Social Question

Coloma's avatar

How do you feel about children ( under the age of 18 ) perusing the often, very 'adult' content of Fluther?

Asked by Coloma (47110points) May 16th, 2011

I have found myself, ( relating to a medical marijuana question ) feeling concerned about young teens, participating in, what I consider a forum for 18 and over people. Do you feel kids as young as 13–14, should be allowed access to the diverse contents of Fluther?

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48 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

Sometimes it disturbs me a bit. I see some younger people, around 15–16 posting in the NSFW sex threads. It kind of puts me off. I think that the more adult content should only be accessible by the older users.

cookieman's avatar

I don’t consider 13 & 14 year-olds “kids”. They’re teens or young adults.

As long as the subject is discussed intelligently, I don’t see the problem. They could learn something valuable and, given the high maturity level here in the lagoon amongst our teen members, are likely to contribute something.

I don’t believe in hiding things from kids, much less teens/young adults.

keobooks's avatar

I think that’s a decision to be made by their parents, not us.

Coloma's avatar

@KatetheGreat

I agree, and noticed a 14 yr. old in the “What do you think about during sex” thread.

WasCy's avatar

If they’re at all interested in that sort of thing, then they’re a lot less likely to get into trouble with anything that they hear about or participate in via Fluther than the innumerable other sites that are open to anyone who will say, “I am over 18 – let me in.”

Kool_Gal's avatar

BIG YES! Why not? Most teens are intelligent and got decent self-awareness these days.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

I have mixed feelings on this. If a child is unprepared for what they will encounter and aren’t aware of possible dangers, no I don’t think they should be perusing them. On the other hand, I think that it can help them when they are learning. Sometimes when it comes to mature content it’s better they hear the uncensored versions. Sometimes it can help scare them off and sometimes it can help them get the real answers.

I feel a lot of kids aren’t getting the education on certain subjects that they should because everything is censored. When I was that age I was curious and was checking out adult related content. I was aware of the dangers and never got involved in chats, but at the same time I noticed that myself, as well as others that I knew did this, were more careful and knowledgeable when it came to topics like sex and drugs. We also were less likely to get involved in them because we were more informed on risks.

cookieman's avatar

@Coloma: If a young teen is answering in the “What do you think about during sex” thread, then they’re likely having sex – which seems to me to be the bigger problem. Not their participation in the thread – and, as @keobooks points out, is their parents concern.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

So far, there is absolutely nothing I’ve seen on this site that is as bad as the s&m porn I was watching/reading when I was 11. We can create rules so they won’t; they’ll just go elsewhere. At least here, we can make sure that (for the most part) we give them correct info, more realistic expectations, and treat sex as a healthy (albeit adult) thing.

Also: What exactly is the difference between someone who’s 17 and 8 months, and someone who’s 18 and 4 months, if we set the legalities aside? Not a whole lot – it’s so much more dependent on the individual.

cookieman's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs: Great answer. Very true.

Coloma's avatar

I’m quite open minded, but, I am also a bit old school when it comes to kids at the cocktail party.

Good sharings, I appreciate all of your diverse answers.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Coloma I know what you’re talking about. I saw it too. It just kind of irks me. I might just be old fashioned though.

I have seen some perfectly mature younger people on here. I respect a lot of them for that. We do have many great younger users. But I personally feel uncomfortable hearing about a minor’s sex life, drug abuse, or craziness.

But, there are a lot of things that they can learn from it. I’d just prefer that they lurk the threads rather than making some obscene, immature comment.

wundayatta's avatar

It doesn’t matter what we think. There is no way to keep people of any age out of the site. Or the entire internet. There’s really no point in discussing it, since nothing can be done short of returning the police state.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Coloma Was this medical marijuana question recent? I thought there hadn’t been any in a while.

keobooks's avatar

I just wanted to clarify. I am against censorship and except for hardcore graphically disturbing material, I do not think anything should be censored. But I do think parents have the right as guardians to filter what their own kids see. If I found it appropriate to let my daughter read fluther at 14, that’s my choice. I wouldn’t want someone else to make the choice that it was inappropriate for me. I will say what I used to say to parents in the library when they asked about why we allowed some “dirty” book in the kid’s section. Different kids are ready for things at different times. We don’t let a few parents make the choice for all families. We put it all out there, and if you don’t want your kids reading it, don’t let them read it.

Now, if a kid acts like a turd on a thread, they should get kicked out the same as anyone else acting that way, but they shouldn’t get kicked out just because they are kids. If they can behave themselves and are legally old enough to participate, then they have the same right as anyone else here.

If you must know though, I probably wouldn’t let my daughter read Fluther at 13. But that’s just my thing. I know other parents aren’t as strict as I may end up being, but I support them in making those choices.

Coloma's avatar

@cprevite

Well..obviously no parents are paying attention, and @wundayatta Of course, but, I’m not talking police state, I’m asking a reasonable question on perhaps, other parents thoughts.

