The Dangers of Modern Culture – Parent Know How!

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How Our Modern Culture Feeds Online Predators: What Every Parents Needs to Know

By John DiGirolamo

John DiGirolamo’s third book, It’s Not About the Predator: A Parent’s Guide to Internet & Social Media Safety, is a practical 53-page booklet to help parents keep their kids safe online. The book details the predator’s playbook, grooming tactics, and specific proactive actions for parents. It also includes tips from an undercover police officer and how pornography feeds the predators.

How the Modern Culture Feeds Online Predators

The culture and its sphere of influence can include many facets and the following are examples of how predators are emboldened, and kids and teens may be more easily exploited.

  1. Unstable home life: The less children are supervised the higher the risk that they will spend time online and may seek a parental type of relationship from a stranger.
  2. Drug Use: Whether it’s the parent or teen, drug and alcohol abuse will only increase the child’s vulnerability and potential for exploitation. An adult cannot effectively parent if he\she is addicted and an intoxicated teen will not make good decisions, putting their safety in jeopardy.
  3. Technology: The internet allows anyone the chance to contact a child, thus making it easier to find victims. Many teens correlate their self-esteem to the number of friends\followers they have on social media. Thus, teens routinely accept a new online connection without knowing who the other person actually is.
  4. Sexualization: Whether it be viewing pornography at a young age, or a celebrity obsessed society, kids and teens are bombarded with sexual messages. Age-appropriate clothing is difficult to find especially for girls and many schools are flooded with a sex education curriculum that pushes sexual exploration and experimentation. A child’s time of innocence is becoming shorter than ever.
  5. Traditional Values: Christian, patriotic and nuclear family values are regularly mocked by modern society, politicians, the media and celebrities. When values can be self-defined, nothing is right or wrong, thus making children and teens more vulnerable to being exploited.
  6. Pandemic: When kids were sent home from school during the COVID-19 pandemic, it only increased their time spent online. Social interaction with real people was replaced with online relationships, which benefited only the predators.
  7. Erosion of Church Participation: When less people go to church or believe in God, we see a society that put people at the center, rather than God. When kids (and adults) don’t have a moral foundation, it only follows that negative consequences will occur. Wherever God is removed or cancelled, something nefarious will takes its place.

What Happens When God is Removed?

When God is removed from schools and the public square, there are consequences.

It’s been over 60 years since the bible was taken out of the classroom and society has become more secular.

Gender ideology, self-love (vs. love of God) and finding your own truth is implemented in the schools, reinforced by the media and has resulted in a country where belief in God is at an all-time low.

Nudity on television is normal and storylines which reinforce sexual engagement without love are common.

This, along with technology has enabled pornography viewing to become mainstream.

But it’s worse than one might think because it’s pervasive with children.

Here’s what’s going on:

  1. Pop star Billie Eilish revealed in 2021,

    “I started watching porn when I was like 11.  I think it really destroyed my brain and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.”

    She isn’t alone as the average age of viewing explicit images is about 10 years old. This significantly influences a young person’s brain. Many scientists warn parents that it rewires the pre-adolescent’s brain. Watching pornography at any age will have an impact, but specially for youngsters:

  2. It is incredibly addictive and is called, “the new drug.”
  3. Many kids look to pornography to teach them about sex and relationships.
  4. Kids get a warped sense of what an intimate relationship looks like.
  5. Intimacy becomes a selfish physical transaction.
  6. A hookup culture is encouraged where sex occurs without a relationship, let alone within the confines of marriage.
  7. Marriage and raising a family have been devalued.
  8. Pornography creation is trending to be more violent, sadistic and destructive, especially to females. Thus, the lines of consent are blurred.
  9. Sexually deviant behavior is glorified and presented as normal.
  10. Pornographic images are the #1 downloaded content in United States.

How Our Secular Culture Feeds Sexting, Extortion and Human Trafficking?

  1. When kids view pornography at a young age it can become addictive, and it normalizes the viewing of explicit images.
  2. This leads to the child to believe that the creation and recording of sexually explicit content is normal.
  3. When the creation of explicit content seems normal, teens are pressured to send\receive such content to each other. Many teens believe that sexting, voluntarily sending explicit pictures of oneself, is fun and flirty and is called “the new first base.” Unfortunately, sexting is happening as early as middle school.
  4. When sexting also becomes normalized, if an online “friend” pressures a victim for explicit content, it doesn’t seem as out of place as it should be.
  5. Predators are after money (sextortion), more explicit content or to meet for a physical encounter. They are counting on the embarrassment and shame of their victim and feel trapped by the blackmail.
  6. Some blackmail can lead to the victim being exploited in human trafficking.
  7. Pornography also feeds human trafficking because it normalizes deviant sexual behavior. It fuels the fantasy of sex with the young (underage) and leads to someone acting out the fantasy with underage person. Many pornographic “actors” are underage and are coerced into performing in the videos.

How teens circumvent parental controls

A generation ago, if a teen wanted to be sneaky, he had to ask his friends or be creative. Now, the teen can simply ask YouTube or Google. Type into a search engine, “What to do if I have strict parents.” Thousands of videos and blogs will appear giving teens instruction on how to get around parental restrictions. Unfortunately, it’s easy for anyone to find this information in a matter of seconds. Some other ways teens circumvent parental controls:

  1. Apps such as a GPS spoofer changes the location of the phone and fools a parent who may be tracking their child.
  2. Calculator app, that does real math, but also has secret hidden folders.
  3. Run the phone in safe mode where many programs are temporarily disabled.
  4. Change the time zone, so time-of-day based restrictions are fooled.
  5. Utilize an app to hide other programs.

What can you do to protect your loved one?

Parental attitude and involvement matter greatly.

A hands-off approach is ineffective and absent parenting only increases a child’s risk of exploitation.

Below are several practical tips:

  1. First and foremost, have the conversation about biblical values regarding sex, marriage, family and the human body. Use this as an opportunity to describe how one’s life can glorify God. Such discussion can include:
  2. God created marriage for one man and one woman.
  3. The complimentary roles of parents (similar to the holy family.)
  4. Intimacy in the context of marriage.
  5. Why marriage and parenting is about love and self-sacrifice.
  6. How a strong relationship with God equals a strong marriage.
  7. Talk to your kid and know his\her friends. Are their friends helping your kid become a better version of himself\herself?
  8. Limit to 200 “friends” or “followers” and ensure that your child has personally met the person.  Even better, allow only friends that the parent has met.
  9. Know what your kid is doing online especially in chat rooms and private messenger services.
  10. Install parental control software, which are guardrails and aren’t guaranteed to protect the user and aren’t a substitute for good parenting.
  11. It’s okay to say “no” to your kid; be the parent, not the friend.
  12. Spend time together and be the involved parent.
  13. Know where they get things that you didn’t purchase.
  14. Require online activity be performed in a common area of your residence (e.g., kitchen.)
  15. Have your child give you all electronic devices at bedtime.

More detail can be found in DiGirolamo’s book: It’s Not About the Predator: A Parent’s Guide to Internet & Social Media Safety. John DiGirolamo is a critically acclaimed author, speaker and anti-human trafficking advocate and is a member of the Christian Authors Network. The author’s website: and the book is available on Amazon:


Disclaimer: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Image Credit: YouTube Screengrab

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