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Internet Horror vs. Childhood

Photo Collage by Mariana Cardenas (Top Left: Dont Hug Me Im Scared, Bottom Left: Doki Doki Literature Club; Right: Five Nights At Freddys)
Photo Collage by Mariana Cardenas (Top Left: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, Bottom Left: Doki Doki Literature Club; Right: Five Nights At Freddy’s)


   Horror media has been around since the1800s. From Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, to the 70’s The Exorcist and Stephen King’s 90s miniseries It, but it changed forever with the introduction of the world wide web.  

   The internet opens a door to artistic creators, to create things without limits. This includes posting teasers on upcoming projects on YouTube and using streams to market their horror games without the aid of big companies and posting information on social media. With all that freedom, this creepy and terrifying content is more accessible to younger viewers on the internet.  

Internet vs. Childhood  

   With most of us owning phones, computers, laptops, etc., this raises the question of where we are exposed to internet without restraints.  Freshmen Angie Jarquin and junior Melani Garcia were exposed to the internet without supervision seeing subject matter that wasn’t suitable for younger viewers.  

    This caused them to be either become desensitized towards gore and violences in Angie’s case. However, in Melani case, her personality formed through the media they consume, instead of personal experience.  

    On the other hand, senior Jancarlos Alvarado said, “Being exposed to the internet didn’t heavily affect me as a kid as my family had already taught me the dangers and what kinds of media not to consume.”  


What did you like and dislike about horror media? 

    To add to the rise of horror content during the 2010’s, “Five Nights at Freddy’s or (FNAF)”, a horror game franchise that was release in 2014 and had spin off series all the way to 2023. Then “Don’t Hug me I’m Scared”, a horror comedy originally released on YouTube during 2011. And much more soon after, like Doki Doki Literature Club, a psychological horror game.  

    Junior Mauricio Soza was exposed to all the media previously mentioned. However, FNAF was the one he was most familiar with. “I was terrified of it when I was younger,” he said. “When I got older, I began to fully appreciate it more.”  

   Something similar happened to junior Sofia Herrera. “Doki Doki Literature Club and FNAF were her first introduction to media that had a deeper meaning.  Sofia was exposed to YouTubers like Markiplier and GAME THEORY. She also shared these videos with friends and family.  

    Being exposed to horror media when they were younger left an impact on them, either becoming interested in the material with its story and messages or its engaging aspect of terror. However not everyone had this nostalgic likeness for horror games and shows. Samantha Manzano, a 12th grader, said, “I didn’t really play horror games. I also didn’t like how creepy some videos were.” 

   I was exposed to horror content like games and shows through YouTube videos on my own time. I ask if it was similar for other MHS students. Most of these games have been shown by channels such as those that reviewed or played these games, providing a less scary experience for younger viewers with dramatic expressions and reactions.  

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