Does it ever feel as if your fight against the hoards of unwanted internet content is a losing battle? Not only does the constant barrage of near pornographic images in advertisements and media continually wear on me personally, but I have concerns about my teens and pre-teens who are learning to swim in this same culture.
A few years back I wrote on the encroaching of porn in social media venues. I discovered how hashtag searching within ubiquitous sites like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter could enable your children to access a plethora of images, videos and links to the very dark world of pornography. While these sites are doing an increasingly better job of filtering the content, the sheer volume of posts still means that new issues arise by the minute.
Adding to the challenge for us are the massive number of apps that appear on the scene regularly. Take Snapchat whose meteoric rise in the under 20 demographic has much to do with two factors: the images/videos disappear after a certain time and their parents don’t use the app. And it seems there’s a new app every day.
What’s a family to do?
We could propose a moratorium on technology and retreat into some form of supposed Luddite utopia. Ultimately, that’s not the best response as many jobs or even beneficial things require that same connectivity.
Our family has chosen to tackle this problem with accountability. We know full well that we aren’t perfect, nor are there perfect solutions to this issue. However, we have found some tools that help us navigate the issues we face.
Unfortunately, not all of these safeguards will keep your children (or yourself) safe. Last week as I read news on a variety of sites, it seemed as if most of the advertisements belonged in a specific issue of Sports Illustrated. As I was looking at a vehicle listing on Craigslist, I clicked on an additional link about the buyer that sent you into his “personals” ad. I wanted to throw up. I had no idea that people would publically try to negotiate sexual liaisons so graphically on Craigslist.
The battle is real. The casualties in the battle are real.
As parents and families, it’s smart for us to work together for the good of each other – even if the culture doesn’t understand.
Never give up the fight!
 http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/snapchat-statistics/ And, while parents may not use the site frequently, those photos don’t actually disappear. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/snapchat-photos-dont-delete-saved-on-phone_n_3248567.html
John Mark Yeats