Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don’t Use Grandma's Computer to See Skin

GRANDMA ON ALERT wrote in to Dear Abby:

My daughter and 12-year-old grandson "Patrick" visit me on Sundays. Patrick watches TV in my office.
Kids should not be watching TV without the adults knowing what they are watching.

I was recently looking at the history on my Web browser after he had been there, and I noticed that Patrick had been visiting free porn sites and chat rooms on my computer.
What I said about TV applies even more to computers. You must be certain nobody else could have accessed the computer to be sure.

I am disappointed that he has been looking at pornography and that he has put my computer at risk for viruses, etc.
Risks can come from any place online. Surely you have protective software, right?

As far as the porn – what are we talking about? Pictures? Videos? Women? Men and women having vanilla sex? Betty White with Larry King? While people shouldn't be supplying any of that to minors, you shouldn't be too concerned that he sought it out unless it is some illegal or extreme stuff. The fact is, the vast majority of adult men these days through the age of 55 viewed Playboy-style pictures, R-rated sex/nudity movie scenes, and even porn films/video when they were 12 or not much older and most of them grew up to be normal, healthy, productive members of society – many of them have great marriages. Just because the material doesn’t appeal to you doesn't mean it will kill him.

These days, 12-year-old boys are getting sent pictures of their classmates on cell phones and in e-mails, or are even seeing or doing worse in-person (sometimes with their teacher). Really, the most dangerous thing he did was visit chat rooms, if he wasn’t careful about what he said in those chat rooms.

Should I talk to his parents?
If you're fairly certain it was him, tell them the nature of the sites he visited. And explain that as a result, he won’t be allowed to use your computer unsupervised.

To him?
Take him over to computer - just he two of you - and bring up all of the websites. Then, scream at him about how evil he is and how the human body and sex are dirty and how wrong he is to enjoy seeing that stuff. Tell him he's going to turn into a woman-hating murderer and grow hair on his palms and his testicles are going to painfully, loudly pop.

Actually, don't so that.

Seriously, no need to talk with him – don’t listen to Dear Abby on that one. Yes, he wronged you by misusing your property, but his parents should handle it. There's no reason to get him to associate sex with grandma.

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