My eyes were very much in order (and I hadn’t taken any alcohol that day, at least not yet} as I, with my jaw dropped and mouth agape, watched the brand new video by popular pop singer and songwriter/producer Justin Timberlake play on one of the music stations on DSTV. And for some inexplicable reason, I couldn’t get my eyes off it till it finished. For those who haven’t seen it, the video possesses all sorts of restrictions due to its very provocative nature.
It had about three fully nude ladies, and I mean nude, naked. As against what would have been censored normally much to rational people’s delight, this went all the way- nipples and what have you on full display. Now, I am a big fan of Justin Timberlake but after seeing this video, my loyalty fell flat.
But that is far from what this is all about; my major concern is about my 6-year-old. Like kids of his generation, he is the smartest I know. A friend jokingly suggested I enroll him in NASA for his brilliant ability at having an eclectic memory.
My 6-year-old knows how to operate anything; he perfected the art of using a computer at age 4, ipads and phones are just a number of gadgets he would ordinarily toy with should he really want to relax doing something. So much less operating a TV set. Yes, he can without effort, tune to Soundcity and viola! Watch Tunnel Vision playing, and instantly feed his mind with such content, even when he does n’t need it.
And so with the average kid his age who can also handle a remote control. It is no news that videos these days now reveal more of explicit content than censored ones. Not that prior videos were any better but of recent, it is like caution has been thrown to the dogs and everything is done with careless abandon, and age restrictions don’t apply anymore.
Kids bypass parental direction, no not on the TV as the probability that these average kids know the password is slim, but on gadgets such as phones and tablets, which were previously downloaded onto the device and naturally would be overlooked by an adult when seen, for a game being played. So either way, these contents are getting to the kids unbeknown; even video games. I was one of the eager enthusiasts looking forward to the recently-launched GTA V and I was very much delighted when it was available for purchase but I got a wind of what the much-hyped game was about when I was at a friend’s place in Lekki and I was scared what I glimpsed.
The game, with all promise kept as to its quality and improvement, is beyond PG. It should have rating such as LSVN (Language, sex, violence, nudity) but I shouldn’t be surprised as that’s why the game is famous. GTA means Grand Theft Auto anyway, but I was scared for the target audience- the kids.
And so there you are putting parental control on MTV and the likes and there they are getting fed by the same monster via the games you bought them. And if you think the games are just about enough, try the cartoons they watch. Violence and profanity has slowly crept into these as well (my 6-year-old asked me to buy him a gun at one point after watching a particular cartoon on TV).
Little wonder why a kid would steal his father’s gun and use it on a teacher he ‘hates’ in school or why a teenager would rape a 9-year-old to death for the simple reason that he watched it on his phone gotten for him by his parents.
My senior colleague the other day complained that her son had downloaded pornographic content onto her phone and after several reprimands, he later admitted he saw it on the site as he was looking for games to download. He is just eight, imagine!
I went to a French school in Victoria Island once to pick up a child and I saw a bunch of kids, barely above 6, holding the latest gadgets that even I who work my ass off haven’t been able to afford (shamelessly though). When parents indulge their kids with not only expensive gadgets, but also Internet enabled ones, they are unknowingly breeding bad characters indirectly.
Family values aren’t doing much to help. Save for restrictions, parents who try to make their kids feel ‘cooler’ than their peer’s indirectly are destroying the kids’ lives. But regardless, restrictions parents place on kids do not stop the devil from carrying out his hunt via uncles and maybe aunts or in extreme cases housemaids. If the kids are under a certain control, content wise, these so called adults who are allowed to view these contents also would want to practicalise and somehow, in the most evil way, the nearest prey are the kids. I have a friend who at age 12 got dis-virgined by his house girl who constantly watches adult content movies on cable.
It also goes for a girl who was constantly being abused by people she referred to as ‘Uncles’ (elderly neighbours) right from when she was five up until she was 11. A girl whose childhood has already been tainted at such young age, is already sexually active at 11, probably also exposed to adult content as well, and her next prey would be a 4-year-old innocent boy who barely knows what is going on.
I’ve had a couple of shots just meditating on the complexity of it all, and I’m no hero, I don’t intend to save the world with my disposition neither ‘am I certain as to whether things will get better or worse considering the volume of content dished out daily on these platforms, both hidden and open, I sure ‘am certain my tunnel vision is beginning to take its toll.