Seeing as I was up at 5:30 this morning with the monumental task of getting three sleeping children up, dressed, fed and out of the house with one hand, because I was holding one fussy child with a runny nose with the other hand, I was just about to go to bed.
But then I checked the comments on my last post and now I can't go to bed without first jotting down a few thoughts.
I am not planning on deleting all of my previous postings. But, I am planning on deleting the blogspot address once I get my new website up and running and all of my archives successfully migrated. I have no idea how long that will take - but ultimately - that is my plan. For all I know, it might be five weeks from now.
Or, five years.
Hopefully, sooner than later, it is also part of my plan to delete my Photobucket account once I identify the pictures I want to keep and then transfer those photos to Flickr.
The reason I am doing all of this isn't because of some crazy knee jerk reaction where I feel like I need to keep our children safe from the dangers of the internet. I've already weighed what I perceive to be "the dangers" of the internet very carefully, and these changes I'm making aren't (entirely) about that.
The primary reason I am making the change is because I will have more flexibility with a website than I do with a blog. And by moving our photos to Flickr, not only will they appear better in blog postings, but I feel like I will be more capable of protecting them. As in, they won't be grabbed and uploaded to random websites.
I think that people who read this blog because they clicked through from a friend's blog, or from an internet picture, or they typed in key words for a recipe, or how to trigger labor, or how to potty train triplets, or where are some amazing trips, or - anything for that matter that would in no way be perceived as perverted, is great. Awesome, even!
Welcome to our family blog!
This is my life!
But for anyone who thinks that I am over reacting because my pictures are being "publicly viewed" you are mistaken. I really have no problem, at all whatsoever, with people looking at my photos. If I didn't want people looking at my photos, I never would have started a blog.
Or at a minimum, I never would have made the blog public.
But now here's a question for you.
Do you have, or have you ever had, children?
Do you have a website that can be publicly accessed?
Do you post pictures of your children to your website?
Do you have any kind of statistics meter that shows how people arrive to your website?
Are you able to see that there are "visitors" who arrive at your website and look at photos of YOUR children, after having typed in to some search engine key words such as, "Pictures of little k:ds in underwear", or "Pictures of n-a-k-e-d little g:rls / b0ys"?
Does this - or would this - bother you?
Maybe it wouldn't bother you. Perhaps you think it's harmless, enough.
But it bothers me. It bothers me that some individual came to my family blog and pictures of my children are filling their eyes and mind, even if for a split second. It bothers me to the point that I feel like throwing up and then hitting any "visitor" that arrives to our family blog in that manner squarely in the knee caps with a baseball bat.
My gut feeling tells me that anyone who types those "key" words in to an internet search engine, has a perverted motive. No, it doesn't happen a lot. Not even once a day. It happens very, very rarely. But it does happen. And when it does, I see it and I am bothered.
You know what else bothers me??
Over the past few weeks, I've done some research into internet advertising. As I was doing a little fact finding in to the world of blog monetization, I discovered that there are some websites out there, that pull in well over a million dollars per year in advertisements.
For a brief moment I imagined that it was possible. For a fleeting moment, I had visions of outstanding prize contests! Think of the money that we could raise for research! Think of the good that this would do! Think of the lives that would be saved!!
But. Oh. I did a little more research. And guess what the top-earning websites (primarily) are?
Here's a clue.
Approximately 70% of people look at these websites, more men than women, in the privacy of their own homes and there are 12 step programs in place to help people who feel like they've become addicted to this type of 'viewing material'.
Did you know that p0rn websites attract over 72 million visits a month? And seriously, that number sounds low. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was 72 million a day. It's everywhere and these websites rake in millions of dollars. Because people are looking at them ad nauseam and advertisers know this.
Sure, I've heard about the exploitation of young women and children, but it's not at the front of my mind. It was a Dateline or 60-Minute Special I caught a few years ago that haunted me for several weeks and gradually faded away. But now as a mother, I see things differently and I've never in my entire life felt so hopeless for the absolute sins of humanity.
P0rn is one awful thing. But then there is a whole nuther level of twisted thinking and actions and lifestyles that just boggles the (healthy) mind.
In the very brief period of time that I was pulled in to that demented "world" I couldn't help but wonder, how is this possible? How can people do the things that they do? How can they have so little value for themselves or for human life? Or so little value for any life, for that matter??
Some of the things that I found on the internet during the course of my research, made me want to immediately construct a rocket and launch myself in to the cosmos. Because as much as I would love to help nurture our environment and the world in which we live, I felt so overwhelmed by the evilness of it, that I would rather spend the rest of my life - and have my children spend the rest of their lives - orbiting the earth than share a planet with some of the sickos that are out there.
Strong words, I know. And I feel rotten writing them out. I feel rotten that I'm not actively doing something to help raise money for some of the charities that exist to save the victims that one day might turn in to perpetrators if they're not helped, themselves.
So I think it's important to add that I do pray for these people. I pray for the sick and twisted beings that prey on vulnerable children and people that are desperate.
My prayer usually goes something like this, "Dear God. Please channel love, healing and positive energy from our universe in to those people whose hearts and minds are corrupted. Until then, please God, keep them away from my precious family. Amen."
And while you're at it ... could you please make chocolate stop tasting so good.