With the Holiday season right around the corner; your kids and teens are about to have a lot of free time on their hands! This is usually when kids look to their devices for some easy entertainment. However, with great internet power comes great internet responsibility. As parents, we must always keep an eye on our kids’ internet surfing habits. Especially because #NSFW content is available on websites as popular as Tumblr! However, this is will no longer be the case. As Tumblr bans adult content from its website slowly but surely – what other seemingly public friendly websites might be on the rise to take its place; and how can we protect our kids from the big bad worldwide web?
Tumblr bans mature adult content from their website – So, what?
Tumblr was launched in 2007 and quickly became an easy way for users to share content frequently; this was also known as microblogging. As of this year, Tumblr has 420 million users, and 61% of teens between the ages of 13-19 consider it to be their favourite social network. If we compare Tumblr to its close relative, Facebook, it is more popular with the 13-25-year-old age demographic.
You might be wondering; why does this matter? Although this may not be common knowledge, Tumblr is widely known for its mature adult content and has little to no privacy settings. When searching up seemingly safe words on Tumblr’s search engine, explicit content is very likely to pop up. With the Tumblr bans, this will no longer be the case. Additionally, once something has been posted on Tumblr, it is nearly impossible to have it completely removed. This means that kids, and teens, in particular, are at risk of posting mature content without understanding the possible consequences of their actions. This is why it is important to make sure our kids and teens are aware of the dangers of the internet.
Protect your kids from mature adult content on the internet
As of December 17, 2018, Tumblr is banning all mature adult content on their platform. However, don’t be so quick to take that sigh of relief. Even though Tumblr is taking this monumental step, there are already many other websites that are on the rise with plans to take over. With the Tumblr bans, here are a few websites that we need to look out for because they will try to be “the new Tumblr”: Newgrounds, Pillowfort, Ghost & Sharesome.
Additionally, here are a few quick tips that might help you keep your kids safe from all the dark corners of the internet:
1. Set up your devices in common areas of the house
Although this may seem extreme, in reality, there’s no reason for computers or iPads in rooms with closed doors. As a parent, you have every right to monitor and limit your child’s screen time.
2. Set all devices up with parental controls
When setting up your devices, be sure to go heavy on the privacy settings. This is purely for the safety of your child. If you’re unsure of how to do this, we’ve found this great resource for you!
3. Collect cell phones at night in a common area of the house
Once again, this might seem extreme. However, there are many proven benefits for designated downtime from all screen devices. This helps keep your kids/teens safe and will help improve their quality of sleep. Don’t believe us? Read up on it here.
4. Talk to your kids
We know, this one’s a scary one. As always, we’ve got you covered!
Talk to your kids and teens about mature adult content on the internet
Here’s the problem with kids being exposed to adult content without being spoken to first; kids will not understand that this content is not an accurate representation of real life. So, although we are fully aware that this is a daunting topic, here are five ways that can help facilitate the conversation between you and your kids.
1. Breathe. Stay Calm.
This is an opportunity to educate your child/teen about an important topic that they will encounter with or without your help. Take a deep breath and just do it!
2. Offer Non-Judgmental Acknowledgment
Ask your child or teen if they’ve come across this content before; if their answer is no, then reassure them that even if they have – it is not a big deal. If their answer is yes; go back to step one. Everything is fine. Once again, reassure them that there is nothing wrong with this and that you would like to have an important talk about this topic.
3. Prepare your Speech
You will want to make sure that your kid is aware that if they do run into this content; this is not real life. Help them understand that the bodies they see will be enhanced and that the acts they will see should be between consenting adults at all times. Although it is awkward, explain that just like in the movies, these people are paid to appear on screen and that this is a job. This will also help remove the stigma of sex-workers from a young age. It is also essential to emphasize the practice of safe sex. These are topics you may feel is best to wait until your child is a teen to discuss, but really, there is no such thing as “too young” when teaching kids about consent.
4. Allow for a Two-Way Conversation
If your kid or teen has some feedback that they would like to provide, allow them to do so. If they volunteer to share an experience that they’re unsure about, let them know that there is always a safe space for them to talk about these topics. Ask them what their views are on this topic, ask them if their friends are talking about it, etc.
5. Prepare for Questions
Although this talk mainly targets the topic of internet content, be aware that this may lead to scarier topics; such as – sex. If this does occur, prepare yourself to answer the questions that your kids or teens might have. Understand that you can never over-prepare someone for these very real-life topics.
As Tumblr bans its mature content, we as parents must remain vigilant. All in all, talking to your children will only help them in the long run. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. Talking to your children about these taboo topics only makes for a more educated human being, and that’s a win in our books! That’s all from us this week, but if you’re looking for some inspiring ways to give back as a family this holiday season, you can check out our last blog post!