At Christmas I hid the secret loot throughout my basement: a little under the stair case, a few things buried in a pile of 'to be donated clothes', a little more mixed in with 'why won't the in-laws take it back' baby items. My heart leaps in my throat each time my kids decide to take the "short-cut" from the garage to the house. In other words, instead of heading straight up the basement steps, they wander through big space looking to see what in storage they've forgotten. It's just a matter of time before they find my not-so-clever stash.
Easter has been no different. I've got stuff tucked under my bed and in my nightstand. Suddenly ever bouncey ball or small toy in the house manages to roll itself under my bed. Right behind it goes a giddy 2-year old with a flashlight. Behind her is a boisterous 4-year old yelling "Let me find it!" The bunny is about to be outed.
As a mother, I worry that the Internet isn't much better of a hiding place than the dust bunnies under my bed. With two fairly computer savvy-kids in the house, I know that parental controls are a must - and I know it's only a matter of time before they find the way around them. It won't take much for Logan, a child that reads more than he realizes, to find himself in one of my free-spam-eating email accounts. I shudder to think of places he's going to find the words "big" and "fun" buried in the invitations to porn that seem to tally up quick in the "Junk mail" bin.
They are both at an age where they're never alone online. And yet, that's not going to last forever. That's why when Peggy tagged me to participate in this online movement focusing on Internet porn, I couldn't say no.
Listen, I'm all for freedom of speech. In fact, as often as people use it in ways that can infuriate me I shudder to think where we'd be without that 1st Amendment. That said, freedom of speech does not come without responsibility -- and with Internet porn so easily accessible to children of all ages, it's time we start demanding some responsibility.
PowerBlogger has a great solution to the question of how to keep so many kids away from this really accessible online porn:
"Please require a password-protected login before allowing even free access to explicit adult content. We understand that selling porn is your business and we respect your right to make a legal living. But understand our legitimate concerns and work with us. You already have the “warning adult content” on your websites. Yet kids, who are not legal customers of your product, ignore the warning. So to prevent them from having direct access to explicit images, texts and sounds, the simplest way is to have a password-protected login. No more “free tours” before a visitor supplies basic information.""How can I help?" you ask?
PowerBlogger simply suggests that we copy and paste the previous statement and post it to all "adult site" webmasters. We're not asking to get rid of all the porn sites. We're just asking that some responsibility begin to emerge -- make the porn less accessible to children. That shouldn't be too much to ask for. If you agree with me and Power Blogger, read An Open Letter to Bloggers Around the World: Help Make the Web Safer for Children and consider helping out.
The best way to success is to recruit more people to the cause. With that in mind, I'm passing the meme on -- I tag all parents and adults that care for children and maintain blogs to join in. I am, however, specifically tapping Nicole and Sandra.
Please - pass-it-on.