Sesame Street, Thunderbirds, Power Rangers, Rugrats, Pokemon, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Arthur…
Furby, Tamagotchi, Gameboy, Etch A Sketch, Swingball, Kerby, Hide and Seek, Hop Scotch.
Can you remember what you did before the internet?
These days, that nostalgic world is slightly fuzzy in my mind’s eye. I wonder what my eight year old self would have thought of such strange words as ‘Facebook’, ‘YouTube’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Google’.
Anyway – the internet has been a revolution for every part of life. Education and communication, travel and business, the benefits are countless. For one – Current would not exist if not for the internet!
With the celebrations however, there have also been difficulties for young people. Whilst children of the past were busy feeding their Tamagotchis, listening to Big Bird and making their parents re-mortgage their homes to buy yet more Pokemon cards (…guilty!..), children of the present have filled up their play time with the internet.
It is hard to imagine little Billy and Jenny stumbling across hardcore porn on their Etch A Sketch.
The internet has completely changed how children and teenagers play. They have wandered into and settled down in a play park which is full of broken glass and used needles surrounded by a broken barbed wire fence.
Saying a child or young person can’t find porn online is like saying they can’t find a toy in Toys R Us.
Last year I attended a conference by a group of passionate young people who had something to say about this. ‘The Pornification of a Generation: The Under 30s perspective’ was held in Parliament to demonstrate the evidence of what unregulated hardcore porn has done to some of those at the beginning of the ‘internet generation’.
It was so powerful – story after story conveying the intimacy deficit they feel they had been brought up on. I imagine the 80+ attendees (many of whom were aged over 50) had never heard such striking stories and confessions.
I won’t pretend that Generation X and generations before them never had access to pornographic material – it has existed for centuries – but nothing in the history of the world can compare to how children and teenagers are exposed to pornography today. There is an epidemic on our hands and, as the Under 30s declared, this has to change!
They believe this could happen by speaking out and declaring their stance. The No To Porn Tumblr page is an opportunity for them, and everyone, to anonymously declare their stance.
Where do you stand?
If you agree with them; show that you are saying No To Porn.
The internet is not going to go away. An Etch A Sketch won’t replace an iPad. The internet needs to become safer and it needs to become cleaner.
If play time equals internet time; children and young people have the right to play in a safe environment. The broken glass and used needles need to be removed and the fence fixed.
With parents buying their children and teenagers iPhones, iPads and laptops in increasing numbers, many have no idea of the dangerous world their children are entering.
How can we help protect them from the dangers that are out there?
One way is to say No To Porn and join with those who wish children and young people to be protected as they browse the web by calling for greater regulation and a safer internet.
Take a look and get involved: http://notoporn.tumblr.com/