“””what Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn”””

“When is a piece of educational content pornography? When is it applicable to real life?

It happens: A teenager sneaks online. Huddles up with a couple of friends. Full blast. Gets a hot piece of imagery in front of them, bang. Turns around and freaks the crap out.

Whether it’s a snap of a selfie, a swimming hottie in a sauna, or one of the pin-ups posted by Daddy for Megan to look at, all hell breaks loose.

That’s what happens if you’re a 17-year-old or younger, according to a recent press release from Mattress Firm. The retailer dropped the bomb on it’s members.

What Will Happen, And What Will You Do About It?

Now, it’s easy to poke fun. Our brains are smart like that. We know that someone said something funny online that was meant for a younger person. Maybe their parents didn’t tell them about the age-old proverb, “When in doubt, delete it,” or “Trust no one.”

But be honest, would it be that hard to block teens from accessing things online? Sure. Of course. Did nobody know that?

How Can You Help?

First, your thoughts on the above press release need to be in writing. Do it for the kids. You want them to take it seriously. Teenagers’ minds are fickle like that. If they hear you’re down on them, it could fuel the fire.

Mattress Firm’s David Greene explains in the press release, “Our young consumers don’t need any more encouragement to get behind the mask of anonymity. We can’t expect them to rely on the old-fashioned “trust no one” motto when they’re communicating with anyone, including their teachers and parents.”

The problem is, of course, that trust. Trust gets dropped down the old rabbit hole.

“Teens often view these photos as a little private between them, their friends, and of course, their private trainers,” Greene added in his press release. “And, no doubt, their friends are secure, too.”

When Something Sucks, It Doesn’t Suck All the Way Out

Like with most things, there is a solution. And it’s one that Mattress Firm CEO Alex Calder, in an interview with Forbes, didn’t have any problem coming up with.

The solution? It’s been there from day one.

“Here’s the simple truth: This isn’t new. It’s been like this for a long time,” he said. “One of the best techniques we’ve discovered is to shift some of the burden to the students.”

In other words, what Mattress Firm is saying is that if you want to help your kids stay away from negative things online, you must start accepting the possibility that bad things will happen too. If there are no mistakes in this? Let it slide.

Make the wrong decisions? Let it slide.

This is not to say that all teens are right on top of their stuff. No, not at all. But as it becomes a bigger deal, the fight becomes harder.

If you see something you think your teen might see, even if it’s not a juicy online dick pic, let them know about it. You don’t have to fix this, but you can help them see that it’s okay to speak up if it’s something they’re not comfortable with. You don’t have to fix anything, but you do have to react when something’s going wrong.

No, it’s not easy. But when good or bad, all the problems are new to these kids. As Andrew Weinblatt, COO of Tremor Video, said in an interview on Business Insider’s podcast, their outlook “just gets significantly more difficult to navigate. … But it’s also a lot more fun.”

This is a common-sense perspective. Give it a try. You might just be able to help create the ripple effects that you’re hoping for.

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