The old refrain of "It's 10 o'clock: Do you know where your children are?" has seemingly been replaced by a new breed of public service announcement for the digital age. In two new ads from France's Internet safety group Innocence in Danger, we see children whose eyes have been replaced with screaming mouths. The effect, as you might imagine, is rather unsettling.
The ads are intended to make parents think before letting their children surf the web. After all, there's a lot of disturbing stuff out there in Internet land: these posters, for example. We no longer live in a world where knowing where your children are tells you what they're doing. Now kids can be sitting next to you at the kitchen counter encountering God-knows-what on their iPads. And even though I think that people everywhere have the right to read whatever they want, even I can recognize that there are a lot of things on the Internet that really can be damaging to children. And apparently can even incite them to violence.
So even though this image isn't the first thing that would pop into my head to depict the problem, pictures of children with their eyes literally screaming does get its point across. Plus, it's just really freaking scary as all hell, and at first glance makes it look like their eyes have been poked out.
This isn't the first time Innocence in Danger has produced weird ads. Just last year, they created ads with the tag line "Sexual predators can hide in your child’s smartphone" that depicted the outline of an invisible hand reaching inside a teen's pocket as though growing out of their cell phone. Again, creepy, but then people preying on children through the internet and social media apps is also creepy.
But not even Innocence in Danger's ads featuring real-life emojis are quite as creepy as the whole replacing-children's-eyes-with-screaming-mouths thing. I'm just saying. I mean, look at these.
Shudder. If I were a parent, I can't say whether or not this would make me keep better tabs of my child's Internet usage, but as a person I can say definitively that I am very creeped out.