A new study has found that 1 in 8 American parents said that the Internet was to blame for their child finding out that Santa Claus isn’t real. A virtual private network provider called Hide My Ass! conducted the research in November, polling 2036 U.S. parents of children born between 1983 and 2013.
Of the 13 percent of parents who attributed their kids’ disbelief in Father Christmas to the Internet, 44 percent said the myth was busted by way of a simple Google search for Santa, which yielded results explaining that he was a big ol’ phony. Social media also aided in the reveal; 29 percent of these parents cited a tweet or Facebook post as the content that ruined the fantasy for the little ones.
Once you hit the age where you find out Santa isn't real, life goes straight downhill— Isabelle Swain (@IzzySwain) December 8, 2015
Reason to Get Drunk #647: Santa isn't real— Stephen's Bar (unofficial) (@Stephens_Bar) December 5, 2015
All this makes sense, given that practically everything is ruined by the Web nowadays. Television spoilers kill the suspense for people who haven’t caught up with their shows in a timely matter, wives find out their husbands are cheating via browsing history, and now the youth’s faith in Santa is fading away. Jeez, nothing is sacred in this digital age,
Furthermore, the study found that the average age of kids giving up on Rudolph’s owner is dropping. The average age when parents stopped believing in Santa was 8.7 years old, but for their kids it’s 7.25 years old. We’ve lost a whole extra Christmas of parents being able to eat cookies that their kids leave out without them getting suspicious.
Of course, this study was done to help promote software from Hide My Ass!, which monitors online search results, web pages, and/or social media communications that could possibly ruin the myth of Christmas—and hides them. You can download and install the plugin for Chrome or FireFox for free at the company’s website.
We can only assume that along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Boogeyman are being cast out from children’s imaginations earlier thanks to the Internet. And if you’re looking to keep your kid safe from the truth using technology from Hide My Ass!, you might as well also look into protecting their personal data on the Web as well.
For good measure, the Daily Dot asked a company representative if Hanukkah was comparatively Internet-proof. He responded by email: “Ha—not sure. Will have to get back to you on that one.”
We’ll be waiting.
Photo via europedistrict/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)