Louisiana has a new state law that requires uploading a state form of identification to view online pornography. The goal is to curb underage viewing of pornography as the fear is pornography is doing harm to underage people.
Porn has been around forever. When new technology becomes popular pornography is often right at the forefront. From VCRs to virtual reality. Increasingly hardcore porn has become more main stream and more readily accessible. In my day getting your hands on Playboy was considered a big score. Playboy seems tame by comparison to what is popular today. In fact, it is just a notch up from Instagram or Tik Tok. Today’s popular porn is definitely more explicit. I don’t dispute the fact that porn can have a harmful impact on young people. From unreal expectations of what a healthy sexual relationship consists of to unrealistic body images for people. Too big. Too small. Too fat. Too thin. None of this is good.
However, the harm that could happen by uploading personal information could be devastating as well. Hacking is becoming more prevalent. For every advance in cyber-security it seems like the hackers are one step ahead. It is not far fetched to think someone could get a hold of your personal information and combine that with what you view on these adult sites and use it as a form of blackmail. Do you want your boss to know what your fetishes are? Do you want a third -party stranger having the power to contact your significant other and let them know what your viewing habits are? Do you trust these adult websites not to sell your information like every other website seems too?
Will this even prevent underage viewing of adult content by minors? For some it may be a deterrent. For many more they know the work arounds. There are VPNS which will show your IP address from another state or country. There are websites with even more hardcore and sometimes illegal porn on them. For most of us our kids are ahead of the curve on technology. They know things we don’t. They know how to access things we don’t. For many of us Tik Tok is still the noise a clock makes. For our kids it is a place where they spend hours a day looking at animal videos and dance videos and life hacks and more.
What’s the solution? Probably the same thing it always is. We need to have the hard conversations with our kids and keep our heads in the game to know what they are up to. We need to tell them what porn is and what some of the things they may see are. We need to tell them these are paid performers who in many cases have spent a lot of money to have enhancements done to their body. We need to tell them these performers have made a choice to do this as a living. We need to tell them they will not burn in eternal damnation if they view pornography. We need to tell them the harms that are possible by watching too much of this content. We need to parent. If we don’t parent, it seems more and more the government will step in and do it for us but we might not like how that looks and the control we are handing over.