Our online world has changed us…

We have recently seen and read some articles about an exponentially increasing risk in our society that of inappropriate online activity and even in other media streams as well.

This article in the Mail Online, ran with a headline…

"Jamie is 13 and hasn't even kissed a girl. But he's now on the Sex Offender Register after online porn warped his mind..."

Now that caught our attention, as you read the article you begin to understand some of the many and varied pressures that are on our society and also among our children and at an alarmingly early stage and age in life.  The views expressed by the very children that we as as a society are supposed to be protecting are being failed miserably.  Many discussions surround this about who is to blame for allowing the content to be available or viewed at all, the child, peers, the parent of the child, other parents, the Internet provider, the content producer, the hosting company, society’s demand for such material.

Another article in the same journal talks about a past Editor of Loaded magazine a popular printed magazine which has many images and articles of a more sexual/provocative nature and how he regrets the decisions to print what he did now that he is a father.  Interesting how is perspective only appears to change when he becomes a father.  Surely those moral standards and perspective should have been there from the beginning and not after the fact.  Again the former editors speaks about how the magazine pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable and on the edge, while not classed as a pornography magazine, how much more did it need to move across the line to become one to be moved to the ‘top shelf’.  More campaigning has and is being done to have covers like this obscured as they are available widely on the shelves of your local supermarket next to the section for your children’s magazines.  It seems there is enough demand that they can’t or won’t remove them completely from the shelf.

Finally the last medium is that of the music videos, certain female artists are pushing all the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in their clothing (or lack thereof) and also what acts they perform on stage/screen while performing their latest release.  Miley Cyrus is the latest hitting the headlines defending her actions in latest video releases as well as other on stage activities.  Some are saying that she is trying to shake off the old Hannah Montana image which was for the kids and now she is trying to be more adult in her projected image.  So to be an adult orientated music artist and your musical target audience not child like you have to get naked and sexualise your singing career to get us to buy music?  Rihanna is another that has been in the news for similar over sexual video footage being literally banned in some countries and there are others.

Trouble with all of these is the insidious nature in which they seem to creep into our lives our homes, our shopping habits, it would appear that one way to avoid it all is to never switch on a computer or smartphone or tablet, don’t watch TV or go to your local supermarket for fear of exposing yourself or worse your more vulnerable children to these potentially life changing/damaging images.

While some would take those extremist views, a better way would be more open relationships with your partner, close friends and children with parents, where conversations can be opened up and issues talked about calmly and frankly rather than hide behind a stigma.  Also with your online life at least ‘police’ your connections and access, internet accountability and filtering is the best way to ensure ultimate safety online.  Another danger is the pervading virus culture which piggy backs less secure and reputable sites, install a quality trusted Antivirus solution on all your devices for all round protection.

While it would appear we are struggling to remove completely these influences in our society we have a personal choice about how we let it dictate to us how we live our life and interact with those around us.  Even the latest discussions between government and ISP’s appears to be saying we have to decide at registration whether to opt in or not to the ‘family filters’ surely it should be on as default and not a question?  All of these proposed changes will take years to ‘filter’ through, take action now to protect you, your family, your business, no one else is going to.