YUCK! Tap water tastes horrible. Well, maybe only in Odessa, TX, but tap water isn’t the most pleasant tasting water I can drink. Although tap water isn’t deadly in the United States, it may contain unwanted particles that affect the taste of the water. In Mexico, however, it is important to not drink the tap water due to it being non-potable; it hasn’t been filtered through proper water treatment. This unfiltered water can lead to illness, even death!
The same goes for the internet. The internet is a very useful tool to society; we can connect with others across the globe, share ideas, share project information, pay our bills, make friends, etc… However, there are darker sides of the internet, those that can cause serious emotional and mental harm. Obviously, because of the theme of this site, only one of these darker sides will be discussed in this post; pornography.
In a recent technical article posted in the “Online porn is huge. Like Really, Really Huge. Who Knew?” post on April 13th it is estimated that 29 petabytes (kilobyte (kB) -> megabyte (MB) -> gigabyte (GB) -> terabyte (TB) -> petabyte (PB) - smaller to larger. As a comparison most computer hard drives are measured only in gigabytes!) of pornographic data is transferred every month. In another associated article an estimated 30% of all internet traffic is related to pornography! Below are some statistics on pornography consumption. Keep in mind that these numbers are from 2006 and have become more alarming in the past 6 years.
- More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month
- Nearly 74 percent of pornography websites surveyed display adult content on their homepage (accessible to anyone) before asking if the viewers are of legal age.
- Every second, 28,258 Internet viewers are viewing pornography
- Every second, 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines
- One out of three youth who viewed pornography, viewed the pornography intentionally
- Seven out of ten youth have accidentally come across pornography online
- Nearly 80 percent of unwanted exposure to pornography is taking place in the home (79 percent occurs in the home; 9 percent occurs at school; 7 percent other/unknown; 5 percent at a friend’s home).
- A study in the southeastern U.S. found that 53 percent of boys and 28 percent of girls (ages 12-15) reported use of sexually explicit media. The Internet was the most popular forum for viewing.
- 90% of 8 – 16 year olds have viewed pornography online (most while doing homework)
- 26 Children’s character names linked to thousands of porn links (i.e. Pokemon or Action Man)
- Average age of first Internet porn exposure 11 in 2006, 5 (boys) in 2011!
- Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 – 17 year-old age group
- Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography
Again, keep in mind that most of these statistics are from 2006. One can easily imagine how much worse it has become with the increase in high-speed internet connections across our country as well as the advent of High Definition pornography. The most disturbing aspect to me is the large number of children being exposed to pornography. I hope you understand that pornographers are predators; they WANT your children to view pornography. They create URLs similar to names of children characters and turn existing children’s characters into sexual objects. For their business to thrive, they NEED you and your children to become addicted to their drug so they can keep selling it to you.
For the sake of my target audience I won’t list any actual website names, but during my sex addiction specialist training a few of the sites, that have innocent names of children’s characters that are actually pornography sites, were mentioned. It’s everywhere; pornographers mislead children and adults into stumbling upon their product. They corrupt young and old alike, without care of consequences or fear of retribution. They infect humans with their product, all in worship of the almighty dollar! The sad reality becomes that instead of stumbling upon this material, kids and adults get hooked and now find excuses to get onto those sites.
So hopefully you are beginning to understand why we all need proper internet filters on our computers. Without filters, it is too easy to find pornography on the internet. I call it “six clicks of separation” where one can find adult content on the internet within six clicks or websites. It’s easy to do, especially with all the side bar advertisements on various sites these days.
In my case, as a recovering sex addict, I need the filters to block pornography on my computers. I have filters at work and at home. I don’t want the material in my mind, I don’t need the material in my mind, and I especially don’t want it in my house. Therefore, I have instituted these external boundaries for my own health, not for some sort of restriction. My sponsor always tells me, “When my internal boundaries fail, it is good to have external boundaries.” And to be honest, I don’t ever want my two children to accidently visit an adult site! I don’t ever want them to go through what I have been through in fighting this addiction; the pain the suffering, the tears, and the anguish, not only for me, but for my loved ones. It is just too easy to get hooked on pornography, it is too easy to access it, but it is in no way easy to get over it and to fight the addiction on a daily basis!
We install filters for our own mental health and the health of our children. Filters are not meant to police the individual and our children. If we talk openly and honestly about the reality of pornography and sex to our children, we can help them establish their own internal boundaries on what is and what is not appropriate to view on the internet. We can’t shelter our children, but we can help make their life easier by making accidental access to adult or pornographic material harder!
And a word about those husbands or fathers that rebuke the idea of internet filters in their home. There is a high probability that these men do not want proper filters because they are the ones looking at inappropriate material! These selfish men are so consumed with their own sexual sin that they refuse to see the benefit to their family and children. I will remind those men that as of my SAS training in 2011, the average age of exposure to pornography for boys is now 5 years old (9 for girls); I was exposed at 4 years old. Don’t let your selfishness or pride destroy your child’s life. If you truly care for your children you will install proper internet filters on your computer. Think of it this way, if you knew that a vaccine with no side-effects could prevent a deadly virus from causing damage to your child now or in the future and save them and you years of heartache and pain, would you not be willing to give it to them? Are you willing to look back in 20 years when your son or daughter is making amends for their own sexual addiction and realize you could have helped prevent this had you invested in a proper internet filter? The choice is yours.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
A PDF with suggested internet filters and accountability tools and websites is attached below. Updated copies may be found under our resources page.
Suggested Internet Filtering and Accountability Software: