What Teenagers Are Learning Fro Online Porn

Teenagers are learning to want to watch threesomes and slide shows thanks to an influx of so-called “trolling.

It’s the creepy factor we adults get creeped out by — what on earth is the weird headspace of a preteen spending time with a penis in their face, seen on their own personal screen, all day long? It’s sometimes really hard to identify when our inner Alex Trebek reaches out to fix reality. That’s not a dig at our teens; it’s an explanation.

While we try to encourage them to be outside learning, interacting with their social worlds, and to fend off bullies, it’s very hard for these teenagers to ignore the fact that they spend more time on screens than anywhere else in their day. Most people, even those who are into pornography, might accept that as a part of that free time. But I’m pretty sure many parents haven’t communicated that to their kids yet — and in many cases, they were also encouraged to engage in regular physical, social, and food activities instead.

Moms Across the Web have a solution to the problem, though, in the form of early discussion.

Some of them have downloaded and installed, or created, online anonymous chatrooms and forums designed to have those who want a safe place to meet teens without judgment just do so — they create a real-life social setting, but it’s anyone’s guess what the anonymous super-fans and other adult visitors will think.

Meanwhile, co-creator and mother of two, Jessica Edwards, explained to HuffPost why she decided to create UniteChat.

“One thing that really piqued my interest was the idea of an anonymous chat room for those who wanted to have a safe space to meet others who shared their interest in ‘gay-bashing’ because of homophobia. I wanted a space where there were no barriers — no identity check — for these teens,” she said.

According to HuffPost, this project has caused quite a stir on social media, with some parents begging their children not to participate.

While Edwards didn’t set out to do this, the concept’s success prompted her to run an idea past her 17-year-old son.

“I asked him if he wanted to join, and he said he would and is a huge part of the chat; he lives and breathes for the site. It was after he left for school the morning after that I realized, OK, his mind is completely blown by the idea and that means he loves it. He’s now booked weeks in advance for comments and questions,” she told HuffPost.

When I spoke to her, Edwards was at work, but she added that this particular chat room has seen so much traffic that every time she logs in, she sees thousands of incoming entries — one mother even sent in a report saying that her son was in the chat room with her. In fact, this hasn’t been their chat room for very long. “It started life as a part of Reddit,” Edwards said. But that change in design, community, and content made it unsafe for the family.

“We had been saving it for a day, when he and I were talking on the phone, when he told me he’d been hanging out there with friends,” she continued. “I just started crying right there. I was so proud of him, and every time I scroll through and see him there, it makes me want to cry again.”

She told HuffPost that she’s constantly receiving e-mails from other moms who are feeling overwhelmed, angry, or worried about their kids. There’s one which reads, “This is two years ago. I’m not sure how my teen has lost his sense of “who he is” — lost all his friends, and now feels like an impostor, and no longer has a sense of control over who knows what — when so many online things are real,” she said.

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As some have rightly pointed out, this makes the conversation about online porn even more confusing, especially for kids. But this mom who runs this chat room is committed to doing what she can to maintain the safety of the site — just as Edwards will do with her own son. “I don’t see it as a slippery slope, because it’s a very safe place. It feels like we’re in a movie where everyone’s happy and in love, and there are no skeletons in the closet,” she said.

So what are you going to do, calm parents of teens who are upset or fearful?

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