TECHNOLOGY

Where Do You Hide Your Stash?

I grew up in the 90’s.  Boy and girl bands reigned supreme.  Pants were baggy.  'Hey Hey It’s Saturday' was a TV staple.  And for me, the 90’s were pretty much internet free.

Those were the days! There were trees to climb and bikes to ride.  No social media.  Screen time was either playing my Super Nintendo or watching something we had taped on VHS.  Disconnection from technology meant connection with real people. 

How the world has changed.

In the 90’s, there were two main cliches when it came to a stash of porn.  

The first was that your Dad had his own private collection hidden under his mattress.  Kids would find their Dad’s magazines and then attempt to hide them surreptitiously in exactly the same way their Dad did.

The other cliche was a stash in the bush.  Boys would explore the bush and have their own cubby houses or hiding spots in there.  Whatever they got their hands on would go there.  

For many, this kind of thing became a rite of passage.  A coming of age.  Or at the least, a common experience of growing and discovering the adult world of nudity and sex.

But in terms of its impact, it had nothing on what is going on today.

With the rise of the internet and smart devices, the world of porn has changed.  Playboy no longer has a nude centrefold. Dad’s no longer have a stash under their bed.  Boys no longer steal their Dad’s magazine and stash them in the bush.

They carry their stash with them at all times.  It’s in their pocket.  It’s on their phone.  It’s on their laptop.  

Whether it be a stash of photos or videos hidden on a device or simply accessing porn via a browser, porn is anonymously accessible in a way it has never been before.  Browsing history is deleted in a flash.

In the 90’s, mums could get overwhelmed if they accidentally found their child’s stash.  These days, parents can be prone to conclude that because there is no physical stash, there must be no stash at all.

Parents, it would be wise to talk to your kids about this.  Ask them the hard questions in a loving way.  Talk with them about technology and its dangers.  Keep a careful eye on their use of devices.  Encourage openness.

We can’t go back to the 90’s...nor would most of us want to.  But we can be aware of what the changes mean for our kids and the porn-filled world in which we live.

The Not So Innocent Tumblr

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Tumblr is one of the biggest social media platforms on the net.  Over half a billion users monthly.  144 billion posts.  120,000 new users each day.  53 million posts per day.  Sure, it's no Facebook (but none of the other social media platforms are), but it’s still a big deal.

I’ll be honest - I’m not a user.  But I’ve heard from students that I teach that they like it.  They can share whatever they like on it, and they essentially create their own blog and interact with others’ blogs.

An article on cnet.com recently highlighted an Italian study that looked at how much porn is on Tumblr, and how many people are seeing it, either intentionally or unintentionally.  They looked at 130 million users and 7 billion posts; a huge sample size.

Here’s what the study found:

“Adult content has become so pervasive that more than one in four people on the site will end up seeing porn without even looking for it, according to the study. Tumblr didn't respond to requests for comment.
Only 0.1 percent of accounts on the Yahoo-owned social network are producing porn content, but 22 percent of the site's users follow, like or reblog content from those accounts. Because of those shares, another 28.5 percent of people on Tumblr are unintentionally exposed to porn, according to the study.”

That’s over half of Tumblr users either following porn or being exposed unintentionally.

They also found that:

"Men and women under 25 on Tumblr are following porn at about the same rate, according to the study, but as users get older a gap appears."

So, if you’re a parent and your child is on Tumblr, chat to them about the kinds of things that pop up on their dashboard.  Don’t assume that this is simply a male problem.  With half of the users on Tumblr seeing porn, this isn’t something to be ignored.  And if you’ve got younger children, think carefully about what social media you’re going to allow them to use.