Today in America, young people are subjected to untold amounts of reprehensible and highly sexual content on social media. It occurs on all platforms, with all age groups, and at the expense of all people. The result has been and continues to be a growing population of Godless and moralless young Americans. Ironically, most of these individuals are not even responsible for their own behavioral evolution. This stems from the explicit staples that populate present-day social media: promiscuity, pornography, and prostitution.
All of these are tearing apart the moral fabric of America, and we can directly attribute all of them to social media. On its face, it is easy to say that at-risk individuals (mainly young Americans) can be shielded from this content by their parents. But the fact of the matter is with every passing day, adolescents are becoming more entrenched in social media. Policing children on these platforms is now close to impossible.
Social Media Promiscuity
In the present day, social media harbors vast amounts of content befitting for a brothel. Outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are unintentionally denigrating American morality by serving as the main cog in promiscuity. Many young people who use these platforms unknowingly scroll through and click on content displaying pornographic or any other amoral images. The result is a normalization of this shameful conduct.
The logic is simple: if a young person sees someone else doing it, they process it as acceptable and even consider doing it themselves. As the late entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once put it, “attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association.” This is to say young Americans associating with highly amoral sexual content are likely to be thoroughly influenced by it. Furthermore, those same Americans are now going to pass down those thoughts to their loved ones. It truly is a vicious cycle.
And of course, those that are most at risk of this exposure are the aforementioned young Americans. Common knowledge tells us that it is very easy to influence adolescents and young adults as they grow up. It is the same reason a strong family unit is necessary for the healthy development of children. But when one exposes adolescents to sexual content on social media, they risk a destructive promiscuous influence.
In fact, a 2017 study from the online safety website Net Aware found 1 in 5 children are actively being exposed to explicit sexual content. In addition, this number is only increasing with a global pandemic causing social media use to skyrocket among children. With all this, it is important to note the sexual content these children are seeing expressly displays promiscuity. Or, it implies that plastering your sex life all over the internet is acceptable. Regardless, it leads to an amoral and frankly irresponsible influence for young people.
Social Media Pornography
Anyone can easily access pornography on free-to-use social media platforms. These outlets, which are available to all ages (discounting age-related recommendations), are literally laced with pornographic content. As someone who has personally navigated each major social media platform, it is apparent that if someone wants free pornography, they can get it. Point in fact, a 2018 meta-analysis conducted by the youth development service ACT Youth found 20% of all youths under 18 are exposed to online pornography.
Furthermore, pornography populates pages on various social media sites, many of which are seemingly harmless. This includes “promote yourself” pages and “share my content” pages. This is not unusual because, for pornographers, their work is self-promotion and sharing personal content. The problem lies with social media sites that do not crack down on this content or do but take too long to act, thus negating any benefit.
An example of this is a Facebook Group under the name, “Promote Yourself!”. This page allowed pornographic content in the form of OnlyFans posts for several months. Despite this website requiring a subscription, many individuals posted images of pornographic content directly on the page. This of course was problematic for a page that has over 12,000 members. Eventually, the high volume of pornographic posts forced the page’s administrators to begin to remove the content and set stricter rules for OnlyFans posts.
But how long did these images populate the page? To the authors’ knowledge, it was for at least 4-5 months. The next question is, how many adolescents and young adults were exposed to this detrimental content? The answer is impossible to calculate, but the number is probably in the thousands. And this was just one page on one social media platform. In fact, every platform has dozens or even hundreds of pages, so the amoral content is more or less exponential. And with every pornographic image, another level of morality for America’s youngest citizens disappears.
Social Media Prostitution
Social media platforms have helped give rise to online prostitution and even worse, the influence of prostitution. Prostitutes, in many cases, create accounts on social media platforms specifically to sell themselves. They title their profiles with things like, “message me for nude pictures” or “text me for sex.” Additionally, these individuals do not just create these accounts, they actively peruse the platform, friend unsuspecting people (many of which are adolescents), and send them reprehensible sexually-laced content.
The result is yet again a systematic moral corruption of young Americans who use these platforms. The author has personally experienced many of these “online” prostitutes attempting to elicit business online. It was truly sickening. And this trend is beginning to include young people themselves, not just prostitutes using social media. A 2012 Stokes study showed that in the U.K., 10% of all college students said they knew a fellow classmate who worked as a prostitute or escort while in school. Many said the reason for this was it would be the only way to pay their college tuition.
This is troubling for young adults back in the U.S. because these behaviors are equally as prevalent here. Furthermore, even if young Americans are not engaging in this behavior, just the sheer influence of online prostitution is damaging. This includes young people seeing profiles of prostitutes selling sex and the like. As mentioned before, adolescents are especially vulnerable to influence, and this prostitution type of influence is no different.
Adolescents see others on social media platforms they know and trust engaging in contemptible behavior, and as a result, they themselves are at a higher risk of adopting it. To put it in simpler terms, if you give a child a cookie, the first thing they are going to do is ask for another one. The same logic applies to prostitution, and for that matter, pornography. If you expose adolescents to this content and behavior, even unintentionally, you will inevitably normalize it for them. And for the sake of America, let’s hope online prostitution never becomes commonplace, especially for our most vulnerable citizens.
Social Media Roundup
The current environment of social media in America makes it clear that these three staples are destroying young people’s morality. Social media outlets are not only exposing adolescents to promiscuous behavior, but they are normalizing it every single day. Pornography has run wild on social media, and no matter how young a person is, this content lays in wait. Finally, prostitution has invaded these platforms, and while not new, its influence is beginning to rub off on more people.
For young Americans, the risks these factors entail are just too great to ignore. At some point, parents, educators, and lawmakers need to consider the danger children face when using social media and the abstract loss in morality it causes. Is it realistic to restrict social media use for all young people? Of course not, so the only answer is to force media companies to better regulate the content populating their platforms. This is truly the only way we will ever solve this dilemma and heal our moral divide as a country.