Social Media Dangers Documentary — Childhood 2.0

[Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Singing] [No audio] [Laughter] -What do I love about
my daughter? Um [Soft Music] -What do I love about my kids? I'm going to cry. I'll start crying. -My daughter is an old soul who teaches me how to be a
better person every single day. -I love his heart.
Like he loves big. -They are extremely smart and
kind and opinionated… which I love. -He is so unique.

-They see the bright
side of… everything. They have this altruistic
love of people in the world. She's stunning and she's witty. Very athletic, very charming. Like he actually makes me laugh. I'm not laughing because
he's so cute, he's like, legitimately funny. Having these children
to teach me how to love has probably been the best way
for me to learn how to love. -I just appreciate that they're
they are good people you know. [Phone ringing] [Phone ringing] -Whose is that?
-Is that? How ironic is that…
… talking about? [No audio] It surrounds us…
it's everywhere. Um… [No audio] [Soft Music] [Soft Sound of Slot Machine] A long time ago, families were in extended communities. {\an8}They were local.
They were small. Um… children and parents largely worked together
with neighbors on things that just needed
to be done for daily living. I was born in the very
depth of the Great Depression. If you know anything
about the Depression, it actually began on the farms. At that time,
I wasn't much to help but I can tell you later on… I was put to work carrying
wood, carrying water.

I knew how to shell peas.
I knew how to break beans. And I had a little wagon so I was the water girl
instead of the water boy. But that was the kind
of things that we did. You had responsibilities in
the barn with the animals from a very early age. It's getting harder
and harder to find, 80-90 you know, plus year-olds
that have that perspective that we just have no concept of what it was like to live
that kind of scarcity. My mother was raised just about
how her great grandmother was. I was raised pretty much like my mother and dad were
up to a point.

And that's why with my
kids, they were able to change, but they had to change so
much faster than I did. [No audio] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] -When guys think of your
parents and how they grew up, what do you imagine? -So, they had no internet,
no smartphones. What do you think
they did for fun? [Soft Music] Um I… I don't really know
how they would like communicate with their friends. Faxing? Something in the 70s… faxing. If you've seen Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory, I imagine their life
was like Charlie. It was definitely far
different than what it is now. Lots more kids outside. A lot more like being
outside than inside. I was outside 24/7. We were told to get out of
the house, either in or out. So, if you want to go
outside, you were out all day. I pretty much lived on my bike. I would ride my BMX bike. -I fell in love with baseball. I believe we played kick the
can in the middle of the street.

Capture the flag to manhunt to
wiffle ball to basketball to… We built a zip line. And it was actually made out of clothes-line which I
would not recommend. I remember getting up
at 5:30 in the morning to help my friend
with his paper route. He paid me with a doughnut,
you know? Yeah, if I wasn't lighting
somebody's house on fire, pouring sugar in a gas
tank or something… Yeah you went outside. You
went and rang the doorbell. Hey man, you want to play?
And pick up somebody's sort of one house at a
time until you had a posse. Go to Scott's house.
Last time we saw the two of them,
they were with Jennifer. Then you went and did
whatever you want. Then before you knew it, you had
the whole neighborhood outside. When the streetlights came
on. We had to come home. You had be home
when the lights came on. You know, when the
streetlights came on. When the streetlights came on.
-Streetlights came on. Came home by dinnertime. Come in when it gets dark.

Came home when it got dark. And parents would look
at me quizzically like why are you here already if
you're sitting around? I feel like life was more
authentic, like more genuine. Yeah, they got creative. They got very creative. I feel like that's why
our like parents' like stories are so
much better than ours. They had so much more fun.
-Yeah How do you think they got in
touch with each other? [Soft Music] They didn't. [Laughter] They never got in touch. Maybe like the house phone. They have to actually like
dial a phone number. Remember in the kitchen there
would be that ringing sound? We had the one phone
in the kitchen that had the really long cord. It still hung on the wall. Yeah it still hung on the wall.
-I can remember setting the dinner table and having to take
the phone cord my mom's head.

Yeah, I was rarely on the
phone if my sister was on. And then I would spend
hours trying to record her. We always had to have quarters
on us too for payphones. When you were out and about…
It's was critical. I would call my dad if I needed
to ride home if it got too dark. I remember when call
waiting happened. Like what?
What is this technology? I had a pager at the
tail end of College. -We didn't have a phone till
I was in College. Everyone from the
highway to here would be on the same line. So we… I think we had
nine people on the line. I don't think I had a telephone
until I was in maybe 5th grade.

But I think if we want
to sort of be more real and focus on what people
are experiencing now, we probably would
want to be talking about the
Information Revolution. [Soft Music] When I was a Junior, I was taking a class and
our professor was like we are going to communicate with another college
class in Sweden. And we were like, how…
How are we going to do that? So, we all went to the computer
lab, stared at this black screen and we typed in like
C:\\ all these numbers.

I remember thinking this…
Why would anybody do this? And she had this
thing called AOL. And there was this dial up
internet thing and it was like, [funny sounds] [56k modem sounds] And then all of a sudden,
she's in this chat room. So, what's everyone up to today? Well, Linda Emerson called and
she asked if Tosh and Peter can help Andrew and Lisa learn
about the Internet, What's a web page? Something ducks walk on? Ha ha, very funny. And frankly, I remember there
being almost nothing to do once you were online. It seemed really cool and
then you had no idea what to do. It didn't feel life
changing until I think much later than that. Particularly over
the last 20 years, we've just seen this
explosion of innovation and new technology. I do remember the first time somebody said, "You've
never Googled something?" And I was like, "What's Google?" Yahoo Meetups. I think
they came before MySpace. Facebook was born
like the week our oldest son was born. So… when we look at him with
his adolescent awkwardness, like that's, that's
how old Facebook is.

My kids are way better at using
apps and mobile devices now than I am. Kids are so intuitive with…
-Yeah. like the mobile devices. They can pick up
any mobile device and just it's so intuitive they
know exactly what to do with it. Just pick it up and figure
it out. Okay, there you go. And you're just like,
what did you do? I've seen kids run
circles around parents. At least now I have in house
tech help when I need it.

Technology moves quickly. It's like the Wild West. I try to keep up
with the latest… by the time I'm aware
of what it is, they've gone on to the next one. How do you keep up with
something new every day? It's exhausting.
You can't just like… okay, I've got to vet all this
and vet all this… -I am not currently
on any social media. -The use phones has
just ramped up. -I wouldn't even know
how to navigate. -Everything is going crazy. -It's very difficult to opt out. It's already too late. [Soft Music] The train has already
left the station way before I realized,
and I'll never catch up. [Soft Music] -Do I feel like I can protect my
kids from the dangers online? Uh no. They're going to have to
navigate it and make decisions for themselves without me
sooner than I want. Its pace has been so fast that some of the,
we'll call them guardrails that are necessary to keep
an industry accountable, have been set aside in the
spirit of innovation.

Right now we're effectively
living in an experiment. {\an8}[Soft Music] {\an8}How is this going to affect us? We'll find out with the
current generation. -Uh I will tell you that… I'm probably going
to be dead and gone and I will probably be
thankful for it when all this
[bleep] comes to fruition. -Because…
because I think that… [Soft Music] this scares me to death. [Soft Music] [Soft Music] The internet is awesome.
It's a great place. People use it for work, people use it for art, people
use it for socializing. For me, I don't know. It's
just fun to take cool pictures and to show them
off to the world. I like like checking
up on people from like that I haven't talked to since
like the fifth grade. Like you don't get to
see them for a month, you can talk to
them over FaceTime. Staying connected,
sharing photos, and being support
to one another. My partner calls it
SMS parenting because I just text them.

-Of course, the
educational opportunities. Having the internet at my
disposal, I can search anything. What did I have? I had the
World Book Encyclopedia? Just feeling a sense
of security and safety with the ability for
the location tracking feature. Yeah, it's like letting everyone
know where we are and stuff just to make sure
everyone's safe. Or if he's at a friend's
house, I could call. Are their parents home? It's actually been a way
that we can keep track of them out there in the real world where things really are scary. [Sound of Breeze] Do you think the dangers
online are more prevalent or dangers in real
life are more prevalent? -I think it's I think I'm still
more afraid of the real world.