@MyNewtBoobs

Yes, just a bit ago.

wundayatta's avatar

I recently asked a question about how we know what “age appropriate” is. This is a case where the world runs far faster than age appropriate. All we can do is teach them sooner, even before we think they are ready, because otherwise they will find this stuff on the internet, only they won’t have any education about what to do with it.

Ladymia69's avatar

It doesn’t disturb me at all. Of course, i don’t have kids.

I remember how filthy my mind was at 13. Hell, even at 12! And I came from a religious family!

The stuff we talk about on this site is pretty soft compared to other sites. They probably hear worse things from their friends. you can only do so much to shelter your child.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta

Well…I dunno, my daughter is 23 now, and she has told me plenty of what she was thinking waay back when. lol I am hardly shocked, don’t forget I’m a 70’s girl, haha.
But, I wouldn’t have given my permission for her to use this site when she was 11 or 12 or 13 or 14. But…that was 10 years ago…guess I’m out of the loop and scoop on young teen activities these days.

@MyNewtBoobs

S&M porn at 11…good greif kiddo…sorry, if I was your mama I’d have unplugged you right quick! :-/

DeanV's avatar

Fluther NSFW threads are downright tame compared to what a child could find with a simple google search nowadays. I personally, am all for fluther sections being accessible to all, mostly just because of the lack of a photo embed option in answers.

Absolutely everything I regret seeing on the internet like gore, porn, etc. was embedded into a forum post or other post, not linked to like a fluther thread. And really, on the internet, I don’t care much about talk, nor does it affect me all that much. What you say about your sex life is completely tame compared to pictures regarding your sex life, and here, we just don’t have to click on those photos.

The photo embed thing has always been why I spend more time on Fluther or Reddit than 4chan or even Tumblr.

cookieman's avatar

Well..obviously no parents are paying attention

@Coloma: You are probably correct. Then all the better they (young teens) hear from the intelligent, caring jellies than get mis-information from their pals (as I did) or straight titillation from the rest of the Internet.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Coloma She was a bit busy being a psycho abuser. But she trusted me on the computer, because girls don’t like sex or porn… But the point is, I knew not only where to find that stuff, but how to cover my tracks well. Even if either parent had suspected something, they never would have found anything. And sadly, the images I got of sex from porn were almost always more loving than the ones my parents taught me. Kids will look at porn; of this, I am sure.

everephebe's avatar

It’s better that they look around here than many other places.
Some folks on fluther may actually give more of a damn then the kiddo’s parental units.

Cruiser's avatar

If a youngin wanted to be titillated by racy content, Fluther IMO would be the last place they would go.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Cruiser You mean because the rest of us aren’t exactly using it as “stimulating material”, as it were? Agreed.

Coloma's avatar

@Cruiser

Agreed, I’m just talking about pre-teens and/or very young teens participating in SOME questions of questionable/controversial content. Okay…clearly mother hen is outnumbered here, never mind…it’s all good! ruffling feathers and toddling away lol

ovisaries's avatar

It’s almost inevitable that they will see stuff like that, unless you lock them away home school, no technology, live way out of town etc..parents and adults just need to learn that their kids will learn about this type of stuff anyways if they want them to or not and if the parents don’t like it they should take the time to sit down and explain it to them themselves so the kids don’t grow up believing what isn’t true or what is wrong and right..but some kids understand better than others by learning from t.v. movies etc. i never once had a talk like that from my parents but i still have better common sense then 90% of the kids at my school and know how to react to these things.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Every teen’s different, with different levels of comprehension and different maturity levels. I knew more about sexual things and relationships at 16 than some adults in my family knew at 45. And had more common sense, too. Their parents need to regulate the computer, then, and if the kid has their own, well… what are you going to do?

The truth is, sooner or later, unless they unfortunately die young or become severely brain damaged, every kid is going to learn about sex from age 13+. If not from here, then the kids at school or church, from their parents (ideally) or from somewhere else. Or on their own. At least here, the point is people coming together to help each other than other sites they could visit.

NeroCorvo's avatar

Being the user who asked the medical marijuana question, I did put thought into how appropriate it would be to ask. The thing is that I trust Jellies. I have been here 3 years and know that, unlike a blind Internet search, the advice given here is usually excellent and accurate.

I respect that Fluther is a place where pretty much anything sincere can be asked. Even if someone underage sees my question perhaps it will make them pause for a moment to appreciate their loved ones more.

jerv's avatar

TL;DR

Have you you ever seen the really real world? Kids see things that make their parents want to lock them in their rooms until they are 30. Look, the demographic you are worried about are smoking pot and having sex already, so what are we going to say here that gives them any ideas that are worse than those they already have.

