Momo is NOT real, but I’ll tell you what is

Okay, so I know I’m always late to the game, but have you heard of Momo? I just heard about her. She’s this freaky girl who supposedly flashes up spontaneously while your kid is watching YouTube Kids and then tells them to go do harmful things to themselves. Yikes!!!!

At first I avoided looking Momo up because apparently she’s super scary-looking and I was scared I’d have nightmares, but the other night my friend texted me in a panic because the kids at school have been talking about Momo and her daughter was all freaked out about it. Oh no, has Zoey heard about it?! So I finally looked it up. And you know what I learned?

Momo is NOT real.

Nope, your kid is not gonna be watching Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol on YouTube Kids and Momo is NOT going to flash on the screen and tell them to go jump out the window. Not gonna happen. But I know how these things get started.

Rumors!!!

Like when I was a kid there was a rumor that this little girl was riding her tricycle in our area and that she fell off a cliff and died and now her parents hang her bloody dress in the window every night to remember her, so we used to drive by this house all the time looking for the dress. Guess what? We never saw it. What cracks me up is I’m from Dallas where it’s flat as a pancake and I’m pretty sure the highest cliff a kid could fall off is the front step to their house. Yup, rumors make us believe anything.

Anyways, here’s the thing, when I looked up Momo, her picture pretty much made me crap my pants and even though she’s not going to spontaneously flash up on our iPad, Zoey could easily go look her up. She may not be real but her picture would give my kid nightmares from now until she goes to college. So I had to decide what to do.

  1. Do I talk to my daughter about Momo and tell her not to look it up? (Bwhahahaha, the FIRST thing she would do is go look it up!!)

  2. Do I not even mention it and just HOPE she doesn’t hear about it at school and look it up?

Here’s what I decided. I decided to ask my friend with an older daughter what to do. People who have older kids are like the smartest F’ing people on this planet.

ME: Have you heard of Momo?

SMART MOM: Ugghhh, yes. My daughter heard about it and looked it up and THEN she told me about it. I was like we’ve talked about this. When you hear about something scary on the Internet, you come to us first BEFORE you look anything up.

ME: Ahhhhh, I totally need to have that conversation with my kids.

So last night I’m sitting in our bedroom when Zoey comes in and I tell her to sit down.

ME: Hey Zoey, I want to make sure you know something.

ZOEY: What?

ME: If you ever hear about something scary, please do NOT go look it up on the Internet. Come talk to us first.

ZOEY: Mom, I know that. The Internet is BAD.

ME: It’s not bad. It’s great. It just has some bad stuff on it.

The word Momo never came up in our conversation, and I realized something. Momo is NOT real, but do you know what is? Bad stuff on the Internet. Instead of telling my kids not to do something specific, I need to give them the general tools to deal with shit like this. Because today it’s Momo, and yesterday it was kids eating laundry pods, and tomorrow it’ll be something else that’s dangerous that I won’t hear about until months after it’s gone viral. 

This Internet stuff wasn’t around when I was a kid so I don’t know WTF I’m doing, but I’m learning. I CAN’T stop my kid from seeing stuff there, and I CAN’T constantly monitor what she’s looking at, but I CAN teach her what to do BEFORE she sees it. Or WHEN she sees it. Because it’s bound to happen. 

Now do you want to see a picture of Momo? You’re welcome to go look it up because I’m not gonna be the parent who spreads crap like that around. Crap that’s just crap but that can still hurt our kids. 

If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it! Thank you!!




There are 12 comments for this article
  1. Jennifer Metcalf at 11:02 am

    THANK YOU!

    I have been running interference on moms groups when the subject has come up. Someone posted a video from a RADIO STATION as proof that it still exists. Took about 2 seconds to debunk, but my god, people, learn how to do a MODICUM of research!

  2. Tracey Cayer at 11:20 am

    You know why you need to keep blogging? This. I have a 6 yo (who loves Zoey btw- more Zoey reading stories videos!!) and this kind of advice and/or reminders is so valuable. I have very few friends with kids my age- most of my friends have grown kids so having you as part of my tribe is very appreciated. So thank you- so very much.

  3. Joanne at 11:27 am

    Clapping and jumping up and down!!! Thank you (a) for being smart and not freaking out (b) for sharing and (c) for giving me a smart way to talk about this with my son in the 30 seconds he’s going to listen to me

  4. Crystal Hamaker at 11:28 am

    The bad thing is when you have to actually go to your child to learn what something is that they’ve already seen and hold all the information on! My 15 year old daughter and I watched a documentary about two young girls (I believe there were 10 & 11) who attempted to murder their best friend to prove “Slender Man” is real. I was horrified watching this and my daughter was horrified that a game she plays was being used as the reason these girls committed this horrible act of violence! I looked at my daughter even MORE HORRIFED and asked “Excuse me? You PLAY THIS GAME??” It was one of the most eye opening experiences I’ve ever had regarding the stuff our kids are really exposed to and we may not be aware of!

  5. BabySideburns at 1:09 pm

    Right?! We can’t rely on our kids to always tell us everything. We have to trust that they can handle this stuff without us sometimes. They’re going to see stuff we don’t want them to.

  6. Heather Garcia at 2:15 pm

    My girls told me about the Momo challenge last year. I had no idea she even existed until then. My 9 year old is terrified of the image. Oh the internet is full of scary ideas and challenges for impressionable kids. Being a parent is hard enough but having the internet available to kids is downright terrifying.

  7. 5 year old's Mom at 2:23 pm

    My kid was just getting over the anxiety he got from a poorly announced active shooter drill (yeah, the school called it that – no sugarcoating – but I wished they’d changed the name to simply lockdown drill or something) when the news flashed the creepy photo on the TV. He immediately freaked out and hid his head in my armpit… he then asked me what MOMO was… *sigh*

  8. Cristal at 2:59 pm

    Thank you. I heard about it and looked it up and as you found, it’s fake. You know how long it took, about 1 minute if even that long. I got an email from my daughter’s school about it as well as a text from my MIL about it. They didn’t believe me that it wasn’t fake because the news covered it. Ugh! I didn’t show my daughter the picture but did talk to her about it. She just shrugged and said okay. The adults make things into way bigger things than kids usually.

  9. Ahbleza at 10:14 am

    You are one of the parents of older kids that I think are one of “the smartest F’ing people on the planet!” My daughter is 3.5 and my son is 1, and your perspective and advice is so refreshing! I see s**t like Momo and wonder what the hell I’m going to do when my kids are old enough to access the internet by themselves, but this gives me hope that I’ll figure it out. Thanks for writing!

  10. Susan Rieser at 11:30 am

    As a grandma of 4, I love your blog for information and wise advice on how to handle issues that may come up in their world today. Thanks for today’s info on Momo and how to approach any potentially scary topic without adding anxiety into the mix!

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