A Father’s Confession: How Instagram Made Me Feel Like a Fool
Warning: Explicit Content Ahead! The content of this post deals directly with pornography and the immediate access our children have to it through social media apps. As such, the language and specific wording is more explicit than many of my posts.
I believe, firmly, this is a message that must be voiced, heard, and shared. I do, however, recognize that many may find it offensive. It’s not my intent to offend, but to inform. I plan on writing a series of posts addressing issues relating to social media apps in the coming weeks and months. Please, feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns, or simply need help. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I’ve never truly monitored my children’s Instagram accounts the way they ought to be monitored.
Because the social media app comes with a “T” rating, which means – ostensibly – that it’s a #Pornfree app.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instagram is certainly not #pornfree. The opposite, in fact, is true! Instagram is a significant producer and/or provider of #freeporn.
What makes this deceptive rating even worse it that Instagram has become one of the most popular social media apps among children between the ages of eight and twelve.
Yes, you read that right.
But, in case you’re slow – like I have been over the past five to seven years – let me translate it for you:
Instagram is providing free, easily accessible, deceptively packaged, and impossible-to-ignore pornographic images and videos for our eight-year-old children.
And you’ve probably been waiting until they are twelve to talk to them about sex.
Social Media Apps And Sexual Objectification
My confession: I had no idea Instagram provided such filth.
I know this is true of twitter – the ‘red-light’ district of social apps.
It’s also true of Snapchat, Tumblr, and – honestly – almost every other social media app on the market. I have both a personal Instagram account and a nonprofit account for #MenAgainstPorn.
I know, and have known, for some time, that Instagram features half-dressed, bikini clad models looking longingly into the camera.
I know, and have known, that broken hearts like the Kardashian daughters have modeled sexual objectification and subjugation for years. They have, almost single-handedly, created a culture of young girls who have modified ‘selfies’ to feature breasts and butts designed to grab the attention of horny boys and men everywhere.
I know, and have known, that the fitness industry aggressively uses this tool to sell their product with images typically displaying the bodies we all wish to obtain. The industry’s marketing features laser-like focus on the ‘sexy’ muscles that are sure to draw a crowd.
A caveat: I am not suggesting that every image is pornographic. I understand that, in many situations and scenes, the images are only designed to display fun and joy. They are also, however, attempting to sell the viewer a particular vision of the good life.
The images, in other words, are being used to sell the product that’s advertised. As such, this makes the images fundamentally tools in the trade of objectification. When I objectify a human image – or any image for that matter – so that I might obtain the goods/services attached to that image, then I’ve porned the person the image is exploiting, period. I’ll grant you, this may well be an unintended consequence, but it’s a consequence nonetheless!
Since When Did Selfie-Life Become the Best Life?
What I’ve never realized is that, behind its happy selfie-life is the best life exterior, Instagram is rotten to the core.
Toxic from the inside out.
Indeed. Instagram has made me feel like a fool. But I am a fool no longer.
I am no longer a fool because I recently read an article by Protect Young Minds. Protect Young Minds is a treasure-trove of parental support. The organization exists to empower parents, professionals, and community leaders to protect kids from pornography and promote healing from the exploitation that pornography causes.
The article exposes the dark side of the Instagram app by revealing that pornographic images and videos are surreptitiously located within the world of instaposts!
I couldn’t believe it. So, I fact-checked them.
They’re right. Spot-on with NO exaggeration.
Many images, of course, contained within the ‘magazine’ style display are not pornographic. The problem is, however, that any of the images, on an app that’s intentionally marketed to young children, are pornographic!
That’s a problem, people!
So, how did I find the porn about which Protect Young Minds warns?
It didn’t take too terribly much effort!
Instaporn at the Flick of My Thumb
I began by simply scrolling down my search window (something every one of our kids do all the time!).
I then clicked on a fairly mild image of a pretty girl in a bikini.
It was a one-of-three image format. I think they call this the ‘magazine.’
The images got progressively more degrading and sexually suggestive. I then checked out ‘followers’ and found a host of accounts that provide sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination.
This process took a total of about five minutes.
Here’s the deal: I’ve come out of a porn addiction. I’ve fought hard for my freedom and maintained my freedom (by the grace of God) for twenty years. Yet, even at that, I was tempted to look for more and find more sexually explicit material – all provided on a social media app that bills itself as acceptable for teens.
This is an outrage.
If I slipped into something like this ten years ago, who knows where it would have taken me.
What do you think the result will be when your honestly curious and wonderfully energetic eight-year-old son does the same?
Instagram, you and the executives who stir the waters of this cesspool in which you invite us all to swim, should be ashamed.
If you’re not willing to change your tactics, then at least change your name. I think something like Instaporn better represents exactly what you provide!
I confess: I’ve been a fool. But I will be a fool no longer.
Parents, follow the link to this excellent article on ways you can govern this – and other apps – that seek nothing less that the raping of your child’s soul.
Disrupting to Renew