A Modern-Age Addiction

A Modern-Age Addiction

Porn addiction 2Sarah Owen

So much of our culture has been revolutionized by the spread of cell phone and on-line technology.  Most of us can’t imagine our lives without it.  Despite the benefits that can come through technology, it also facilitates a major problem: pornography.

Pornography is not new to our generation, but with the spread of technology, pornography is becoming more widespread and easily accessible. In a study completed on 813 college students across six different college campuses, 67% of men and 49% of women reported that they think viewing pornography is acceptable. Yet, 87% of men and 31% of women interviewed said they actually view pornography themselves. If only 67% of the men thought viewing pornography was acceptable, then what about that other 20 percent that are viewing porn, yet don’t think it is acceptable?

Pornography usage can become an addiction.

It peaks the curiosity of the mind, and can pull you in after just one viewing. You may think you can’t understand the pull of such an addiction, but we all have addictions – even if we don’t realize it is as such.  It can be something such as a certain food you have to eat every day, or the need to always have your cell phone by you, or even Facebook. Think of the first time you tried that food, or got your cell phone, or created your own Facebook account. At first, it was complete curiosity that drew you in. You may have spent some time tasting that food, or texting all your friends on your new phone, or uploading pictures on Facebook. But little, day by day, you gradually spent more time, and it became a habit – an addiction.

Just to understand this myself, I decided not to bring my phone with me yesterday to work and classes. In a sense, I felt naked. I consistently thought I heard my phone vibrating, and then I would remember I didn’t even bring it with me. There was a constant worry in my head that someone was trying to call or text me, and I would be missing out on something. When I got home, I turned on my phone. In reality, I had a few missed texts. But nothing earth shattering. The world hadn’t ended, and I realized the extent of my addiction. Technology is a blessing, but it needs to be used with care and moderation.

What are we bringing into our homes by allowing access to the internet in every room – whether that is through the television, computers, or cell phones? We are creating an environment where pornography can easily seep into our lives. The problem is, it is easy to assume we are safe from pornography because we aren’t planning on viewing any intentionally. But, no one wakes up in the morning and says, “I want to become addicted to pornography today.” It begins with an accident – one simple picture or video or even a statement. That can be all it takes to catch our eye, and make us want more. Some may intentionally look at pornography, but again, no one plans on it becoming an addiction.

What is the problem with pornography? Why should we fight against it?

Pornography tears apart relationships, which in turn tears apart families.  The Journal of Promotion and Education stated, “Exposure to pornography puts users at risk for developing sexually deviant tendencies, committing sexual offenses, experiencing difficulties in one’s intimate relationships, and accepting rape myths.” So, pornography tears apart families by giving the viewer false expectations for their own intimate relationships, and they expect their own life to match up with what the media portrays. When this expectation is not fulfilled, they are disappointed and will continue to turn to pornography to fill that void.

As individuals spend more time engulfed in pornography, their family relationships will take a backseat and become second priority. A family is only as strong as the marriage between husband and wife. If this relationship deteriorates because of exposure to pornography, it affects the whole family. Families need the presence of a father and a mother – not the presence of a father who spends time viewing pornography, or a mother who neglects her children because she is addicted to sexual images and media.

stop porn imageSince pornography causes harm to relationships and families, what can we do?

First off, take precautions before pornography even enters the home. Install pop up blockers and website protections on the computer. There are many that are free, such as K9 Web Protection. It provides an internet filter, forces safe search on all search engines, and time restrictions can be set on when the internet is available. Have the computer and any other internet accessible devices in an open room, where others can easily see the screen and what is being viewed on the internet. Before renting or seeing any new movies, check the ratings on websites such as Kids in Mind. These websites explicitly explain what each movie contains, and can prevent the viewing of any sex scenes that may be in movies.

Pornography can and will enter the home if precautions are not taken. Hold family councils. If everyone is aware of the danger of pornography, you can all work together to get rid of it. If necessary, unplug the computer and television. Yes, that will be hard at first. But the time that was spent on the internet and movies can now be used for family time. Rebuild those broken relationships, and keep open communication between family members. The important thing to remember is that pornography is difficult to combat as an individual. Work together as a family, and support one another.

Pornography is an addiction of the modern age, and we need to be aware of the dangers it presents to each of us and to our families.

Sarah OwenSarah Owen is a senior studying Child Development at Brigham Young University – Idaho. She has a passion for working with children, and hopes to be a preschool teacher after graduation.  

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