I like to play Solitaire. It is a mindless activity that allows my thoughts to wander at will and, truthfully, it is a great way to procrastinate by pretending to be busy.
Because I won’t pay Google to be advert free, after every few games I am subjected to the inane gamut of games available for download. I seldom watch these fliers but recently a couple caught my attention, and I was horrified.
The first is a couple on a boat and the man punches the woman off the boat. She is left floundering in the water, crying piteously as he sails off with a big grin on his face. The second is similar, but this time the Adonis shoves her out of an aeroplane. In both games, the women survive and go on to make lives, albeit solitary ones from what I can gather, for themselves.
What kind of misogynist thinks this behaviour is acceptable and makes a game out of it. How does Microsoft allow this on their site? Who downloads these games? What are the lessons being taught to those who take part? How many young boys are being taught it is acceptable to treat women like flotsam, and where are the checks and balances to make sure this trash is not available on the open market?
So many questions, but at the end of the day the answer comes back to who the responsible adults are. With the amount of time young people spend on their iPhones is it possible to monitor all they are watching? I seriously doubt this is so.
Many of these programmes, and social media outlets, claim to have checks in place to curb violence and anything that might generate hate or wrongdoing, but the truth is they could care less. When you try and report scams, identity theft, suspicious content, you are given such a run-around and disingenuous responses that you end up having to suck it up. I have a young man, with a toned physique, who parades himself on Facebook in tight underpants, his hand suggestively indicating his appendage. I have blocked this chap countless times, but every few months, there he is back in the ticker tape of pictures across the top of the FB page. He was also on Instagram, but that block worked.
How do we protect ourselves from this onslaught of depravity? Don’t go on the internet is the usual response. Stay away. Good advice, but …:
I live alone, the internet keeps me in touch with friends. I am a writer; the internet brings me readers. I do not want to go off all social media. I have a right to interact with friends and readers and should be allowed to do so in a space that is respectful of my rights. But how?
At the end of the day, the only person who can ensure my protection, that my rights are not violated, is me. I need to be vigilant about what comes across my screen, be quick to block anything I find unsavoury, report suspicious adverts and salacious overtures where I can, and so, too, should you. Because this is the world we have allowed to evolve.
Were I a parent to young children today, I would spend a lot of time teaching them their rights and guiding them through the morass that is the internet today, and I would continuously check to see what they are watching. I would be a right pain, but that is what I would do!