids that it is not real and educate them about being careful online. That includes assessing the authenticity and credibility of online sources and asking themselves is the content is appropriate. 

While you can't keep up with all the challenges, you can use these as teaching opportunities as well as monitor your children's online behavior and activity.

--Here is more info from our friends at Common Sense Media--

Risky Business: YouTube Challenges and Other Online Hazards
Kids say—and do—the darndest things. But when one of those things is setting themselves on fire for a YouTube video, we've got real trouble on our hands. So what exactly are kids doing, and how do we keep them safe?

As  YouTube challenges  go viral—like the horrifying Momo Challenge that involves kids doing increasingly harmful and dangerous tasks—parents will sometimes hear about them, but often we have no clue: From posing to a song to jumping out of cars, these challenges run the gamut between silly and safe to downright dangerous. But challenges aren't the only risks kids take. Posting or  sending racy pictures  and using  apps to meet strangers  are other ways kids push the limits. And while traditional cigarette smoking is less popular,  Juuls and vaping  are huge trends. While it's developmentally appropriate for tweens and teens to explore, take risks, and make mistakes, we still need to stay involved in their digital lives to prevent the lapses in judgment that can have very serious consequences. Talking to your kid about potentially risky choices and helping them think through the possible consequences might help them pause before putting themselves in harm's way.

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Questions? Ideas?

Upper School: Joe Perez ( joeyperez@mac.com ) & Liz Jones ( liz.jones@gmail.com )
Lower School: Roz Nieman ( roz.nieman@me.com )
Faculty Ambassador: Adrienne Bononi ( abononi@stmatthewsschool.com )
St. Matthew's Parish School | www.stmatthewsschool.com