The importance of protecting your children on social media can not be overemphasised. This is reiterated in the recent death of a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide for a game called ‘BLUE WHALE” and live streamed it for the world to see.
According to WFAA.com, A San Antonio family is grieving the loss of their youngest child, a 15-year-old boy called Isaiah Gonzalez. His death, they said, was the result of a dangerous social media game. Isaiah Gonzalez’s parents say he showed no warning signs of sadness or depression. Isaiah was a normal high school student, on his way to becoming a sophomore. He comes from a military family. His father, Jorge Gonzalez, is a retired veteran. Isaiah himself had dreams of enlisting.
“I think to him, it was a joke,” Jorge Gonzalez said. “it wasn’t him trying to commit suicide. I don’t see him doing that,” That joke or challenge goes too far, and teens too often are falling victims to it.
According to many accounts online, ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’ targets teens through Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. An anonymous instructor asks kids to complete challenges, like listen to certain music. But many of the challenges quickly become dangerous, urging teens to harm themselves. For instance, like cutting themselves. The last challenge is fatal.
“He also had to post pictures to show proof that he had done that stuff,” Jorge Gonzalez said. Gonzalez found all of that proof on his son’s phone. Isaiah’s final act was documented live on the internet.
“It could happen to any family. We’re just urging parents, look at your kid’s social media,” Jorge Gonzalez said.
A spokesperson with Voices for Children of San Antonio says parents should be communicating with their children about their digital and online life, as well as monitoring their social media accounts.
Some things to look out for:
- Are they spending more time online or on devices?
- Look for signs of isolation.
- Look for any loss of interest.
- Watch for changes in behaviour or personality.
Children, especially teens are becoming more and more invested in social media, and it is essential that parents be alert and monitor their kids on social media platforms in order to avert a terrible situation like this.
For more information see [Top Five Apps Children Use And how To Protect Them]