I think my primary concerns did
tend to be physical. Any situation where they cannot physically
defend themselves -Yeah.
-Then that's
number one for me. -Yeah.
-That's scary to me. And that's everything outside of
that side of the house. I really wasn't allowed to
walk around the street. I couldn't ride my
bike around my street. I am a senior in high school.
I still can't sleep over. Like you know, we
can't do that now. We can't just walk down
the street and like go to a restaurant. I mean, it's just not
really that safe. Without worrying about
being kidnapped.

-Or, even… I'm going to throw out raped. -Yeah.
-Yeah. Many parents today worry more about physical
danger of their children than they do online danger
for their kids because it's something
that they can relate to. -I don't know whether Jimmy
has lost his kite or what, but he's really
asking for trouble climbing a power
or a telephone pole. Here's one rusty nail and
believe me, it's dangerous. I remember my parents
really, you know, teaching me sort of very physical danger
prevention things like look both ways when
you cross the street and be careful who you talk
to, and things like that. All of those things parents
heard when they were growing up. And so that's something that
they can hold on to.

It's a fear that they remember.
Whereas everything online… oftentimes, it's so far out of
what they can imagine because they're not using the
technology the same way that kids are, that they can't
even wrap their brain around it enough to know
what to be afraid of. The greater danger… is definitely mental versus
physical in this world. Um I see it. I see it. The biggest issues that
have come up with our kids have all been mental. We've already been
introduced to sexuality, cyberbullying, marketing,
and persuasion. The dangers for my
kids that are more present are way more mental and emotional. I think parents are aware that
there are mental dangers out there but I feel like we're
constantly as parents, you just tend to think that probably
it won't happen to my kid.

Statistically speaking, our world is much safer
outside in the neighborhood. Those physical dangers are
much less likely to happen than the dangers that
we're seeing online. [Soft Music] -I remember in fifth grade, like I saw all friends slowly,
like starting to get phones. And I was like, well, I want
to be able to text my friends. I want to be able to like, do like fun things on your
phone. Like it's a fun thing.

When Annabel was five,
I gave them their first iPod. I was, I was 11 when I
started feeling pressured. Um, like, even before
that people had cell phones. Kids are ostracized by the time
they hit middle school. They go in 6th grade, almost everyone
has a phone and if you don't have a phone, then it's almost
like a bullying thing. You can do better than your
peers if you have access to some social media that allows you to
engage and know when things are happening and that
you don't miss out. Peers judge other peers by their
knowledge of what's happening. Certainly in the last
five years we've we've seen kids usage of devices
continue to increase. We've also seen kids getting
devices younger and younger. The rate at which they're
experiencing certain types of problems continues to increase. [Soft Music] I'm Kelly Anne. I have worked in multiple
different areas with teens, Children's Hospital, nonprofit.

I met this groups of girls
when they were freshmen. And I have been with them now
for four years. They're seniors. They have access to me 24/7. Like what's the max amount
you think in one day in the past three years?
Like if you picked one day you spent the most time on your phone. How long do you think it was? Oh, I'd say 18…
-Hours? Maybe. I'd say five. The last two months
it's been eight, nine, 10, 11 hours a day. Yeah, maybe like 12. -So, in the past 10 years or so the time that they're spending
online has skyrocketed. On average, maybe
seven hours a day. It's a lot of time when
you also have to do school and sleep and eat. Seven hours a day is
like a work shift. There's a lot to
do on your phone.

Like you can text people, you
can play games, take videos, like take pictures. Like
there's a lot to do. -We've always had these things
that captured our attention. But there is a certain
level of precision with which today's technology hones in
on our neurology and the way that we are wired. Social Media and
other internet platforms
make their money by keeping users engaged.
And so they've hired the greatest engineering
and tech minds to get users to stay longer inside
of their apps and
on their websites. I use Instagram, Snapchat. Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. Two Instagram accounts.

I can just scroll
for hours on end. I use Instagram, Twitter. Instagram, definitely. My favorite is Snapchat. If I was to delete Snapchat like
I don't think I would hang out. I don't know what's
going on with Snapchat. There's stuff on TikTok. The social media games like
TikTok and Fortnite. I look up from my phone
after being there for 15 minutes and it's
been like, an hour. Scrolling through Instagram. Then end up watching other
people's videos for like five hours on end. Watch Netflix for time
and then like go off Netflix, check Snapchat, check
Instagram, go back on Netflix. What I really do when
I'm not online is [No audio] kind of just sit on
my ass and, like, eat. I call it the race to the
bottom of the brain stem. So, it starts with
techniques like pull to refresh.

So, you pull to refresh
your news feed that operates like a slot machine.
It has the same kind of addictive qualities that keep
people in Las Vegas hooked. One of the central
issues of Skinner's philosophy of behaviorism
is that just like the pigeon, man is a predictable animal.
-Gambling systems have a schedule that we
call variable ratio that explains why people gamble.
The psychoanalysts say people gamble to hurt themselves,
destroy themselves. Other people say they do
gamble for the excitement. And so… but nonsense.
You gamble because there's a certain schedule
built into the gambling device or system as in a horse race. This same schedule will
make a pathological gambler out of a pigeon as well
as out of a person.

It's interesting raising kids,
um, five years apart, you know. John could leave his phone
sitting somewhere away. We've noticed that Jack's
generation of kids — they can't do that. They're so completely
tied to their phone and they don't even know life
without a telephone. Typically when I get bored I
do pick up my phone. I tend to switch apps
every 30 seconds to a minute. They will literally
melt their brains before they got
off the device. When we think about
traditional drug use, we know that the age of
first you use, the earlier it happens, the greater likelihood
for addiction. And so think about, you know, with children
their brain is developing. And if they are not
having balance in how they are using this and
it's developing at a younger age…

I just, you know, question how that will continue to
impact them for years to come. Young folks tend to have their
reward sensitivity and their social sensitivity
develop much earlier than their ability to regulate
these areas in their brain. Throughout childhood, the brain
experiences rapid maturation. It begins in areas responsible
for basic perception and memory way in the back
of the brain and it ends in front of the brain.
And the front of the brain, that's the areas that
are most important for having us regulate
our responses to rewards and our responses
to social feedback.

And the highest order part of
that doesn't really develop until the 20s. My biggest fear is when they get
older that they never put those things down,
and that they are so disinterested with connecting
with other people (like in person, you know), that
it negatively affects them. Being a leader 14
years ago was easier. The way kids are has
definitely changed. They have less or
no coping skills. They are also harder to kind of
break that outer shell and talk about hard things. They don't want to or
they don't know how. It's wild. They really just
don't know how to get there.

One of the greatest
consequences of screen time addiction is just lack
of social development social skills development, being able to connect
with other people. And we're seeing a lot more
of that as we are becoming more aware of what
social media does to our ability to have empathy and to interact with others and
to see their social cues, understand their social
cues and react accordingly. We're seeing the
difference that it's making but the kids aren’t. The disconnect of even just
he with his friends. I mean, I mean,
it is how they connect. But how connected are they if
they're all getting depressed? Yeah, if they don't
have anything to compare it with, you know,
like you said, we have a comparison because
we grew up differently because we didn't
have the option. We're incredibly
social creatures. That's actually
what separates us. Not our intelligence,
but our ability to work together in communities to
thrive as humans. A huge chunk of your brain
is devoted towards just understanding people's
moment to moment facial expressions, because
social signals that come very rapidly are incredibly
important to us.

Even if in the moment we're not
totally realizing how important those social signals are. [Soft Music] Would any of you guys
say that you struggle or have struggled with
anxiety or depression? Anxiety. In high school? Both. Yeah. Depression. -Yeah, me too.
-Yeah. Dope. -Uh, yes, definitely. I have
an entire friend group who, uhh… has latched on to
each other due to their connection with depression. Because they both are prone
to anxiety and depression. I can't pinpoint whether or not it has anything to
do with their device.

