Every Click Matters

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Steve Willis in Article from The Messenger

Were you aware that internet advertising is driven by how many views a web page receives? It’s almost hard to believe, but every website can track how many people view its content on a daily, even a minute-by-minute, basis.  For example, just on our church website alone, we can see how many people are watching our services online, and not only that, we can know the very address of who is watching.  While I was overseas, our webmaster provided info to Andy Honeycutt telling him exactly where I was sitting when I logged online and watched our morning service.

Back when all the Jamie Oliver events were taking place here, our church website had well over a hundred thousand hits.  When my book was released, I established a website of my own and advertisers offered to pay me money to put adds on my website due to the amount of traffic I was receiving.  At its peak, I was getting about a couple thousand hits a day to read my content, and advertisers were offering around $250/month for one advertisement.  (I never allowed national ads on my website, I didn’t want to get caught up in the materialism of it.)

The whole process raised my awareness to just how damaging online pornography has become.  To many people, porn is considered the victimless sin – at worse it only hurts the viewer – but that belief is simply not true.  Beside the fact that Jesus likened looking at a woman lustfully to committing adultery and sinning against God (Matt. 5:28), every time we click on a website that is contradictory to the holiness of God, it only increases that website’s ability to make money.  Even if no money is exchanged, every time someone clicks on a picture of just a woman in a revealing bathing suit, it increases the amount of website hits and thereby encourages advertisers to invest and support the expansion of the content on that sight.  It’s kind of like everyone has a Neilson Ratings Box on every computer.  By watching a show, you increase that show’s ratings, thereby increasing the demand for advertising on that website.  It’s a huge moneymaker.

This can work both ways.  When I click on a positive sight that promotes positive values, in a certain sense I am helping to support that content.  In the same way, just one click on a webpage that objectifies women supports the further objectification of women.  It supports pornography.  It may even be funding the human trafficking/sex trade problem around the world.  We have no idea what pressure is being exerted on these women who are being photographed.

The next time you click on a website, any website, please remember that you are supporting the content and owner of that website.  Think to yourself, “Is this something Jesus wants me to promote and support?”  Indeed, every click matters.

–Steve