While this post is not necessarily about Slenderman, sometimes written as Slender Man, or the brutal stabbing of a 12 year old girl by her 12 year old friends, it does consider the increased dark places and risks that are a part of modern technology.
Most parents had never heard of Slenderman until the story broke in September, despite the fact that Slenderman has been around since 2009. It is similar to the drug Spice that kids have known about for a long time. (For a good write-up on Slenderman, see the entry on Wikipedia). But, the current generation seems to be dealing with a much more complex and difficult terrain to navigate. Urban myth and truth are mixed metaphors, and for an impressionable child, the constant texting, exposure to YouTube rabbit holes, and real world fears are simply overwhelming. The potential for negative outcomes, (bad stuff) happening has become exponential. So, is there an answer?
If there is a solution to preventing problems that arise from blurred lines between reality and fantasy it is not obvious. Specialists in child development would probably say that communication between parents and children is paramount. That may be so, but the need for children to have secrets will always exist. And differentiation between the real and imagined will continue to be a part of growing up. It seems that we as a society are getting better at building boxes that we are unable to escape from and the consequences are unavoidable. What do you think?