He's addicted to games.
I'm addicted to some games. Sometimes when we don't get
it we cry; we throw a fit. I noticed that my anxiety ramps
up when I'm on my phone more, but not from like any
specific thing. Just kind of, the more time I spend in my
head, the worse off I get. A statement I've been making at
my talks with high schoolers is, Don't you all just sort of feel
like every moment of every single day we're all living in a
state of low-grade anxiety? And they all just kind
of look at me like, "Yeah." So, we are seeing many more kids
coming to school with diagnoses of anxiety and depression.

Umm… and, we
also know that the teen suicide rate
from 2010 to 2017 um… increased 56%. My day to day life in the
ER over the last 20 years, I think there's been two
very palpable changes. One is childhood obesity, and
the other is mental health issues in terms of the volume
and the frequency. I have personally
seen a difference in the number of children who are coming to the ER with
mental health issues, with non-suicidal self harming
and suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. His demeanor with me
and his temperament, everything is different after
he's had hours of gaming or something with a friend. Sometimes I feel like I wanna
give it up, but it's such a big part of teenage life, I guess you could say
that I just couldn't. A lot of like our lives
are on our phones, like texting our friends,
like that's on our phone. Like we have to be on it if
we want to talk to our friends.

Like our school
actually gives us information through
social media. So, it's kind of just
like goes hand-in-hand that you will be using social media
and have a phone. The lives of kids were sort
of changing slowly for a while, and then all of
a sudden, phones, smartphones were
easier to get. Social media was
easy to get. Most people were
able to afford that, most kids were able to
get on social media, and that's when everything
kind of skyrocketed.

I'm addicted to my iPad. I'm addicted. But adults, not just teenagers are also addicted
to their phones. Parents are the
primary determinant as to how a kid uses technology.
In other words, if we want our kids to be consuming technology
differently, then we first need to look in the mirror and ask
ourselves, "Would we want them using their technology
exactly how I do?" The race for attention has
to get more and more aggressive.

And so, it's not enough
just to get your behavior and predict what will
take your behavior.
We have to predict how to keep you hooked
in a different way. And so it crawled deeper down
the brain stem into
our social validation. So, that was the
introduction of likes
and followers. I post a lot. I used to… like, I almost like have
like a mental schedule like okay like each month
I'll post. And, like, I'll edit the picture and like make
it look really good. Now I just kind of like
post like when I want to. And I like definitely
delete posts that that don't get a lot of likes. I like to have a lot
of likes at my posts. Just to like, it just
makes you feel good. You feel better when people are
Yeah, you're looking good. But then at other times you
feel horrible because people aren't liking your posts, but
you can see they looked at it.

No, I don't care. I mean, it sucks when
my art doesn't get a whole lot of likes, um… They call each other and
say, "Hey, do me a favor. Like my picture. I need I need more
likes on my…" Like, it's really easy for you
to be like, "Oh, look at this other girl, like she got this
many more likes. Like her body's is,
is this much nicer." Are they chasing likes? Are they as some young people say, you
know, I'll put a photo up but if I don't get 50 likes
right away, I'm taking it down.

And that got every,
it was much cheaper too, instead of getting
your attention to get you
addicted to getting attention from
other people. And this has
created a kind of mass narcissism and
mass cultural thing that's happening with
young people, especially today. I think people's online status
does connect to their popularity at school. I'd say
they're kind of symbiotic, like they both feed
off of each other. Look at this, I have a 400
streak with this person. I'm better than you.
Or, look at this, I got 600 likes on Instagram.
I'm better than you. They just want to be famous. They just want people
to adore them. They're hoping to get famous.
They're hoping to get popular, they're hoping to get
validated by strangers on the internet. Clout addiction. You
know what clout is? It is not as if all of
the sudden, a separate part of our brain evolved in
the past 10 years to separate out social
signals from social media, from those social signals that
we get in real life.

The social feedback is
literally rewarding when it's positive, and it's literally
punishing when it's negative. Ms. Stanphil, I was
a little confused by one thing you said… Did you say Google doesn't
use persuasive technology? That is correct, sir. [Ragtime Piano Music] What gets the most likes? [Ragtime Piano Music] More skin, more likes.
-Yeah. Girls in bathing suits.
-Yeah. You have to
sexualize yourself or you have to post
a bikini pic or something that's revealing
in order to get a lot of likes.

The more attractive you are,
the more likes you get. Hot girls get a lot of likes. Parents day-in-age, you couldn't
get on your phone and be like, "Oh my gosh, look at
Kim Kardashian's life." We have the ability to
compare ourselves with other people. We weren't really worried
about what we were wearing because everybody in the whole
world wasn't watching us. The pressure to maintain the
perfect image online is huge. On the flip side, if they post
something and either don't get likes or get poor comments,
then it's hit with depression. -But you know what you look
like. You can see yourself. You don't need [laughter] um… Yeah, but it's not how you
look like this. – Yeah. It's like how you
look like on that. It's not checking to see if
their hair's okay. It's seeing if they look
like the girl that they saw on Instagram,
that was perfect.

Seeing people like that.
It's like, why can't I, you know,
look like that? It's weird because we know that
they're made up and they're not like 100% authentic pictures. Girls like strongly
edit their pictures. And you can like, tell like the wall is bent at that
their waist. So like [laughter]. But it just still
makes you feel like They're always ready
for a phone. It's like they're constantly
prepared to be captured by something and be
shown to the world.

A man feels free if he
believes he is free. And he will believe he is
free if he is conditioned by positive reinforcement
to think so. [Gentle Breeze Sound] [No audio] [No audio] You could be the meanest,
most horrible person in the world,
and if somebody sees you have 6,000 followers on
Instagram at school, or like you get a ton of
likes, they'll be your friend. They don't care
what you're like. Are you going to be on my
side if I let you up? Sure Chip, sure I'm on your
side! Just let me up! I'll do anything you say! When I was a student,
bullying was always in person.

In my neighborhood, the
bully who lived up the hill and we would be careful
to not go that direction, 'cause if he was outside he would grab your
bike and harass you. Get off, I wanna ride it. Oh, no, Chip! Not my new bike! Oh, I was bullied
all through school. And I can remember the kid
who you all just kind of knew was mean to people.
Whether it was on the playground or other places. I'm not
going to say his name. But I'm sure he is
a great guy now. The bullying happened at
school or on the bus. The ways in which this person
could have access to my life were pretty limited. In this case, it was the seven
hours that I was at school. Okay real mature guys! Now it's always available. It's
going to follow them everywhere. Has any of you ever
been harassed online? Yes. [Laughter] 120%. People are still
just like, mean. Yeah, they're called trolls.
They just like troll you and try and make you feel bad. Trolls are just kind of
a part of the society we live in nowadays.

Our bullying did not
go in front of the whole world on
social media. To them, it feels like it
went out to the whole world. Personally, I don't
really get those. Well, um… Where are the safe
places for a kid growing up? Because as soon as I get home,
everyone goes to their room and the devices come out
and everything that was horrible about what
just happened is shared over and
over and over again. By sixth grade, he was like
bullying me on Instagram and my friends were telling me and I had no means
to defend myself. Well, honestly, I do think it's
worse to be bullied online. because you don't know who
you're talking to. Big picture. He was bullied in a
lot of different ways. And part of the way that also showed up was
through text message.

You know, it was in person
in school, in the classroom. Divide and conquer
as well as cyber. And so, it was coming at
him from all angles. And it would never shut off.
Um but the cyber stuff, So I would block kid A
and block kid B and they would give
Ethan's number. Then they started texting
Gavin. They had Gavin's ID and messages were coming in
through. Gavin was what? Six at the time? They were relentless. He was the target. It was relentless.
-Relentless. When I finally did get a
phone in seventh grade, it got bad because I also got
Snapchat around the same time. And so, I could now see
what he was posting about me. Every kid sees this happening. It's hitting a much larger and
broader audience than it ever used to. You know, and sometimes
people pile on. It's another thing when the
bully gets 25 people on a text thread and
it's all directed at you.

It's just, it's a different
scale and it's a different time. {\an8}It's an amplifier for
the worst parts of us. {\an8}Let's take an
example like Twitter. {\an8}It's calculating what is the
thing that I can show you {\an8}that will get, gets
the most engagement.
And it turns out {\an8}that outrage, moral outrage
gets the most engagement. {\an8}So, it was found
in this study that {\an8}for every word of moral outrage
that you add to a tweet, {\an8}it increases your
retweet rate by 17%. If they didn't have
tech, I swear they would have a
black eye every day. There are just so many more
channels through which I can be a complete jerk that don't
involve me being in front of you, which is the great
neutralizer of cruelty.

