Pokemon Go has officially beat the world’s most popular apps in terms of time spent on it by users. Possible? Yep. Last week, players spent a daily average of 43 minutes on Pokemon Go; far more than instant messaging app WhatsApp (30 minutes), Snapchat (23 minutes) and Facebook (22 minutes).
But a far more important metric failed to make headlines: Pokemon Go is more popular than porn. Yep, you heard that correctly. According to Google Trends, more people are currently searching the Internet for “Pokemon Go” than “pornography.” Surprised?
The news coincides with McDonald’s announcement that it is now filtering out all pornography from its public Wi-Fi networks. The world’s largest fast food chain will join the likes of Panera Bread and Chick-Fil-A in blocking inappropriate content from its public Wi-Fi. Other companies, notably Starbucks, have yet to take such action.
And while public sentiment may be temporarily distracted by Pokemon Go, for most parents, preventing access to adult content remains a full-time job with no employee manual. This weekend, a piece in the New York Times highlighted one mom’s frustration: Nothing, it seemed — not her school district, not even well-intentioned, common sense public policy — could figure out a way to keep highly inappropriate content off her 12-year-old son’s computer. Was she over-reacting, as many of the comments suggested? Or are her concerns well-founded?
According to the data — and not just anecdotal stories of young kids accidentally being exposed to porn who grow into adult addicts — her concerns are definitely well-founded.
Some recent data includes this information:
- The average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is now 8.
- Nearly 80 percent of unwanted exposure to pornography takes place in the home.
- A study found that 42 percent of online users ages 10 to 17 had seen pornography, and that 66 percent of those had seen it unwittingly.
So what can you do to help prevent your child from early exposure to pornography?
- Know what’s on their devices: Use Forcefield’s App Report to know exactly what apps are on your child’s device, 24/7. Notifications to the Parent App give you real-time updates when any new app is downloaded.
- Enable common sense filters such as Safe Search for browsing. (Keep in mind tech-savvy kids can easily change these settings. With Forcefield, however, parents can lock these settings in under Browsing Rules on the Parent Dashboard. Kids cannot disable the setting.)
- Create screen-time schedules with your child to prevent late-night browsing and social media use. Use Forcefield’s App Sleeper to create a reoccurring schedule that ensures complete digital downtime.