The Internet is destroying the magic of Santa (and how you can stop it happening)
As parents, we want our children to stay little and believe in Santa and all things magical for as long as possible. In many ways, it is part of what childhood is all about, after all.
But according to new research, children are now steadily believing in Santa for less time than their parents when they were children. And the catalyst for this downward trend, it seems, is the internet. The stats show that ever since 1997, over a quarter of children (3.3 million) have stopped believing in Santa Claus because of information they’ve read on the Internet.
But in an attempt to combat these sad stats, and your children finding out the truth about Father Christmas long before you want them to (is 16 time enough, we're wondering?), there is now a clever (and free) piece of software you can download that will hide any online information that could lead to a child finding out more information about Santa Claus.
The HideMyAss software, launched today, will ensure your child's belief in Santa won't come to an end because of something they’d seen online.
Once installed on an internet browser and switched on, the free software monitors all online search results, web pages and social media communications that deny Santa’s existence. For example: if a child were to search “Is Santa real?” on Google, the nifty software would immediately conceal any resulting content with images of a jolly Santa Claus in his grotto. Genius, we think!
This is what Cian Mckenna-Charley of Hidemyass.com has to say about the launch:
“We all spend so much of our time on the internet nowadays that the lines between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ aren’t just blurred, they’ve been erased completely. Consequently, as our research shows, this constant connectivity makes it far easier for children to discover online content bringing Santa’s existence into question."
According to Mckenna-Charley, of the parents that pointed the finger of blame at the internet for tarnishing the Santa dream, the most common cause was online advertising. Indeed, 47% of children had their Santa suspicions raised after seeing ads online for the very gifts they’d wished for in their letters to the North Pole.
"Proving that not only is there a higher likelihood of the Internet now being the main source of a child’s belief in Santa ending, it can also result in youngsters finding out sooner than for those born before the digital era," he explains. "With this software, we wanted to give parents an optional tool that would allow them to maintain the magic of Christmas and the mystery of Santa for that little bit longer.”
On top of that, Santa himself has even issued an impassioned appeal to parents everywhere:
What do YOU think? Are you afraid of your children finding out about Santa from what they see online or on the TV? Join the conversation with us on Twitter at @Herfamilydotie