The lure of the Internet; porn addiction and can there be found intimacy on line?

COLD FACTS:

55% of all men and over 30% of the women surf for porn on the internet. According to Aftonbladet, Swedish national daily that did a research among 60.000 of its readers.

People’s addiction leads to the break down of their lives(see article in the Christian Daily Dagen).

A major reason young people go on line (besides the search for facts and information for studies) is to find intimacy and relationships. However, soon after one starts surfing the web, unwanted site and pop-ups might appear luring you to places and addresses you never intended to visit in the first place!

For quite some years I have been dealing with the consequences of the lure of the Internet. I have met dozens of men and women who have become entangled by the poisonous tentacles of the ever-widening and aggressive porn industry sucking out all life from them. Teenagers, young single men and women, but also (many) married ones who have become totally addicted to visiting pornographic sites and the temporary release it seems to give them when needed.

I meet with people who have destroyed their relationships and families and they became more and more compulsive in their behavior as a direct result of their dependency on pornography.

Personally I believe that we are standing on the verge of an epidemic outbreak that will demand our full attention since it affects people’s life and relationships so deeply that it may handicap them for life!

Like I said before I believe one of the major reasons people go to the internet (and here I want to include the different chat rooms) is the search for intimacy. Our society has estranged people from each other and a sense of “aloneness” has made us feel alienated from our surrounding. Next to that we are dealing with the consequences of the break-down of relationships and marriages that leave deeply ingrained wounds in all persons involved (including the children!).

With that in mind and the reality of a strongly individualized society that we live in, it is not strange that we are encountering a “vacuum of intimacy” in our life.

The chat rooms.

A logical step to try to fill that vacuum would be to go on the internet and look for the “lost intimacy” in a non-threatening environment where we are interacting with other people in such ways that we could never do in “real life”. In the chat rooms where people communicate without the relationship having to be based on looks, people go much deeper. Yes, faceless communication on the Internet allows us to bypass a lot of shyness and awkwardness. The most socially handicapped person can become the star of the chat room! The chat rooms allow us to hide our weaknesses and exaggerating our strengths. It is easy for people to feel close to someone who is always able “to put their best foot forward”. After all, we all want to be able to grow close to someone without having to expose our worst sides. The Internet allows that. It is not uncommon for people to fall in love with faceless strangers only to discover that their princes / princesses were wolves in sheep clothes!

Pornography on the Internet.

Another way to search for intimacy is to create a fantasy world with pornography. It creates an unreal world that brings a person deeper and deeper into a dependency (NOT unlike drug and alcohol addiction!!!) that influences us throughout our development stages and that sets the tone for our further life. The problem is that an addiction is developed that forces us to find sexual relieve through masturbation and can (and often will) develop into compulsive sexual behavior / masturbation. Emotional and sexual needs are geared towards the encounter with “airbrushed models and porn stars and “nameless strangers” estranging us from our reality and our relationships. Torbjörn Fjellström who runs Sweden’s only state acknowledged clinic for”relationship abusers” (relationsmissbrukare) categorizes compulsive masturbation and Porn dependency as addiction!

All of us develop habits that are either good or bad. It takes a lot of energy, power and support to actually change habits that have been developed over time. For some it seems at time impossible to do so.

However, as many former drug-, alcohol- and sex addicts can testify: God, through Jesus Christ, can set us free from every destructive habit and sin! He is not only able to do that; He can also fill the void; the empty space and vacuum that led us in the first place to seek for that intimacy! He is able to renew us, change and transform us from the inside out. He is also able to help us deal with past issues and to build a platform for new meaningful relationships. Are you entangled in the web of dependency? Take the time NOW to take a stand and ask for help before you sink deeper into this quicksand.

It’s not an easy road to go, there are many obstacles, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel; dare to recognize that!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

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One response to “The lure of the Internet; porn addiction and can there be found intimacy on line?

  1. Thanks for blogging about this important issue. I never heard that about Torbjörn Fjellström. Thanks for the info.

    If you personally know anyone who is suffering from an unbreakable fixation on Internet pornography, please have them stop by CovenantEyes.com. Our accountability software has been a major help to porn addicts.

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