People Debated the Statement “I’d Rather Let a 13-Year-Old Play Violent Video Games Then Have Them Engage With Strangers on Social Media”

I played a lot of violent video games growing up and I watched A TON of violent movies and look how wonderful I turned out!!!

So maybe the person who wrote this “Unpopular Opinion” post has a point…because there are a ton of weirdos and creeps on social media just waiting to talk to underage kids.

A Reddit user said they’d rather let their teenager play violent video games than interact with strangers on social media.

Here’s how other readers responded.

1. Different with social media.

“I hope this doesn’t come off as an “I don’t understand this new social media thing, so I hate it and I think it is going to rot my kid’s brain.”

If my kid wants to play single-player games, even if they have gores, horrors, s** scenes. I don’t mind letting them play these games because I trust my ability to guide them and to point out and explain any potentially problematic areas.

But with social media, things are totally different. While Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat still let you just engage with your friends, many others just open up to the public and anyone can engage.

Things like Discord, Twitter, and pretty much everything comments section under an online video and online game voice lobbies. Knowing that behind those aren’t codes and pixels but real human beings make me uncomfortable.

Not to say that we should just ban social media, but that anything that just opens up to the public should have a 17+ tag on it.”

2. Could be…

“Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, Phantasmagoria, Beachhead 2000, Red Alert, Decent, Hexen.

These are the games I grew up playing on my parents windows 95 computer and I turned out ok.

It’s not the video games, it usually the lack of parenting.”

3. In the middle.

“What, young teens aren’t going to explore random communities?

Sure, s**t can go wrong if the kid is a bit slow and the parents don’t notice anything, but the vast majority of kids aren’t just randomly getting groomed online, know how to deal with strangers asking for weird stuff and there is no better place to both discover a confident voice (which can backfire, sure) and learn about important things and hobbies.

All of us were talking on just the same boards, same talk and ab**e back then (way worse, in fact), gore everywhere… and we still turned out somewhat okay.

Teach your kids how to properly use the Internet and you won’t have to worry too much. Recommending or even stipulating they don’t get to use reddit or other SM is like banning contraception and hoping it solves teenage pregnancy.”

4. Go ahead and play.

“I think most people now would rather let their kids play something like Doom, or Resident Evil, or Dead Space or whatever then let them openly go on social media and talk with random strangers they don’t know.”

5. Don’t go overboard.

“Games are fine and he’ll interact with people there too. What’s important is to not go overboard and isolate him in the process.

In these times, most of his friends will use tech means to reach out to each other as much as they would like to hang out outside too. And if we’re hit by God knows what else, it might end up being the only reach.

Sure, kids should be supervised when interacting with others on the internet and maybe explained to how to keep an eye for danger.”

6. Teach them well.

“I can’t disagree more.

You should just teach your children how to interact appropriately online and who not to talk to. Teaching them this will help them have healthy relationships with the internet.

Also, banning it will just make your kids sneaky and get it themselves because it’s not inherently harmful. I know this from personal experience. Educate your kids instead of using this lazy “internet is bad” narrative”.

7. From a teen.

“As a 16 y/o, social media is a guarantee at school. Any person is going to have a hard time prohibiting snap/insta/discord and the likes.

Us kids can be stupid sometimes, but provided we have just a little education on what is suitable to post/not post online and knowing the limits regarding interactions with strangers we will do fine.

And a note from personal experience online: the vast majority of people online are perfectly decent human beings to interact with.

Furthermore, interactions with strangers online is present in numerous other areas than just plain social media. The vast range of games on pc console and mobile with a form of online chat shows this.

Its just not very feasible to remove our interactions with strangers unless we are given no devices at all, and had no method of using others’ either.

So as much as you may wish a 13yo kept to Doom rather than social media – which is a fine opinion to have – its just not ever going to happen.”

8. Interesting…

“As the friend of someone that wasn’t even allowed to have Facebook before 16 yo I can tell you, you will isolate your children from their friends.

I agree to limit the use and which social media they use but not ban them until almost adults age. Even for school work it was a pain to organize because she didn’t have the most common way of communication we had.

If I played game like resident evil at 13 yo it would definitely had bad impact on me. I do know it’s a matter of individual tho. I already had nightmares and still have them easily.

Social medias on the other hand mainly Facebook allowed me to talk to my friends and play dumb game like farmville lol. But my parents monitored my use of it and often had conversations with me about how to use it the right way and what I saw on there.

Violent and gore game can do as much damage as social media depending of the child. The key is guidance and knowing your child.”

9. Depends on the person.

“As a 13yo who’s been exposed to both types of content unfiltered for almost my entire life, I can see it’s definitely on a person to person basis.

I’ve never had problems with either and being exposed to social media at a young age definitely taught me how to use it safely and thickened my skin a lot when it came to the things I did fall into. In terms of video games and gore I just never had problems with that and I think being exposed from a young age helped that.

People are different though. One person may be able to watch 1 man 1 jar 20 times over without problem and the other might have a week’s nightmares after watching Jurassic Park, and of course there’s everything in-between.”

10. Learning about the world.

“Honestly, I’d entrust M rated games to teach my child about the world a lot more than I would social media.”

11. Walk the line.

“V**lent videogames barely impact a child’s development, and commenting on someone’s twitter/youtube vid isn’t destroying their mind either.

Yes, grooming relationships do happen. However, as long as you talk with your kid about what happens in those situations, and how to avoid them you’re probably pretty safe. Yes, parasocial relationships do happen.

However, I’d honestly argue that an eleven year old idolizing some douche on youtube isn’t too different from a forty year old idolizing some celebrity. It sucks, but I mean you’ll have that no matter what.

All blocking your kid from using social media does, is guarantee they’ll go behind your back and make accounts, and since you’ve never talked to them about safe social media use they’ll probably fall into exactly what you wanted them to avoid.”

12. Speaking from experience.

“IPX/SPX over BnC baby!

I helped my buddy in college built his 1st computer and that was the 1st game we ever networked together. Cables running down the hallway in our shared house.

Now as a parent of 4, 3 of which are teens I am in complete agreement.

And before anyone calls me an old out of touch guy, Know that I put 25 years in as an IT consultant, director, and then owner of my own company.

Social media is a plague, never judge your self-worth by what others think of you.”

Okay, parents, now we want to hear from you.

Would you rather have your kid playing violent video games or talking to people on social media?

Let us know what you think in the comments!