Because if I see you and I
look you in the eye, we tend to treat each
other differently. He was having a
really difficult time. He was very agitated. Uh, and
it had to do with his phone. And I couldn't understand
because we'd found some text messages on there that
concerned me. And I asked him about it. I took the phone
from him and uh… we talked, we shed
some tears and I said, Really son, what's
going on here? A couple of days after
Christmas his stomach pains got so bad, we had to
go to the emergency room I was convinced he
had appendicitis. He was in so much pain. He
threw up two or three times. His blood work's good. This
is weird, like we don't know. And I knew in that moment it
was anxiety. I knew it. We got into the other side, but
there was a place there where it was so dark.
I thought, this is it.

That this is that tipping
moment where we lost our kid. {\an8}You know, certainly
there's an element that {\an8}kids need to learn
resilience and they need to um, understand that people are
not always going to agree with them and they may even tease them. There's
an element that um that's okay because that's, we can't train
kids to expect that they will always be shielded from any
negative thing in their life. That said, it's important for a
parent to know where in the spectrum
it is for your child relative to where they are in their
developmental cycle. -So, it's definitely there. It's
definitely there, but I'm certain it's probably more
behind people's backs nowadays.

Cyber bullying is definitely,
like Charlie said, a lot more subtle than people like to
make it out to be. So, what happens
when somebody takes somebody off Instagram? Oh, it's a big deal. It's a big deal.
-Yeah. It's like, you know, when you
block somebody on Instagram, like you can tell, like, we
all know the signs of like when somebody blocks you on
Instagram. And it's a big thing because you know, this person
doesn't like you anymore.

That group photo where I
don't tag that one girl. The parents may not pick
up on that but that is a
subtle way of saying I'm not going to tag you or
I'm not going to like that photo
or whatever it might be. We've attached worth to those
those things. And this is a
little subtle jab that kids are doing all the
time. I see it. I hear it. What about the constant
awareness that you're not
invited to something or you're being left out? – I hate that.
[Laughter] Nothing makes me more
upset than that. When people hang out or do
something cooler than you,
they're going to post it And then it just shows
like, "Hey, you're not here." You know, you suck.
[Laughter] I was actually like be
like, What did I do wrong? I must've done something
wrong. Like, I need to fix
something about my character I should completely
change myself.

Who would be the person
that would be invited? And then
make myself into that. -It's not outright and it's not
something you can just see
when you go online. It's something that's behind the
scenes and it's something that affects someone over
years and years and slowly changes, um,
the way they think. [No audio] [No audio] -How easy was pornography
to come across? Oh boy. -Oh boy…
[laughter] It's like mom, dad don't
watch this.

– I know. I had a trunk and I had ways to
hide it, and we had different
methods of finding it. We all congregated at this one
guy's house because he
had a VHS tape that had something on it that
had been recorded from Cinemax. Hey, let's go up to your
uncle's, go to the
up bathroom there. We take a Playboy in there, put
them in a tin, run down the
alley and look at it. She brought out a few magazines. "Quick, quick, you can look real
quick. Oh, somebody's coming." "Look at this." And it was a
Playboy Magazine. And I was like, "Good night,
what are they doing?" And we thought,
this is our moment. You had to be MacGyver to
like, you know, to get it,
hold it, keep it. But they had those sex hotlines
that you could call.

Oh, yeah. The the
1-900. I remember it. [Laughter] They would advertise
it on the late night TV. But this was again a plan,
like a detailed plan that
had to be enacted. And there was no other
way to get access to this
sort of thing. In the 50's, we had pinup
girls — Brigitte Bardot,
Marilyn Monroe. And in the 60's we had girly
magazines. And then in the
80's we had VHS. And then there were chat
rooms with webcams… and now we have cell
phones in kids' hands. [Soft Music] All the physical barriers be
it, um, physical location, right? Be it proximity, all those
sorts of things, be it people, maybe they had access to it,
right? None of those
barriers exist anymore.

I mean, it's completely
different now. I mean, it is. Like it's all
video and it's all… I mean, watching XXX videos are a lot
different than looking at a
Playboy magazine. The Australian study that
found that about half of children ages of 8 to 16 had exposure to pornography,
and many of those were
actively seeking it out. 27%. If you look at
the unfiltered internet, 27% of all video content on the unfiltered internet is
pornographic or explicit
in some way. If I imagine, everyday growing
up, there was a coffee table in
my living room and there were four
magazines on that coffee table. One of them was pornographic
and three of them weren't. And my parents just hoped
every day that I didn't look
at the wrong one. [Soft Music] That is what the unfiltered
internet is for kids today. We have put little boxes
of porn in their pockets, under the guise of safety,
under the guise
of over-protection, under the guise that I have to
get in touch with my kid all the
time, every day 24/7, we have given them
access to pornography that far exceeds anything
that we ever were exposed to.

What about porn? Does every,
do guys all watch porn? I didn't even realize that, but
pretty much every guy has
like an addiction to it. -Oh, yeah.
-But no one talks about it. So, saying like talking to them
about it and they'll be like, I'll be like, "Oh, like, does
that guy do it too?"
And they're like, "Yeah." And I'm like, "That sweet,
innocent boy watches it too?" Everyone.
-Everyone does. I don't know, everyone watches. How many guys or girls do you
guys know that watch porn? I'd say all guys pretty much… I think I know one
guy at my school. I think I've talked to one that
I can confidently say hasn't
and nobody else. You know, it's very prevalent
and like everybody knows it. They watch porn for fun.
They don't even watch it
for any sexual release. They just watch it to watch it. Do you think parents really
have any clue of how significant of an issue of
pornography is in kids? No, not really.

-They are pretty clueless.
-Yeah. What's that,
what percentage? It is on every platform,
even the platforms that
parents think it's not on. Just for example, Twitter. Which is one that most
adults probably use. They
probably know Twitter. Snapchat is where explicit
content on Pornhub lives
just seconds away from every user through
back doors within the app. The app knowingly allows
a well-documented list of
porn performers to make thousands of
dollars daily through their
premium Snap accounts. The people behind pornography know how to optimize their
content for search terms. Pornographers, any new
technology that comes out, they
immediately saturate it.

They know about it, before, as
it's getting ready to come out and they are ready with
every strategy to saturate it. What age did like watching
porn become common? I'd say seventh grade. Yeah, middle.
-Middle school. Ninth and 10th grade. I remember
guys being like, "Yeah, I had an
issue in seventh grade." and I'm like,
"I'm sorry, what?"
-What? What I say to parents is it's
time for every parent on Earth to leave the ignorance of the
land of "if" and embrace the
reality of "when." The film we'll see this
morning will give the
answers to these questions, it will also show the earliest
phases of growth as well
as the changes that take place during
childhood and adolescence. So, when my parents
were addressing the birds
and the bees with me, um, there was no
conversation. [Laughter] I walked out more confused
after the conversation than
when it started. We don't talk about those
things at all. [Laughter] Now, sex, sex, sex,
sex. Where were we? It's absolutely normal to be
curious about sexuality, it's
normal to be interested.

Don't have sex. 'Cause you will
get pregnant and die.
Just don't do it. Promise? Okay. Everybody
take some rubbers. My dad had conversations with
me when I was a teenage girl. Like, I asked him and he was
very blunt and just told me. Do you think kids are
using pornography
as sex education? Definitely yeah. Unfortunately.
– 100% Okay. They feel like they don't
want to talk to a parent or like a guidance counselor
or anything like that. 'Cause it's awkward. Like
it's an awkward topic
to talk about. Like I said, I have
three classes right now and they all are going like
over Sex Ed type things
and it's really boring. So, a lot of the times I
don't like, I just kind of
like tune it out. This is a tool for sex
education for a lot of children. They are learning so many wrong
things, not only about sex but
about relationships. Guys especially our age, like
they just like, watch porn to be fulfilled in their
own ways. So, then
they're just like, if my girl can't do the
same things that these
people are doing, like something's off.

