joining the dots

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We need to think more about porn

Warning, this blog contains x-rated ideas.

It seems that there has been a lot of talk about porn in the news lately, so tonight I decided to begin to pull together some of my own thoughts on the issue. I began by searching for some articles to read. So, I carefully typed in ‘problem with porn’ into Google. Thankfully, this turned out to be a safe phrase to use and I was soon reading a number of interesting articles. The first was from a website for men (not a religious one) outlining that porn really isn’t helpful and should be avoided. The second article was from a women’s website and explained why we need better porn. I start with this anecdote because it’s important that we don’t look at the issue of pornography through a narrow lens – after all, the data suggests that one in every three people accessing porn is a women.

I suspect most people reading my blog will primarily have three responses to pornography. (1) Consider it to be bad and wouldn’t be adverse to it being banned. (2) Try their hardest (to varying degrees of success) not to look at it. (3) Extremely keen to ensure that porn is kept as far as way as possible from children.

However, although I strongly agree with these three responses, I would suggest that to only have those three responses is akin to burying our heads in the sand. We need to think a lot more about porn. We need to talk a lot more about porn. And we need to act a lot when it comes to the issue of porn.

I’m probably (time allowing and only if I think I have something useful to share) going to write a few posts on this subject over the comings days / weeks. However, let me begin by taking you into ‘tomorrow’s world’. If that doesn’t make you realise how seriously we need to take pornography, nothing will.

The demise of the porn-industry is not a cause for celebration
Louis Theroux’s recent documentary, ‘Twilight of the Porn Stars’, reveals that the porn industry is struggling to survive. This is far from being good news. The most immediate reason why this isn’t good news is the cause of the industry’s woes – huge quantities of porn is now available on the internet for free. Therefore, it’s never been easier to access porn. However, think a little bit more deeply and it’s even more concerning. The porn industry is an economic giant – globally it’s worth $5 billion dollars a year. Therefore, it’s not going to just lie down and admit defeat – it’s not going to go down without a fight, it will develop, and it has the money to invest in development.

So, what’s next for porn?  Well, experts don’t expect 3D porn to take off; however, you know those computer games where you feel that you’re actually in the game walking around shooting people or whatever? That apparently one of the things that is next for porn. Scary.

However, the thing I’ve been reading most about this evening is porn in the world of augmented reality. If you’re not familiar with the term augmented reality, in brief it’s all about having our view of reality modified by a computer. Whereas virtual reality places reality within the digital world, augmented reality is the other way around – it overlays the real world with the digital, thus changing our view of the real world.

All this can be extremely useful. You’re lost, you hold up your smart phone, and you can view the street through your phone, and overlaying the picture are directions to where you want to go. Soon you won’t even have to hold a phone, you’ll just where a special pair of glasses (and presumably before long this will be integrated into contact lenses). This is quite cool when it comes to directions, not sure how I feel about text message alerts simply flashing in the right hand corner of my field of vision, but then the thought of being able to read text messages as if their written in the air a metre from your face is sounds quite cool.

However, just think about the implications of this for porn. Firstly, the rise of porn is directly correlated to the ability to be able to access it easily and privately (internet and personal computers). Smart phone make that even easier – but most people will still only look at porn on smart phones when they’re alone. But, in a couple of years or so, we’ll be able to access the internet with a pair of glasses. We will be able to view porn anyway and no one will know. However, it gets worse, and I suspect that some of you have already figured out where this is going… You will be able to overlay pornographic images over reality. I don’t think I need to say anymore.

Some will argue that this is harmless fun, after all they’re not actually X-ray glasses, what you’ll be seeing are just computer generated images. However, the implications are significant and illustrate my point – we need to think more about porn. We need to prepare for a world that is increasingly pornographic.

Tomorrow I plan to explore the question, “How are we going to bring focus in the post-porn world?”

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About Phil Green

By day I work for the Evangelical Alliance, by night I lead a small charity called a little bit of HOPE.

One comment on “We need to think more about porn

  1. Pingback: Refocusing in the post-porn world « joining the dots

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This entry was posted on 14/06/2012 by in porn and tagged , , .

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The opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the views of the organisations I work with.
Copyright © 2009-2012 Phil Green
a little bit of hope
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