Plucky's avatar

It bothers me but they can find much worse elsewhere.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I think part of the problem is the generational shift in how long adolescence is – for the older generations, adolescence wasn’t reached until you were actually a teenager, and then you got married and had kids at younger ages. But this generation, girls get their periods at age 9, and then everyone(ish) goes to school not just for bachelors or an MRS, but for 2 or 3 degrees, plus getting a foot in the career door (not to mention having to move back in with their parents when they’re 31 because of the economy). It’s not until they’re in their early 30s that they get married or start having kids. As a result, adolescence lasts 15–20 years for some people, and at least half as long as it did for most of the previous generations. And because this long adolescence is such a new phenomenon, we haven’t developed a way of really breaking it down into smaller segments, so the old 13–18 rule is imposed somewhat arbitrarily, even though it doesn’t necessarily fit the current model anymore.

Hibernate's avatar

One needs only to be 13+ to register AND there are no sections only for above 18.

Better that they talk and learn about consequences before getting addicted and ruining their lives.

Not to mention that parents face a difficult situation ” No spare time for the kids ” [ if they manage to eat a meal with them and change a few words they find that enough ]

_zen_'s avatar

To “see” a teen in a thread – means that he actually posted something. Who’s to stop them from just reading?

Besides, fluther content, as amusing as it may be, is probably the least sexual, perverse or otherwise tittilating stuff a teen has seen online.

augustlan's avatar

Well, since my kids are all members here (and the youngest is 13, the age limit), obviously I have no problem with it. I’d much rather they read about or discuss this stuff in a caring, intelligent environment than just amongst their friends or elsewhere on the web. That said, they’re aren’t allowed to hang out in chat (it can get a little steamy in there) and are not supposed to delve into the NSFW threads (my parental rules). Do I know for sure that they don’t? No, but what’s the absolute worst that’s going to happen if they do read one? I might have some extra questions to answer for them, and that’s ok. We’ve already had a lot of conversations about sex (even porn) and drugs, and I expect to have many more.

From an administrative perspective, there’s really no way to stop anyone from lying about their age, anyway. At least the way it is we generally know when we’re dealing with a younger member. If we tried to block them, they’d lie and we’d have no idea.

Seelix's avatar

Fluther is very, very far from the worst thing a kid could easily find online. Like others have said, there’s no way to know how old any of our members are, so I don’t worry about it. There are far more damaging things out there.

Coloma's avatar

I appreciate the myriad perspectives you have all shared.

I guess I just tend to feel that erring on the side of caution is best with younger kids.

Of course, I am also aware that I am in the vast minority of middle aged and above members, as well as being out of touch with what is ‘normal’ for younger kids these days.

I do, however, agree that a lot of healthy parenting supervision is sorely lacking in these times, and sadly so.

Thanks for the feedback.

Mikewlf337's avatar

I believe some of the content on here should only be read by adults(18+) anyone under that age should not read it. The problem is how do you stop them. You have 2 options. You could heavily moderate fluther and treat all of us like children or you could do what is right and let the parents decide what their kid under 18 should and should not be allowed to see. Responsibility for what a kids is exposed lies with the parents and no one else. Chances are your kids is looking at much worse than an adult question on fluther.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yeah! I’m only two and so far I’m fine! Giggity! (—I’ve named my pacifier Fluther btw.—)

tinyfaery's avatar

How is it that no one remembers being a teen? I knew all about sex and drugs by the time I was 13, and I did not learn it in such an intelligent, well-balanced manner.

Maybe this is a generational thing.

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery

I think so.
At 13 I was still playing with Barbi’s and Breyer horses and had virtually no knowledge of sex. But that was the very early 70’s. We were still ‘innocent’ for a long time. I was 16 before I got into sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. ;-)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Coloma So, whatever age you are, if you’re still into Barbies and Breyer horses, you probably shouldn’t be reading the adult threads. Although, I don’t know that many kids who are playing with those toys and are also clicking on NSFW threads. I just disagree about which age it currently is that kids are playing with those toys – but I’m not suggesting we mix the two.

_zen_'s avatar

Kids nowadays with internet access don’t play with any toys that aren’t virtual. They could be eight, ten, twelve – but if they’re online, they’ve seen and read it all. Nothing here on fluther would shock them – or interest them, for that matter, in terms of explicity.

Anyone who’s ever dowloaded a song knows you don’t always get what you asked for.

Any email could be viral.

Have you seen the stuff the kids “play” and share on facebook?

This is a different generation. It’s best to not be naive, parents.

Paul's avatar

I’m 14 and I’d like to believe I can help an OP with his problem just as well as anyone else if I know the subject matter.
<- my picture’s going to make me seem very young now isn’t it. :P

Coloma's avatar

I agree completely @FPSMadPaul

My concerns are coming from the mommy zone…I get it, guess I am just a little over protective in my thinking. :-)

Poser's avatar

When anyone with an internet connection has unlimited access to more pornography than one could watch in a lifetime, the witty (often), intelligent (usually), mature conversations that take place on Fluther are quite possibly the best thing that young teenagers can be doing online.

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