People in scary movies tend to act a little stupid. They practically hand themselves over on a silver platter to the monster or bad guy with their poor decision-making skills. It frustrates most of us because we all think that they should at least try to get away from the bad guy! Time and time again in scary movies they continue to make stupid decisions that put them in danger. Yet, every Halloween we all love to gather with friends and family and watch these movies over and over each season. Thankfully, the movies aren’t real but the online world can be filled with just as much danger. Luckily, we all have a chance to make the right decisions when we go online. So here at Netsanity, we have compiled 5 of the dumbest things that can only happen in a scary movie and should never happen when you use the internet.
Keep Living in Their Haunted House
We can all understand moving into a new home and not wanting to leave just weeks after moving into it. The characters in scary movies seem to always manage to buy their dream home just when they have taken a leave of absence from work to author a book and move to the country. That happens? However, it’s only logical to get the heck out immediately if the house is swarming with evil spirits. In most horror movies, keeping the family safe seems to be of the least priority, even when the kids are being possessed or taunted by demons or scary clowns. No one cares more about your children’s health and well-being more than you do! In today’s digital world, that means guiding and protecting them just in the real world but in the online world as well.
Teach your children to use technology in a healthy way and pick up the skills and habits that will make them successful now and in the future. Make sure that you use a trustworthy parental control service on all of the mobile devices that all of your children and teens use. This will allow you to manage time and content making your home a secure and safe environment for them to grown and learn in!
They Split Up
There’s “safety in numbers” is the basic advice that most of us give our children from the beginning especially once they are old enough to head to the mall or amusement park with friends. Yet characters in scary movies seem to have not been taught this by their parents. They always seem to immediately head off on their own into the basement, woods, or a dark hallway without a second thought. It’s a decision that makes zero sense whether you’re dealing with an evil spirit, madman or a scary clown. There really isn’t a scenario where heading off on your own in a dangerous situation is the best option. Do none of these characters recognize the value of having someone around to watch their back? Have you ever seen a scary movie character even contemplate the fact that it’s much easier for a monster to take out one person at a time than taking on several of them at once? Regardless of these genius characters rationale, the “let’s split up” mentality has led to more on-screen deaths in scary movies than just about anything else. Just like you would never want your child or teen to face a monster alone in the woods don’t ever let them go onto the internet unprotected and without guidance.
Friending and following your children or teens on social media offers several benefits. You’ll be able to keep up with what content your child is accessing, as well as who they are interacting with online and how. If your child is more tech savvy than you, take this as an opportunity to spend time together. They will appreciate it and it is so important for you to keep up with the new experiences they’re having when using social media games or places that they visit on the internet. This might mean watching or joining in on participating in a game of Fortnite, learning a new game or figuring out the latest slang or emoji talk, but at least you’ll experience the virtual world together. Children appreciate when you tell them from the beginning that in your family you don’t use social media or devices alone.
They Make Contact
If we’ve learned anything from watching scary movies over the years is that if a ghost is going out of its way to haunt you it probably isn’t a friendly one like Casper. If you are waking up with strange scratches on your body or if your child tells you how they are being haunted at night you may want to avoid the evil spirit at all costs. Yet for some reason, the characters in many movies about haunted houses seem to think the best way to resolve their haunting problem is to try and talk it out by inviting in a psychic or trying to contact the evil spirits by holding a seance or even using a Quija board. While it probably does make sense that you may want to understand why an evil spirit is haunting you, but by opening up a line of communication to another dimension usually entails inviting in some serious danger. It’s safe to say that if some creature has already demonstrated danger toward you and your family, it’s not ever going to be in your best interest to basically invite them in for more. The same goes for talking to strangers online.
Make sure your children only message and accept friend and contact requests from people that they know in real life. A lot of times the number of contacts of friends that children and teens have as friends or followers has become a popularity contest. People that do not have appropriate of good intentions realize that and will try and contact kids by masking as people they are not and try to get into your child’s inner circle of friends.
As parents, become friends and contacts within your child’s social media circles and ensure you monitor posts. Your children may resist but tell them that is one of the conditions for you to allow them access. When doing this we also recommend that you check their phone on occasion to make sure for example that they aren’t using secret accounts. Letting you follow one when meanwhile they have a finsta that they are hiding from you so that they post and accept any friends that they choose.
