Personal testimony submitted to NCOSE to be shared.
I would like to share my story with pornography and how easily I stumbled into it as a child in the hopes that it can help people see why children should be protected from the dangers of pornography. I was reminded of my experience when I was reading about how our public library systems can access pornography or how it can even be found scrolling through Amazon.
My parents are divorced and when I was visiting my dad in the summer, I had unlimited internet access. The summer when I was 12, my new friend and I starting playing innocent games on the computer.
We were looking for more games and stumbled on some with mild pornography in them on a regular gaming website. We didn’t set out looking for it, but we discovered it and it sparked our curiosity.
The reason I decided to share my story was so that I can describe what it was like to see those images as a young child. No one had talked to me about pornography yet, perhaps because they thought that I was too young to have to deal with it yet. I think I knew somewhere in myself that maybe I shouldn’t be looking at those images, but they really peaked my curiosity. I wasn’t prepared to come across these images because I didn’t even know they existed.
As is common on the internet, I started clicking without making a firm decision to start clicking. I started finding more and more games with nude pictures in them because I was curious. Before I knew it, I had images that are still in my mind to this day without ever making a conscious choice to do so. I am lucky in that I went home to my mom’s house before I discovered anything more hard-core or formed a habit. The thing is that I didn’t make the conscious, well-informed decision to view pornography before I was confronted with it. I didn’t know possible negative effects of viewing pornography or anything like that.
Whether adults want to view pornography or not is up to them. They are old enough to weigh the pros or cons and take responsibility for their choice. Children are not old enough to be making these decisions. More and more studies are being published about the addictive nature and damaging effect that pornography has on people. By not protecting our children from porn, we aren’t giving them the chance to grow up and make their own choices; instead, we are allowing them to become impacted without them even knowing what’s happening to them.
As I start raising my own son I just want the internet to be a safer place for him when he is old enough to venture into it.