Should Parents Be Worried About Momo?


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Jackson Weaver, Centurion Staff

Parents are terrified as a previously existing internet challenge known as the Momo Challenge has made a recent resurgence.
The Momo Challenge is an internet meme that involves an image of a statue with an unnaturally elongated face. Supposedly it would appear in videos on the internet where it would urge people to do things that would cause harm to themselves, or even kill themselves for the sake of “Momo”.
It has appeared as early as 2018. However recently it been rumored that videos of the challenge have arrived to the YouTube. Promoting children to take part in its self-detrimental agenda.
A growing number of skeptics have also been on the rise. Some say only the first iteration of the challenge was fake, others say the entire thing is fake.
Professor Shawn Queeney from Bucks, who specializes in studies concerning communication, and knowledgeable on the internet, expressed his stance on this potential issue. “I think any time there’s false rumors about something, it makes the situation worse.” he said.
This is not the first time something like this has happened, however. A perfect example of this is the Slender Man Stabbing, where two girls attempted to commit murder for a popular fictional monster on the internet.
There have also been examples of rumors like these being false. Such as 80’s scare of the satanic messages that can be heard when certain tapes are played backwards.
When asked if he thought that the Momo Challenge and victims at least could be real, Bucks student Ethan Merckx stated, “Yeah probably, I mean two girls have killed someone over slender man.”
Bucks student Liam Egan responded to the same question, “It could happen, but I’d only imagine it being some kind of charismatic person or someone who can really convince easily manipulated people.”
The biggest change that is occurring is the rising use of social media and the internet. This change has been brought up time and time again for different issues, however for this one it has everything to do with it.
Queeney when asked if it would get worse said, “No, honestly not any worse than it has already been.” He explained “All of these new technologies always induce a lot of fear and uncertainty in people… whether it was the telephone, the radio, the television.”
Issues like this highlight the separation of parent and child. While many younger people who have grown up with the internet may find Momo harmless, parents are horrified and confused.
When presented with this idea and asked if parents should indeed be more in touch with the internet, Queeney said, “Yes … It shows this generational divide, where you’re venturing into this territory you don’t know much about, and maybe parents aren’t even that interested in it.”
Whether or not the challenge is indeed real, it’s effects certainly are. Its presence is felt and amplified by so many worried parents, enough to draw the ire of public school districts.
Sometimes the legend of something can be more real than the thing itself.