The internet can be a scary place, but one B.C. girl wants to make it a little brighter.
“I was really worried of what was happening on the internet and social media. Because of this bad stuff, I wanted to put some good in it,” said Ava Ast, grade four student at Begbie Elementary School in Revelstoke.
One of the bad things that spurred Ast was Momo, the hoax that featured a distorted woman’s face with bulging eyes that attempts to entice children to harm themselves or others in online videos. Apparently the hoax gained traction due to the media and worldwide parental fear, but police have not been able to verify Momo’s existence.
Regardless, Ast wants to bring some positivity to the world-wide web. Last month, with her parents help and her pink monkey named Cello, Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page. Ast posts video’s with examples of good deeds, why they’re important, and asks others to join.
“When you do a good deed, make a video so we can spread good deeds in our world.”
The purpose is to fill peoples buckets and make others feel good about themselves. According to the Facebook page, a bucket filler is when we are kind to others, such as by giving compliments, helping someone, showing respect, or even something as simple as a smile. It’s to be a source of inspiration and show what kids can do.
So far, the response to the Facebook page has been mostly positive. She’s had friends watch the videos and be inspired to give others drawings and even muffins.
However, as with all things related to the internet, there has also been the negative.
“It’s something I’ve warned her about. You’re going to be exposed to positive and negative comments. That’s how it’s going to be,” said Lexie Ast, Ava’s mom.
Regardless, Ava doesn’t let the negative hold her back.
“There are a lot of people out there that I know aren’t very nice and they’re trying to get their way into me. I know what they’re doing so I block that out. I keep in the good and the positive,” she said.
Usually, Ast only accesses the internet at school for homework. She doesn’t have a Facebook account, so her mother moderates the page. The pair sits together, look at comments, discuss and make videos to post.
However, Ast’s parents said it’s important that children do not rely on technology for entertainment, but instead find something more physical and engaging. Instead of playing computer games or watching TV, Ast swims, skis, or buries her nose into books.
“I love reading. I like series, the ones that keep going on.”
Her favourite is Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events.
Ast doesn’t know where the Facebook page will take her, but she’ll keep promoting good to fight the negative.