I don't
want to be compared to
like a porn star… Wow. There's like certain guys
that I've hooked up with
and I'm like, "Whoa this is really aggressive,
like this is too much for me."
And then I'm like, and it's just terrible.
I'm like, this is so bad.
Because I haven't had sex yet like people… the guys who
like ask and I'm like, "No, I don't want to do that
with you." And they're like, "Are you kidding me?"
Like, they get so mad. Guys get this image in
their head that that's
how intimacy goes and that's how sex goes, and there's definitely a bigger
population of guys that
feel that way now than they were, there
were even like five years ago. [Sound of Breeze] [Sound of Breeze] The science is still
emerging, but I just happen
to live in the camp that when young people are
exposed to large amounts
of pornography, it shapes the way that they
see other people.

pexels photo 5733139

I happen to be somebody who
at a very young age, was
exposed to pornography. I discovered a stack you know,
of magazines when I was
way too young. And that planted a lot of
curiosities in me that I wasn't
ready for quite honestly. I didn't know what
to do with that. Um, and we could talk a long
time about what that did
to me later in life and what that did to
distort just my views of
sex and intimacy even as a, you know, a
young adult and as a
married man, um even leading to an
addiction of my own
to pornography that was destructive
in a lot of ways. That was years ago, but
I can link all of those
things together. And I'm a guy that did not
grow up in the digital age, yet I was exposed to
something that I
wasn't ready for. I didn't have anybody who was
giving me any sort of baseline
to compare that to.

So, a combination of
that early exposure,
plus the Internet became a very toxic
thing for my life. I feel like a lot of porn does,
um I guess show the woman as
more submissive and it kind of puts that idea,
I guess, in boys' minds. It just leads to guys
objectifying women a lot, you
know? And then forget about the whole relationship part
and that's all they think
of now, is just sex because that's all they've seen. Even though we've been talking
about a lot of like guys are
like into pornography, but like a lot of girls are

-Oh, absolutely.
-Yeah I don't even think parents have
like, the birds and the bees
talk anymore. 'Cause kids will know about it
by the time they are like eight, if they have access
to social media. -Yeah.
-It's just honestly f-ed up. But it's just faster
now and it's younger. 20% of youth report that they uh
came across it, children, you know, that it was unwanted. But we can now be in different
places and we're in a group chat and somebody shares it.
Everybody's got it if they open it. And in the elementary
schools that I'm in, I typically hear counselors
saying, yeah, we've got kids that are already seeking
that out in the
elementary school age.

Sex is not something that
is easy to talk about with
your kid at any age, but it's something that
you absolutely have
to talk about and at a younger age than you
might think, because even if he couldn't access
pornography on his personal
device or through our home uh you know, cable, um somebody
on the bus probably could. [Soft Music] This mother proceeded
to tell me, her son was 11 years old, but
when he was nine years old, he went to sleep over at a
friend's house, a family that
they knew quite well.

And this son, his friend
showed him pornography, um, hardcore, really
horrible stuff on the iPad
at the sleepover. And then proceeded to
practice that pornography
on her son. That was when he
was nine years old. Okay. Fast forward two
years. He's now 11. He's never told
anybody about this, but mom has noticed that my son
just isn't happy anymore. And she sat down and had
a conversation with him
and found out through this conversation that
for two years he had held
on to this secret.

And then he felt so much shame
and guilt that there was
something wrong with him that he did something wrong.
And so for two years, he held on to this corrosive
secret that started on an iPad. The number one common
denominator of those who
abuse other kids is an the early exposure
to pornography. Because what they see, they feel
neurologically compelled to do. [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] I guess my first
boyfriend was… I was college age when I
had my first boyfriend. We would have hay rides
or weenie roasts or it was more, more like just
groups of people. Now, after you finished 4-H
they had what they
call Rural Youth. and that's how I met my husband. We would meet once a month and
maybe have a dance or a lot of
it was square dancing. And everybody would bring
food. And there were a
lot of marriages. Uh my friend Mary Lew and I
both met our husbands
through Rural Youth. So, that's how I met my, that's
how I met my Mr.

[Laughter] [Soft Music] Dating in 2020. How do dating
relationships begin? A guy says you're hot. Pretty much. [Laughter]
-A guy says "What's up?" The guy will like, add you
on Snapchat and then you might like say you liked each other,
but you know, of course
it's over text. So, it's not face-to-face.
Then you guys might
have 'a thing'. Hooking up with each other.
-Know when you like each– So, you hook up before
you are dating? Yes. People don't really go on dates. It's kind of you just like hang
out or like guys just use you.
[Laughter] It's true.
-She's right. We couldn't communicate in
person because we'd like, built
the relationship online. I had like the same
experience only after
about three months, he asked for nudes. And when I
said, "No, I don't send them." Um… he dumped me. For many young people, uh,
sexting could be considered
the new first base. Kids call it nudes.
We call it sexting. Yeah, no, everybody
knows what it is. Everyone knows
sexting is a thing.

My school uh, sending
nudes is very common. It's mainly between people who
aren't actually dating. Do you know of anyone who's
been affected by that
at all in your school? Affected by sexting? Yeah. Yeah. Like, they've had
an incident or a bad thing
happen to them. Well, yeah. Like, um, nudes of
girls go around the school
all the time. -Really? Yeah. We are seeing more and more
young people that expect to jump
right into sexual acts without the relationship portion
before that, without getting to
know each other, without going on
that first date, without holding hands, without
having that first kiss. They're jumping straight to
send me nude photos,
send me a video of you masturbating and that's
happening, younger
and younger.

But in 8th grade there
was like two different groups. And it was like the group of
people that like, did like
send nudes or like did all these things. And
then the group of girls that
like didn't do it, And there was like just a very
distinct and it was eighth
grade. And that's– And that's what
divided the groups? Honestly, yeah.

And like now, like my
brother's in middle
school and like, I sometimes hear him and then
like a bunch of kids I babysit
in middle school like it's happening younger and
younger. And like– Like, I mean, like
sixth and seventh grade… With sexting, while the studies
typically focus on the
ages of 12 and older, I've been in schools —
elementary schools — where sexting has
already occurred with
10 and 11-year olds. We have a lot of teachers and
counselors come in like trying to discourage us from
doing that type of thing. But obviously people
don't listen, like if you have a teacher or
just someone like
telling you constantly not to do it, it makes you
more just want to do it
and like to try it out. Is that amount of
communication needed before a boy feels
comfortable asking somebody
by text for a nude? You're pretty much lucky if
you get about two weeks
into talking to them before they ask.

Or even sometimes they won't
even like just like talk to you.
Like they just Demand it.
-Yeah. Or send their own without
us asking.
-Yeah. What about guys?
Do they send nudes? Yeah they are disgusting.
Who wants to see that? -Would you wake up?
-I wish they wouldn't! One time I was with my friend
and we were, we were having a
sleep over. Woke up. Good morning. It was 8 a.m.
I was like, I don't need
to see this. They are more unsolicited
like most of my friends
have gotten them and I think like for girls for
the most part get
disgusted by it.

What do you think
percentage wise of girls
have received them? High percentage? Probably more than half. -Yeah.
-More than half. Do a lot of people you
guys know send nudes? [No audio] In Middle School?
[Laughter] That's okay. That
was a huge thing. Oh, yeah. You guys had like,
huge problems you were.
dealing with. -Scandals. They're… they're like these
rings almost that got caught and the police
would get involved. In middle school, that's like
the peak of like… which is
totally messed up. It's just so casual. Then when a girl does it's
totally different and looked
down upon kind of. Some girls I know like, they
just like, won't say no because they're like scared of
like the repercussions because they don't want
to be yelled at or called
a prude or like… And you're constantly
judged that's so true. Like they're, they're either
like, oh, well, she's a slut
and will do anything or like, oh, she won't do
anything with guys and there's
really like no in between. It's a no-win situation. If you give it to a boy and then
you're a slut, then the girls
find out about it, then you're cyberbullied
by the girls.