On occasion, ask to see your child’s mobile devices. If you do this right from the beginning it should feel pretty routine for your children and teens. As your teens get older they probably will not want Mom and Dad reading their messages to their friends and that’s OK if you don’t want to do that. But if nothing else, look to see what apps are installed, take a quick inventory, and if they are using an app that you are not familiar with, investigate! That way you at least know the types of social media services your child is using and keep the lines of communication open about how they are using these apps and who they are talking to online.
Failing to Check The Backseat
Not to make fun of a serious safety tip, because we all know that in reality, we should always check the back seat before getting into our car. Especially when a madman is on the loose in our tiny town! In scary movies, the actors who are in a rush of trying to escape from someone, choose to always drive off and later find out that the madman, monster, or other creature are hiding right behind them in the back seat. In a situation where one a scary creature is after them as they head for the car it probably should be reasonable that one would check the backseat, right? The same goes for using social media or going anyplace online. Teach your children to be vigilant with what they post and share online. Remind them often that anything that they put online should be assumed to be permanent. Even if the app that they are using claims that an message or photograph vanishes immediately (remember screenshots). It is really important for our children to understand from the beginning of using the internet that they must be careful what they expose and that could identify who they are or where they live, go to school or even a coffee shop that they visit regularly. Also, remind them that pictures and screenshots can come back or be spread in an instant. Having an open dialogue with your child makes it easier for them to share what they’re dealing with if something does happen. Let them know that they can come to you if they are ever feeling pressured to sext or engage in any inappropriate online behavior. Regular discussion and “checking the backseat” to make sure they are staying safe and secure online will help keep your child from making mistakes that they can’t take back.
They Always Fall
Why is it that the end of every single scary movie a damsel in distress can’t run (and she always heads towards the woods) without tripping as she never looks ahead. Most of the madmen and monsters can’t seem to move more than a few feet at a time, yet the movie character seems to fall so often that they end up getting caught and killed. Just like in scary movies, sometimes our children or teens will “fall” and make mistakes online. Luckily, unlike in the movies, you can help them recover and get back on track. Being a bully, posting bad jokes, or even sending or posting inappropriate photos our children or teenagers sometimes make social media mistakes that can lead to hurting other or damaging their own reputation. As parents, we all want to help our teenagers prevent such mistakes, but they still may happen. However, how we respond and how we prepare them can make undoing the damage a lot easier.
So, what can parents do to help our children recover from an online fall? When you discover something troubling that your child has posted or done online, sit-down and discuss the situation immediately offline. Believe it or not, your children and even your older teens will probably appreciate your intervention (if not today…someday they will be thankful that you were there to lend an ear and some advice). Have an open and honest conversation with your teen about what you discovered online or on their mobile devices. Lastly, it is absolutely appropriate for parents to place social media or technology limits on your children or teens and to ensure that you can monitor their activity regularly. Even when you haven’t discovered a problem limits are still ok (that IS called parenting ). Common limits include limiting screen-time during homework time, at or around bedtime, avoiding accepting friend requests from strangers, and making sure that teens have set appropriate privacy settings on all of their social media accounts.
We know in the movies that evil spirits and clueless characters stay in their haunted house, leave the safety of friends and family being around, and tend to head out to the car without checking the backseat and ultimately get hurt or killed by the madman hiding in the backseat because when they ran from the car they were driving them tripped and he caught them in the woods because they continued to trip over everything while looking back at him trailing them at a slow pace. Thankfully, this is the real world and we aren’t always dealing with evil spirits, madman and monsters. We can keep our children and teenagers safe when they go online. If they mess up, we can help them get back up again by keeping the lines of communication open and setting limits and rules from the beginning. Like it or not, the internet and social media is a part of life for most of us today. Instead of fighting it, let’s learn how we can manage it to keep our kids safe, happy, and healthy. Like many internet issues, it all starts with keeping an open dialogue with your teenager. If parental controls can make it easier, use them. Navigating this ever-changing landscape is challenging enough!