So, here’s what inspired my question…

A while ago I was casually going through my phone when I ‘bumped’ into a picture that made me go – ‘what?’
It was the naked picture of a couple in some kind of unusual sex position.

I was shocked. Not by the picture but by the fact that it was on my phone. As in, how did it make its way unto my screen?
I am not one of those people who, within adult circles, enjoy good laughs over such explicit pictures and/or jokes. They are definitely not my cup of tea, whether in the presence or absence of children. So, you can understand my confusion in seeing ‘such’ on my phone.

It was later that a theory on the matter popped up. Finally, I understood what must have happened. You see, I occasionally find myself on one social media group or the other. However, my membership is often one of functionality and not necessarily of voluntary fun.

Now, I am on this particular group where the members love to have loads and loads of fun in-between the functionality talks. So, I am talking about a scenario where the messages keep rolling in, non-stop. Several times, I scroll past messages and images, when I know they are of no use to me. Yes, I don’t even wait for the pictures to finish downloading, I just move on to the ‘useful’ bit of the chat.

Now, the problem is that as the pictures were downloading, they were also automatically saving unto my phone. Hence, I had quite some saved pictures which I hadn’t even viewed, one of which was the ‘naked’ picture.

If my phone belonged to me and me alone, having such an X rated idle picture would have been fine. But, you see, my phone also belongs to my kids. Even the little one who is just one-year old has started learning how to navigate through it. Hence, I just cannot afford having such idle pictures sitting carelessly on my phone. I just can’t and neither can you.

To be honest, the best advice would be that we keep our devices out of bound to the kids and perhaps get them their own systems with their own specific content. However, I know that not everyone can afford kids’ tablet for their little ones. Hence, many of us fall back on sharing our ‘systems’ with our kids. Many people even download specific educational content for them. However, in addition to that, I think we should also restrict their access to not just public domains but also our personal phone functions.

The truth is that asides from these random pictures and videos that may come up on group chats, there are also the ‘warning’ videos constantly forwarded around. You know, those videos that are sent to open the eyes of parents to the nonsense going on out there so that they can be on their guard. There was one video which I recently received… It contained children as little as 2-years old engaged in obscene dance steps. Yes, many of such ‘warning’ videos are often circulated around and there are so many times when shaking our heads in disgust, we close the videos and don’t think about deleting them. Or perhaps when you are just opening it, your child suddenly pops up over your shoulder and you hurriedly close the video, not remembering to return back and delete it.

So, bottom line, I would advise that we are deliberately careful to delete any and every content we would not want to get into the hands of our children. Never, ever forget to delete them.
In addition, there are ways by which access to specific phone functions (e.g. your pictures or messages) can be restricted. You could also look into that option as well. However, remember that these children are so sharp that they can actually learn passwords, just like that. Yes, without you realizing, your child can learn your password.

At this point I will have to confess that really, technology has its advantages but it also comes with its many headaches. I would therefore advise that whatever you decide to do, please be terribly careful with whatever gadget you own because sometimes, all it takes is one second of ‘seeing’ or ‘hearing’ for the interests of the little ones to be sparked and then explored without your knowledge.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net