If you don't give it, then some
girls will even jump
on the bandwagon. You know, "I gave it to
so-and-so. What's the problem?
Why won't you do it?" What do you do in
that situation? Because you know you can't win. I don't think people think
it's a positive for doing
that type of thing. But it definitely gives
you a lot of clout. Like, you have a lot
of attention on you. Like, good or bad. And so, people would
definitely want clout. They like do like almost
anything just for people to pay
attention to them.

If the good girl sends
Johnny something that she
normally wouldn't, everyone's gonna be
like, "Let's get more!" And then all the guys
will go after her too. Oh, yeah. Then she's got like
20 new adds on Snapchat,
three new DMs. But behind closed doors
people are like,
"She is a whore." And people act cool around her
but like behind closed doors
people hate her. Let's say your your daughter was
dating a football player. She breaks up with him. She hasn't had sex with him. But he says you need
to give me a little something-something, some
pictures, and then I'll
stay in the relationship. So she does it. She
gets pressured and she does it.

And they break up. Well, I talk to
kids all the time. What happens when you break
up with those pictures? Let me take a step further… What happens when you break
up with your boyfriend and his new girlfriend
goes in his phone and
finds your pictures? It gets distributed. Especially with Snapchat
which is you know, kinda more or less created for that
exact purpose. It gives
people a sense of like, oh, it's not that
serious. The pictures
go away but…

We all can realize now and look
back and say, well no, that's
definitely not true. Yeah. Once something is
out on the Internet, social media will latch on to
it people will download it. So it's like a Dropbox and
it was like, I guess some guy went to our school made it. And it's like just
girls nudes just like Just random people.
-Just like all the guys But everyone had access to it?
-Yeah, anyone could see it.

Yeah, exactly. And there was like a list of
like all the people that had
accessed it and it was even like people that you
wouldn't think really like good guys that you wouldn't
think would like engage
in that kind of stuff. But some girls had no idea that
their pictures were like out in
the open for everyone. All of these naked
pictures and videos guys get from girls they
went to high school with. They're in their college dorm. They go on ANON IB and they trade them
like Yu Gi-oh cards. This girl that I grew up with, she had a sex tape actually
and it was leaked. I remember even I who
didn't even go there
had access to it. But it was sent around and
we were freshmen. One of my most hated terms
is "Not my kid." Parents suffer from a
disease called the NMK syndrome.

It's described as "Not my kid." My kid won't do that,
my kid would never my kids friends
aren't like that. My kids school isn't like
that. You're wrong. Everybody's community
is like that. Every school is like that. Every kid has the potential to do any one of the things that
we're talking about here. Even my own kid. [Soft Music] [Soft Breeze Sound] [Soft Music] [Soft Breeze Sound] [No audio] About 60% of the
youth who experience
sextortion when it's they're kind of blackmailed
or you know, forced
to send images, threatened to send it, actually
know their perpetrator. However, we also know then about
40% met the person online
and sent the image.

[Dramatic Music] He chooses his
innocent victims. This time he will not fail. This time he is sure… So, I grew up in the era
of "stranger danger." So, it was really the
media that taught me
more about strangers. Dangerous people. You
know, "stranger danger." If somebody tries to engage
with you, run away. It's always like a van.
-A white van. -A dude in a van.
-With no windows. You know, don't ever
get into a car. He's gonna promise you a
puppy and some candy. -Don't fall for it.
-Yeah. Yeah.

We were told not to
hitchhike because we
would be kidnapped. So, in 1997… we had a guy come from
Brentwood, Tennessee, drive up
here to Naperville. Met a 13-year-old
at the corner of her block. Took her to a hotel, raped her. Let her go back home. And she told her parents
that she met him on this thing
called America Online. Call now for America
Online. A new way to use your
computer to communicate. My Instagram is
kind of like a mix. Like, I would say half
the people I know and half the people I don't know
or are like friends of friends.

Three fourths of it is probably
my friends from like school or
acquaintances I know. Not just random people
off the internet. But there is of course
that one forth that is random people I've never
talked to or don't know,
looking at pictures of me. When it comes to Tumblr, a lot of people like follow me
for my stuff and that's cool. I like to have them follow me. But also, there's
sometimes people that I don't
know that follow me. I friend a lot of
people I'll just join. He just friends random people. I would just join games for no
reason and just go — add
friend, add friend, add friend. Braxton does end up, you know, I'll be in there and
he's on the headphones playing
Xbox and I'm like, "Who are you playing with?"
And he'll be like,
"I don't know some kid." Have you ever gotten creepy
DMs from guys?

All the time. Have you been solicited by
any creeps online? -Yes.
-Yeah. He was contacted by
a stranger on Instagram. "Oh, like, I saw your page
and like I'm really like, oh, I'm interested like sending
you money for like,
in exchange for pictures…" I had people like DM me
saying that I'm like,
I'm so beautiful and he'll buy me
whatever I want. So, we at Bark, unfortunately, detect issues around
online child predation
very frequently. Last year alone, we escalated
450 online child predators
to law enforcement. And so, we know that
it's a common problem. Uh unfortunately, we
think most parents underestimate the commonality
of that problem.

We decided to go undercover as multiple children
on social media and post innocuous content to
see what would happen. We had to be very
intentional with
everything we did. We had to create personas. They had to have
believable date of births and we'd have to know
everything about the city
that they lived in. And we had to create storylines. And we worked closely
with law enforcement. And basically, just pushed "go." We put everything live and
we documented what happened. [Soft Music] [Notification Sounds] Within the first hour
of posting on Libby's accounts, seven adult men contacted her.

By the end of nine
days, that number was 92. The conversations ranged
in severity from making
sexual comments, to sharing and requesting
explicit photos and videos, to manipulation and threats. [Dramatic Music] We had to deploy an entire
team, you know, around the
clock to responding because the rate at which
these messages came
in was mind boggling. And of course, when
you're dealing with social
media and the internet, it's a global thing. It's not
just an East Coast thing or
U.S.-based thing. There were men that
wanted to talk to children
for nefarious purposes at all hours of the
day and night. We tried it with younger
personas as well,
even an 11-year-old. [Dramatic Music] We launched our
11-year-old persona online. It's 4:44 p.m. and go. [Soft Music] [Soft Music] One like from a guy
whose profile photo… is a penis. -So let's say…
-One minute and seven seconds we have a message request. Although this, sorry, two more requests just
came in.

How much time?
A minute and 40 seconds? Yeah. -How old are you?
-How old are you? You go to the profile,
you'd know that that is a child. It also says in the profile that
the child is in sixth grade. Another one. It's just lighting up. Like the
inbox is just boom,
boom, boom, boom. [Soft Music] [Phone ringing] An incoming video call in
less than five minutes. [Phone ringing] [Soft Music] They all say "don't be shy." This happens to all
types of children.

This is not just kids who
might be at risk. You know, oftentimes it's a
child who's simply bored in
their bedroom at night. And I cannot tell you how
many children I see in their bedrooms on live stream with tons of people just
watching them, asking them
to do certain things. You know, when parents allow
their kids to have that device
in their rooms at night, you know where your parents? These are, then come
the grooming questions,
"Where are your parents?" "Are you on an iPhone
or are you on an iPad?" "What school are going you?"
"What are you wearing?" "Oh,
your makeup looks so beautiful." It's not uncommon for
grooming behavior to
include showing minors, images of pornography to
help them to think
that that is normal. And then, that can be
a progression in towards, um, engaging them
in sexual activity. Do you want that? Do you want that as a parent? Strangers in your child's room. While you're sleeping, would
you leave the door open
with a sign that says "My daughter's bedroom is the
second one on the left,"
and then go to bed? We have traded a false sense of
safety and security for actually putting our kids in
riskier situations.

