What Teeen Agers Are Learning From Online Porn

They’re teaching their kids that there’s more to the penis than people imagine.

These days, when your daughter, a 9-year-old student, is engaging in any kind of activity with her friends, her imagination is running wild. She’s on an Xbox Live Call of Duty while they’re watching Jurassic World at home. On Stranger Things, she might be watching Harry Potter while they’re listening to Iron Chef. It all plays out on her phones, on her laptops, on her laptops, on her TVs.

It’s all she knows. On nights when she wants to binge-watch TV episodes while her parents are at work, it’s all she gets to choose. When she wants to work on that Minecraft Dragon’s Breath app, well, what’s a parent to do? Don’t worry, because thanks to Teenagers Online, she doesn’t have to. Teens Online is a child-friendly, source for education of what her peers are doing, which helps to keep them safe online, and it’s a popular app with other tweens who can help guide her.

The idea was conceived by public-relations pro Tim Porter, who is also the owner of Teens Online. Porter founded the nonprofit, which he produces himself, in 2014 in response to a need he saw in the community. “We felt as though there wasn’t enough education and awareness regarding the dangers of online relationships, chat rooms, and predators, amongst other things, for kids who regularly communicated with others through social media and chat rooms, who had already gone through many years of ‘digital babysitter-ing,'” Porter explains. “And we wanted to create an app that would reach kids in a safe way.”

Porter also points out that many predators, as well as cyberbullies, also impersonate kids and use the many channels and sites kids are communicating through to lure young kids into online chats. But Teens Online, Porter points out, is better off sticking to the safer apps because it constantly monitors and audits their users’ interactions.

For 8-year-old Dorothy Garcia, who recently became a paid subscriber for Teens Online, staying safe online can be hard. Her mother, who is also Dorothy’s guardian, says: “She’s engaged with social media, but she doesn’t have much sense of when she’s being followed or being broadcasted online.” Dorothy has also spoken with Porter about talking to friends about safety, and on one occasion, Dorothy put an end to a sexual encounter that had been going on for a few days, by calling Porter and telling him what was happening. He then notified her parents, and the parents contacted the parents of the boy in question.

While not all children have that level of maturity, Teens Online has gone to great lengths to make their app relevant and educational. The apps themselves, Porter says, are “choose-your-own-adventure” games, each of which features three levels of safety.

It also acts as a guide for Internet usage that can be used by kids and adults alike. For example, the Free Security Warning signs every page features interactive lessons such as “How to keep friends out of your electronic devices,” which explains that these screens all have hidden file storage that some kids would be curious about — so if a kid tried to download it from a friend’s computer, she would be found out in an instant. Likewise, on the Choice Path section, parents can set their own rules, including how often kids can be on their devices and who they can talk to.

For parents, Porter hopes Teens Online will serve as a good model to go off the show. He believes teens too often put their social media profiles on public display, giving bullies and predators a chance to troll their way to their profiles. Teens Online is geared toward protecting kids, which is exactly what you want for your child. “Just like when you choose to get a driver’s license, you don’t want anyone to see you driving. Similarly, you shouldn’t post information like your Facebook profile that gives your identity away,” Porter explains. “The same is true with social media. Even if you don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, that doesn’t mean someone is not trying to talk to you about your friends.”

Porter concedes that not everyone will follow his guidelines on keeping kids safe online. And that’s okay, he says. He wishes every parent would have their kids’ best interests at heart, because one day, someone might try to reach out to them. “If there is someone out there who tries to harm your child, it will take someone who truly cares about your child to have the guts to say, ‘Hey, your children aren’t safe,'” he says. “And I’m not saying any one of us is that parent, but we should be prepared for the day when one of us is.”

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