For years my support system has scoffed at how much screen time I've allowed my kids. I didn't buy into all the hype that it 'changed' them. Stories in mags comparing it to heroin for kids made my eyes roll so far back I could see yesterday. My logic was that if they weren't watching the Ipad they would be watching the T.V. so what's the difference?

 

I conducted a little experiment and reduced the amount of screen time significantly to see if it indeed had an effect on my children's behaviour. I have no problem admitting this.

 

I was very wrong.

 

The less time my children had with their computers, they were like different people. Less computer time made for more cooperative, level-headed and just nicer kids. When they had it they became scowling, argumentative and irrational little shits.

 

In an attempt to right my wrong I made a strict timetable for the tech and stuck to it. It was benefiting us all as a family. Then boom, comes Christmas, that naughty little minx that sneaks up on us every year. With it comes gifts, and middle son got an Ipad off his godmother. Naturally enough I wasn't going to go gung-ho on the rules over the festive period. They had one each and they were allowed free reign. I wasn't as vigilant as I should have been and now I feel like throwing both Ipads out the window along with the modem!

 

My eldest loves Logan Paul. Logan Paul started his career on the app Vine and when that declined he moved to YouTube where he uploads content daily. My son watches him perform stupid pranks and I even managed to get him some Logan Paul 'merch' and the child was thrilled. Logan Paul has now overstayed his welcome in our house. This excuse for a human being travelled to Japan to an area called Suicide Forest and camped. For what you may ask? If you are not going there to end your own life then you are obviously going for a nose and that is just appalling.

 

The video, now deleted, apparently showed him and his mates sniggering and at some point showed a poor soul who had recently hung himself. I just can't put any scenario into my mind where any rational human would think that that's ok.

 

I spoke to my son and I was saddened to find out that he had watched the video and Logan's subsequent apology. It opened up a very difficult conversation for me and my boy, one where I had to assure him constantly that he had done nothing wrong. I told him that the behaviour in that video was horrific and that Logan Paul or anything to do with him was no longer allowed in our house. This is not going to be a one-off chat because I now need to make sure that my son is not affected by Logan Paul's idiotic behaviour.

 

My own conscience is at me too because I had turned around our habits when it came to the Ipad and I just dropped the ball over the holiday season. In my naivety, I did expect more from these influencers.

 

That was my mistake.

 

There are plenty of channels that show harmless pranks and challenges and they are the only one's mine will be viewing in their very limited screen time.

 

I don't know what worries me more. That one of the kids will be traumatised by something they see online or that nothing will affect them because they are so desensitised to everything from overexposure. I don't want to wrap them in cotton but I didn't think I'd be even uttering the word suicide in a conversation with an 8-year-old.

 

I will strive to be a better parent and I hope that other influencers will learn from Logan Pauls mess. If your target audience is young people you have a certain responsibility to behave in a morally sound manner. Adults can make up their own minds but our children need a little bit of guidance. Shame on you Logan Paul and I hope that poor soul in Japan is finally at peace.

Ellen Brophy is a mum of three; She calls them her sun (eldest boy) her moon (youngest boy) and her stars (her little girl). She has just qualified as a beauty therapist and make-up artist and loves to write about everything from mental health issues to life as a single parent. She describes her writing as honest, funny and fearless and we tend to agree.

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