There are some that are
just there for a quick fix. They want to see uh,
something, a body
part or a live video, and then you might not
hear from them again. But there are others. They use
psychological strategies to methodically groom children
by forming a friendship,
by showing care. And then it is escalates
into more of a
controlling relationship. [Notification Sound] [Ominous Tone] [Notification Sound] [Ominous Tone] [Notification Sound] [Ominous Tone] [Notification Sound] [Ominous Tone] What do predators do
with the pictures and videos
they get from kids? Uh, they keep it
or they trade it. Last year alone, we
received over 18 million reports of international and
domestic online
child sexual abuse. Between 2017 and 2018, video files reported
to NCMEC increased 541%. We're seeing reports with
graphic and violent sexual
images of young children, including infants and reports of on-demand
sexual abuse known
as live streaming. Unfortunately, some of
those were people who wanted to actually meet the child in
person, which could have been
just because they wanted to have sex with a

Sometimes we believe
that it was because they might be part of a sex
trafficking ring wanting to
actually traffic the child. It was a tough decision. But if Keith wanted to
meet Libby in person,
we would let him. The project has also resulted
in numerous arrests,
and that's great. Unfortunately, it's a
drop in the bucket.

The average internet
predator has 250 victims
in their lifetime. One person has that many
victims in their lifetime if
they're not caught. So, what happens in
the law enforcement arena that cops are not getting this
technology training. The problem is so big. I mean, we would need to employ
so many more officers um, trained in dealing
with this issue. When you're a law
enforcement professional, and you're looking at more
cases than you can
ever possibly get to, unfortunately, a lot
of those get triaged so low that they never
actually get investigated. And so, unfortunately,
that allows predators to keep doing exactly
what they're doing without
as much consequence. I think about how I would
have felt as a young
impressionable child. I would have kept the
abuses to myself, for fear of being
shamed and blamed.

I would have suffered with
it secretly and quietly. Uh, it's important really to
never start that process
because as a child, once you're in it, it's very
hard to get out of it. Very hard to come forward and
tell your parents "This is
what's happening to me." Do you think your parents know
that this happens? -Oh, no.
-No. I wouldn't be allowed
to have a phone. If they knew what was going
on, it would stripped…
-If they knew… And so if you, as a
parent or caregiver can be an open,
honest, soft place for your child to come and say,
"Hey, look, everybody
makes bad choices. I'm here for you. We'll get
through this together." There's no bigger God's gift
than a mother's intuition. When a mom knows something,
feels something, there's
something wrong with their kids. And God's given this to moms
to protect their babies. Whether their babies are six
months old or 40,
that never goes away.

So, I always tell moms to
follow that and it will never
lead them astray. The best line of
defense by far is to have active and engaged
parents who understand
what their child might be encountering online. Uh, children unfortunately,
left to deal with this
all on their own. And they're not, you know,
we're talking about 10, 11, 12,
13-year-old kids who are not equipped to
deal with this in a vacuum.

And so, it really takes
that guardian and parent
support system. [Soft Music] [Soft Wind and Chimes] [Soft Wind and Chimes] [Soft Wind and Chimes] We always knew where our next
meal was coming from.
I don't want to say that, but there wasn't much money. And in that, middle of that
time we had had… Um… We'd had a tragedy we lost my sister, my older sister
died of pneumonia. And that's the, talk about
the good old days but
we didn't have the medical care back
then that we have now. And then, in the
following February, um… my mother had a little my little sister, Carolina. And she had a heart defect
and couldn't be saved. So… my parents lost two children
in less than a year. [Soft Breeze] You know… the kind of
things you did and… Sure. Yeah. Jack is…
I have two boys. John and Jack. Jack's the younger of the two.
John's 21.

Jack was 15. Jack was a very outgoing typical
teenager, 14 and 15. Rambunctious, outgoing, very
compassionate pretty much
an empathetic kid. He was a really sensitive person
and I think that was one of his best attributes.
Because he could like tell
when you were feeling feeling down and without even
asking you or having a
conversation with you, he'll just could like
pick that up. Total empath. He was so kind to other kids. And I wonder if that
sense of kindness made him more
susceptible to feeling… [No audio] Was there much talk
of, I mean, with the… do you remember there
being suicides or
anything like that? Never. Never. I never have heard that. We were worried, we were
more worried about
physical illnesses. But I don't remember… I don't remember there being
a problem with suicide. You know, I've always
liked technology. And I will say that it
was hard to keep up with it. But I would stay up
sometimes very late trying to figure out what
my son was doing on his phone, and figuring out how to use all
the same apps that that he used.

So that I never got behind
on that stuff but… You know… that's a really
difficult thing to do. I knew that it was
working because Jack
told me one day, "Mom I give up. I…
You're too smart… I cannot keep up with you.
And I'm just going to tell
you everything now." And he did. Except one thing. [Soft Music] Definitely the worst day in my
life was getting that phone call
from my parents. [Soft Music] He didn't do it on purpose and
he didn't do it to hurt us. You know, he was just
in a lot of pain. [Soft Music] Jack struggled for nine
days in the hospital. And then, after about six
weeks, we were able
to crack his phone. Someone said that
there was, you know, some stuff on sale at Home
Depot that would help you
basically off yourself. And um, And other kids would just come
right out and say, text, you know, just go kill yourself. And then this is not uncommon. He's not the first kid
that's had that happen to him. Why did I not know anxiety was
and why do you know? I guess they've made it all…

They've been a little
bit bitter about… But even then, they only made
it known to us after four
kids killed themselves. That's true. In Littleton alone, at the
beginning of the year, there were multiple
suicides before school
even started. At Children's Hospital, there is a new program for
10-year-olds and over and they say, have you
ever thought about
killing yourself? Have you ever tried
to hurt yourself? How do you feel about that? So, I work in one of the
busiest pediatric emergency
departments in the country.

At any given time, we can
easily have four or five,
sometimes six patients who are there waiting for a
mental health evaluation or waiting to be transferred for
inpatient treatment. You hear from the CDC
that suicide is the second
leading cause of death in children ages 10 to 24. In Colorado, suicide is the
number one cause of death
for individuals 10 to 24. Every day we send out,
you know…

Over… over a dozen
imminent suicide alerts
every single day. It was such a rare
occurrence to see that. Now it is commonplace. You know, did something change
about us biologically? From 2000 to 2007, the suicide rate seemed
fortunately, was pretty stable
and had if anything, some years fluctuated down. But then we saw a beginning
trend and it became
evident over time that it was increasing
from 2010 to 2017. Not only teen suicide,
but child suicide like
10 or 9 years old. I said, "All right, sure.
What have you got?" He goes, "well, Friday
night, I had two 10-year-olds
on Snapchat, one thought it'd be a funny idea
to talk the other one into
committing suicide. And she did it. She's dead." [Soft Music] So, 43% of 1.12
Million children that presented to the ERs for suicidal ideation or
suicide attempts were
under 11 years old. [Soft Music] Whether these young
adults think that they're
not worth anything, I guess, I don't know.
But people can't deal
with things now.

But I feel like a lot of
people in our generation are like way more sensitive
than they should be. If one insignificance happens, it'll just trigger like
every past thing that's
happened in their life. There's always a
competition. Like with school,
you're competing for the best rank
with social media. There's this unspoken I guess kind of
competition for like most
followers in a sense. If you're losing that
competition, I… it hurts. Like it shows.
You feel it in your heart. Constantly comparing myself to
others, constantly, you know,
wanting that thing or needing to be checking or not
falling behind notifications or whatever kinds of stresses
are attached to that. But then you couple
that with the fact that I just don't know how
to deal with anything
coming my way. And I just think at times
for some kids, it's just
a toxic combination. Suicide is always the result
of many, many factors. As we are not teaching kids as many skills to self
regulate and deal
with difficult emotions. Well, one thing that a
device can be is a
great way to distract.

Not being able to have my phone for a week well, definitely like
I would get really bored and I feel like I would
be stressed out. Typically, when I get
bored, I do pick up my phone. I had people to talk
to but they got bored. I don't know. It's just
like something that
I do when I'm bored. Oftentimes, it's a
child who's simply bored. Yeah, I'm pretty much bored. When I get so bored. Sometimes when I'm bored. Because they were bored. When they're bored. Boredom. He is so bored. My mind set got worse
and worse just because
I felt so unproductive and I wasn't doing
anything and I feel like
that's pretty common. You know, most kids are
bored, cooped up
and feel unproductive. At 12, here again, I
was helping my dad. We still, we were still milking
cows, we were still raising
hogs, carrying water. We still didn't
have electricity. I had to have the tractor
gassed up, everything hooked
up and ready to go.

