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Several weeks ago, I got this ‘friend request’ and a message on FaceBook that read;

“Hey, check out my profile. I uploaded some snap shots to this profile they’re nude so I can’t put them on fb. You have to sign-up to verify you are an adult ok, I’m going to log in right now. my log in is . . . “

This threw me for a loop as I didn’t realize I had ‘friends’ who called me “Hey”, uploaded nude pictures and posted them somewhere for me to click and see them.

 After dismissing the idea that they may need some help with clothes, I got a bit serious.

At this point I was convinced this was a sinister invitation to a porn site. I was baffled and angered at the same time wondering why I would be picked on. As a male human and a very curious one at that, I must admit that this invitation had such a magnetic effect.

A lot of things went through my mind – some vivid images too – as I had my cursor resting uneasily at the link pondering whether I really wanted to see this damsel in distress. I was beginning to sense the sweet tingling feeling you get when you think about your most favorite food being served to your heart’s content.

I tried to justify in my mind why this would not qualify as a forensic exercise, and a confirmation of how evil things have gotten in cyberspace. Fearing what my impressionable eyes would behold, I decided against going any further. Admittedly, it took a little more than a WWJD attitude to redirect my attention.

As I pondered over this encounter it was easy for me to see that our generation faces a tremendous amount of complexities.  We might as well be the most manipulated generation that has graced this earth.

The overwhelming power of the Arts and Media cannot be overlooked. They are the bridges over which the current values and thinking reaches and influence the general culture.

According to Gordon Pennington, Former Director of Marketing for Tommy Hilfiger, “Western society sees over 60,000 audio and visual advertising images daily.”

That link did not hold me captive and I’m happy I engaged myself instead in research that was an eye-opener. Here’s what I found out:

  • 70% of all men have been exposed to nudity on the internet
  • Nudity creates addictions that ruin families
  • 17% of all women struggle with porn addiction
  • 9.4 million women access adult websites every month
  • 1 of 3 visitors to all adult websites are women
  • Pornography makes more money than NBA, NFL, NHL, combined!

The money part was a shock to me. At $13.3 billion, the 2006 revenues of the sex and porn industry in the U.S. are bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined. Worldwide sex industry sales for 2006 are reported to be $97 billion. To put this in perspective, Microsoft, who sells the operating system used on most of the computers in the world (in addition to other software), reported sales of $44.8 billion in 2006.

Momentarily, I thought about how all my money woes could be solved in a blink of an eye if I would also post nude pictures on a website and find a way to generate some income.  I even thought of ‘Photoshopping’ some appealing body parts and  . . . you guessed it. . . obscuring my face.

It wasn’t that hard for me to empty my head of all these fantasies!

For one, I realized having tons of money is NOT necessarily a mark of being blessed by God as some people have sadly been misled. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have some money but not by that kind of trade. 

The bottom line for me is this; I choose to not be incarcerated in fantasy land.

So the next time you hear me doing a clothing drive, you would at least know how it all started.

How do you guard yourself from unsavory cyber links and invitations?