What to Do to Combat Porn on Social Media

Parenting that will guide our kids' hearts in the right direction

We will never eradicate porn on social media. However, if we teach our kids what to do when they discover porn, we will help them know how to protect their hearts and minds from this very additive, damaging temptation. Problem solved.

I am 19 years old and an avid social media user. I know first-hand that in the world of social media, it is virtually impossible for parents to monitor every single platform, text message, and website their child engages in. Parents can put parental guides and restrictions on their child’s device, but this does not block every site, and they can’t stop their kid from seeing ungodly material while with their friends.

Part of the problem, is that some parents don’t realize how accessible pornography is for children and teens on social media. I use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, and every single one of these platforms has a way to view indecent material. I have not used Tumblr, but I have heard that this site is no different.

Don’t feel guilty, if you did not know this information. You are not alone. Parents everywhere are unaware of how easy finding pornography has become. I hope that this blog can give you some insight into exactly what we are dealing with in this age of technology.

I am in college now, and I have met several young men who have struggled with pornography since they were teens and still today in their early twenties. By the grace of God, they have been delivered from this sin, but their minds have been tainted. They can still be easily tempted to fall back into this sin. These young men need to be very careful about what they view, so that they do not fall prey to their old addictions.

Focus on the Family helps to illustrate how pornography can be addictive in this excellent article, “The Stages of Pornography Addiction.” Imagine you are a rehabilitated alcoholic and you walk into a bar. How hard would it be to abstain from alcohol? This same principle applies to young men who are addicted to pornography and see an inappropriate picture flash across the screen. How can they succeed when the world of social media is setting them up for failure?

Instagram’s double standards

In my endeavors on Instagram, I have been disturbed to find pictures on my search page that show women in underwear… or less. In Instagram’s contract, they state that there should be no nudity in any photo posted. To me, seeing a woman from the backside while she is wearing a thong would be considered at the very least, partial nudity.

So, I reported this photo, and even left a comment on my report, explaining why I was sending a complaint. I quickly received an email from Instagram. I opened the email expecting to find a standard note saying, “Thank you for your feedback. The photo has been removed.” Instead, I received the exact opposite. The email told me that the photo was not deemed inappropriate and would stay on the website. Oh and don’t forget, “Thank you for the feedback.”

On Snapchat, all one has to do to see inappropriate content is swipe left on the home screen. If you do this, an endless stream of trending stories will appear. Many of these stories have cover photos of women in provocative clothing. While this may not be pornography, it is the same as an alcoholic walking into a bar, taking a sip of a full bottle of beer and then stopping. The alcoholic might not be getting drunk, but he is in a position of major temptation.

How to keep your kids protected

Temptation is a big issue for both the beginnings of an addiction and falling into one. How can parents keep their son’s and daughter’s eyes and minds protected? One easy way to do this, is to block websites and specific apps. Go to settings, click General, and then choose Restrictions. After this, tap enable restrictions and enter a passcode. Doing this, will establish parental controls on your child’s phone.

While this is an easy fix, it does not cure the problem entirely, as it will not block everything. And some apps, like Instagram, do not detect indecency. Besides, while you may have parental controls, your kid’s friend’s devices may not.

What then is the answer?

Proverbs 22:6 answers the question. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The ultimate answer to helping your child from becoming addicted to pornography is not just to limit their access. Let me explain. While parental guides may help them to not see something accidentally, doing this will not train your child to look away when they see something they shouldn’t. This is how you want your child to ultimately act when they see something indecent. As I was growing up, my parents were (and still are) concerned about what was in our hearts more than anything else. This way of training, helped us to think not only about how we were acting but also why we were acting in that way.

  • It is this training that made my brother decide, on his own, that he didn’t want to use social media yet, and he’s 14!
  • It is this training that caused my fiancé (whose parents raised him the same way) to delete his Snapchat account to avoid temptations.

Todd Friel gives more ideas on how to avoid the pornography temptation in his video “Pornography and What We Can Do about It?”

 

I am not saying that all social media is bad and no one should ever use it or they are a terrible sinner!!! I like social media. I love scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing all my friends living life, and I enjoy an occasional Snapchat filter as much as the next guy.

What I am saying, is that these temptations exist, and if the heart is not cultivated to stand against these temptations, then the world of social media is waiting to snatch your child’s heart. The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, how much more should we protect it?

 

SHARE THIS POST by clicking on the share button above so more parents will be aware of these great tips on how to train their kids to steer clear from pornography.

Laura McAndrew was the contributing writer for this article. She is a sophomore at Missouri Baptist University, who is currently studying Music with Business Electives. She has enjoyed writing from a young age and is now employed as a writing tutor at her university.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Protect Young Eyes.