I mowed their lawns, some
housework for those folks. I
didn't even know the word bored. And if we continually
interrupt that boredom with
distraction with screens, I think that we are removing
kids' abilities to deal with
their own thoughts. And then that carries the risk
then of being in a situation where parents are
fixing everything and you
combine that with situations in high school
where parents have
fixed everything I've not been taught how to
deal with my own thoughts.
Life is kind of hard.

I have no idea what
to do with this. [Soft Music] I think I'm still more afraid
of the real world. When the kids are outside, I
don't give them freedom. I really wasn't allowed to
walk around the street. You know, we couldn't do
that now. We couldn't just
walk down the street. Without worrying about
being kidnapped. There's not a lot of
freedom when they go
out in the front yard, or they can't ride their bikes
by themselves to the park. I couldn't ride my
bike around my street. I'm going to throw out raped. Yeah.
-Yeah. I mean, that's just
not really that safe. But I get it from the
parents point because
it's a safety thing too. Out there in the real
world where things
really are scary.

Interesting that you
guys think that because what I'll tell you
is that realistically, the physical world
meaning kidnappings and
that kind of stuff, it's actually much safer now. [No Sound] It's easy to become
fearful of your child
stepping foot outside. It seems like there's so
much imminent risk with
all these things. It's more of an
issue with the parent and then for the kids, you know, it is it's hard to
engage in a world where
it seems like every day or every week or
something there is something
horrible happening. What makes you think that? Yeah, I think it's
because like, it's so like populated like the
news and stuff like you
hear all these… Like watching the
news and like really just seeing all the dangers that
are out there in the world.

[Intense Music]
[News Reporter Crosstalk] [Intense Music]
[News Reporter Crosstalk] [Intense Music]
[News Reporter Crosstalk] [Intense Music]
[News Reporter Crosstalk] [Intense Music]
[News Reporter Crosstalk] [Soft Music] We live in a town,
a community, of 300
million people with a flow of information that
happens all the time. You actually kind
of wonder, can I… are my kids okay to play outside
in the yard for an hour without me sitting
there watching them? And I'm thinking, man when
I was in seventh grade, I was going around my
entire town. On my bike. We were told to get
out of the house. Hey man, you want to play? Ride my BMX bike. Lived on my bike. Played kick the can. Built a zip line. Help my friend with paper route.

Went and rang the door bell. We had the whole neighborhood. When the streetlights came on. Just went off into the woods… Had to be home when
the lights came on. The whole town was, you know,
extended family of yours. This is, this is why am
I nervous? This is so dumb.
I've been conditioned by everybody around me that this
is scary. This is not scary. That anxiety is something
we as parents have to
really kind of do some self examination
with and understand and
wondering what part are we involved in
terms of potentially transferring some of
that anxiety towards our kids. They have to be
allowed to fail.

There's no way you can ever
prevent pain, you know, or
anguish 100% of the time. And in fact, it might
not be healthy. [Soft Music] [Soft Music] Do you guys feel like
teachers and adults,
and parents in general have kind of abandoned
helping you through the
social media thing in life? It's also like we shield stuff
from our parents too so they don't know.
-We are really sneaky.

I don't blame them for not…
-That is so true. being able to help because we
don't ask for help. I definitely feel like us as
kids kind of got put in a
in a tough spot… Yeah. You know, in between two worlds. This is all new for us
as parents, we, we… This technology in this
world has kind of
crept up on us. And there is so many of us
who could do better. My parents would be
like heartbroken that like their kids have
to go through this. Over half of tweens and close
to three fourths of teens experience issues
regarding mental health. And then we get into
cyberbullying and that's
over three fourths. Then we get to sexual
content. And for tweens,
it's around 70% and then for teens,
it gets even higher. Our society has just
become too isolated, just
losing human touch. And there's no human
touch to kind of heal the
scar or the pain. Why do you think all these
like suicide and like depression
rates are skyrocketing? It's because of social
media, And nobody's doing
anything about it.

We gave this stuff to ourselves
because we wanted it. And now we get to watch it
happen to our children. Kids right now are going to
experience the worst of what
we're going through. For most of the things
that parents can't stand
about technology, It's our fault. I don't want to trade my
influence for their access to a million different sources
of influence that may
not be credible. Some parents say I'm not going
to do anything.

I give up.
It's too overwhelming. I just, you know, I'm going to
cross my fingers and hope
that they do okay. As a family, it is the one
thing we fight about,
more than anything. If I had the option
to turn things back and give our kids of
today a life without social
media and smartphones, I would absolutely do it. I would absolutely take away
the internet from my kids. Yes, I would have rather grown
up without the Internet. I mean, I would do
it immediately.
Take it all away. If social media was gone, like
completely and nobody had it,
it'd be a positive. [Piano Music] I do long some for my
children to know a
bit more peace. A bit more calm.
A bit more boredom. [Soft Breeze] You can't go back. You can't go
back. I know we can't go back. But I wish we could make
children realize that life is precious, and it's a
gift and we need to really [Soft Music] just really value it.

Do I wish that we
could just throw all
the technology away? I kind of do, honestly. But I know that that
is not the solution. I think we're going through
a painful process of adaptation to something that's
fundamentally changed
our culture. But the opportunities for
kids in this world are so much more vast.
And yes, it's
more complicated. And it comes with its own set
of worries and concerns. But if you take the
control out of it, and you focus on just
trying to teach them how
to be people in this world, with all the things
coming at them. Technology is amazing. I think it's a great thing
for human culture
and stuff like that if we can control our
consumption of it. [Soft Music] So, new technology
almost always comes with
unintended consequences.

You know, we didn't
have car crashes before
we had the car, right? The car is a great invention. Uh, but unfortunately, that
resulted in car crashes. And so, the answer was
not stop driving cars. The answer was, we invest in
driver's education, and we add
seat belts and airbags and lane assistant. We're
constantly looking for
technological solutions and educational solutions
to make that technology safer.

How do we keep
our kids safe? Uh, there's so
much to that. I think what we need is a
mass public awareness campaign so people understand
what's going on. One thing I have learned
is that if you tell people
this is bad for you, they won't listen. If you
tell people this is how you're
being manipulated, They'd… no one wants
to feel manipulated. As parents though, we
decided we're going to
become the experts. They need to start to see us as
the experts rather than just
everybody out there. What's awesome is all
these parents are, you know,
becoming innovators. And they're like, wow,
there isn't this safety thing
that we need and so I'm going to invent it. There's so much more help now
than there was five years ago.

[Soft Music] And there are ways that it
can benefit them hugely, but it's not going to
benefit them and they're
not going to use it only for positive stuff
unless we educate. The best filter that your
child will develop is the one
between their ears. So, having an adult they can go
to that they trust is critical. And having an adult that's
interested in and able to have
the conversations with them is critical. And they'll say, you know,
I want to talk to my parents,
but they just don't get it. And maybe they don't, but
they should try to get it. Because once you
crack the shell, oftentimes these kids are
just dying to share. The best thing that you
can do for your child is make sure that they feel
comfortable talking to you about
these types of issues.

Unfortunately, most parents
are relatively ignorant about the types of things
their children are
experiencing online and aren't prepared to
help them even if the
issues do come up. So, you're my child, I love you. So, if something goes
sideways that we missed, I want you to know you
have the open door and
we're not going to, to give you any consequences
for coming to us. Because you're going
to make mistakes. I want a kid to kind of once
in a while go, "Oh mom, I
already know that." "Good. Just honey I wanted to
make sure. You know why? Because I love you so much. That I want you to know
this thing," right? If a kid isn't to the
point where they're
just a little bit annoyed by you going there again, then
you're not doing it enough.

[Soft Music] At some point they
will be taking flight and they will be leaving
our home in just a
few short years. And I want to know that we gave
them everything that we had. I mean, that's the truth.
Even my husband who is the most, he's not a very emotional guy. He will call me up in the middle
of the day and be like, "Gosh,
she's just amazing. She's an amazing soul." I just so desperately want those
young people to have other
voices in their life. Adults will look at them and
say, that's not you are.
That's not who I see. This will come and go.
I see you.
You're going to be okay.

I love you. And they just need to hear that.
We all need to hear that. [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music] [Soft Music].

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