Monday, December 14, 2015

Porn KIlls

I had a chance to sit down with a teenager of 17 years old recently to talk about his porn watching habit. I wanted to help him to overcome his constant urge to seek out X-rated adult websites that are destroying his mind and soul. He has so much greatness happening in his life, why does he feel he needs to watch porn? When did it start and why does it continue?
His answer was simple: He was a young boy about 10 years old playing computer games one day when commercials popped up on the side advertising naked women. He was curious so he clicked on the ad for the website. The images surprised him but also excited him in many unfamiliar ways. He didn't really know why he liked looking at these images, but he did. Everytime after that whenever he was playing computer games he would also look for those websites. 
Then each time after that he would search deeper and deeper into the net and find more and more websites full of pornography and adult themes. He had to hide it from his family because he knew his mom would not be happy with him, so he started playing computer games more privately. Soon his porn-watching habit became addictive and he couldn't stop. Everytime he played computer games he found he was clicking through endless websites of pornography. He soon found that when he wasn't on the computer, all he could think about was getting back onto the computer so he could look some more. These images began to take over his mind and force him into addictive habits of secrecy, lying, and sneaking around his family and friends. His mind became consumed with seeking out more and more pornography websites, images, and videos to satisfy his cravings to the point that he couldn't focus on much else. His grades started dropping, his social life  lacking, his family relations  strained, and he spends most of his time in his room feeling depressed. This is what pornography is doing to him, all because he clicked on the wrong  website at 10 years old. 

I had the opportunity to talk with this young man because I wanted to know how I could help. I wanted him to know that his secret is out and there was no more hiding from it anymore. I also wanted him to know that it is not too late to change direction, get help, and live a happy life free from addictive habits. 

We live now in a day and age where choosing to watch porn is not just a choice in morals, it's becoming a public health issue. Poeple are getting sick from watching porn. Before the Internet generation, one could either choose to buy playboy or subscribe to the playboy channel or other adult related content, but now we live in a world where we have access to pornography at the click of a button.  That includes children.
Current public health research shows that viewing pornography at a young age can lead to  sexual violence, mistrust in relationships, confusion in relationships, confusion about sexual intimacy and love, low sex drive, loneliness and depression.  The porn industry loves to market their products as glamorous and exciting but behind the scenes we know that the porn industry supports human sex trafficking, abuse, enslavement, and the demoralization and dehumanization of young girls. 
It's basically disgusting and evil and I will do anything in the world the prevent my children from ever watching it. 
There's a pretty amazing website called Fight the New Drug,  who's mission is the educate people about the harmful effects of watching pornography. They supply facts, information, and helpful resources for recovering from addiction, as well as helping families with prevention in their homes. Their popular motto is PORN KILLS LOVE. I purchased a T-shirt last year and wear it proudly.


Our Young Men's Stake President spoke in church one Sunday and gave an analogy that I thought was really helpful in helping parents understand how dangerous the temptations of pornography are to teenagers. He said to imagine that your child has a stack of magazines in his or her room, everything from sports magazines to gaming magazines to cooking magazines to favorite music, movies, games, and even craft magazines. All these magazines are stacked up next to his/her bed and available for him/her to read anytime he/she wants. But, also inside this stack of magazines is a pornography magazine, full of sexual, abusive, and disgusting images. You go to bed hoping your child doesn't pick that magazine up and look at those pictures, yet you're not sure if he will since it is in the same stack as his favorite sports and cooking magazines. 
He went on to explain that we have to do more than just hope they don't pick up the magazine. With the use of Smartphones and handheld devices our children have this metaphorical stack of magazines with them at all times! They have 24/7 access to anything they want to find out or view on the web! So what prevents them from clicking on the porn websites if it's just as easy as clicking on their favorite gaming or sports website? In the privacy of their bedrooms what prevents a child from either a.) accidentally picking up the porn magazine, or b.) finally giving into tempation and looking at it...maybe even with his friends.
The answer is parental supervision, parental involvement, and parental prevention. We have to be the ones to educate our children about why they don't want to pick up and look at that magazine; how viewing those images has the potential to damage their lives and effect them negatively for years to come; how pornography is more addciting than cocaine: how they have to make the daily choice to NOT  pick up that magazine when mom and dad aren't around. 
He said that each family will decide what is best for them, but for him and his wife they decided to take away phones at night and give them back in the morning. That way their kids don't have unsupervised access to the web. Many temptations arise when kids are left alone in their rooms on the net. He also suggested making Internet time in the home a public place in the house where everyone can be seen and heard on their devices. There can't be any sneaking around or secrecy that way. Other families might choose to put strong parental blocks and filters on their Internet systems. All families should educate.
So what happens if your child has already been exposed to pornography? Don't feel bad. Don't beat yourself up. Move on and try to get the help you need. For some this might be counseling, a spiritual blessing, a talk with a trusted  friend, a new beginning in how you will manage things in your home.  Open and honest communication about this is needed. This Internet generation is a new era for so many of us and I'm sure with prayer we can be led to know how to handle these situations as they arise. Through God all things are possible.

I am going over to talk with this 17 year old friend later this week about what he's learned. I let him borrow the book,"Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Todays Young Kids."  I'm hoping that he's learned a bit more about the cycle of addiction, about what pornography is doing to his mind, and hopefully the most about how he can get out of it.

Wish us luck.

1 comment:

chelsea mckell said...

I love checking in on your bloggy world every now and then, but don't always leave comments.... so - just so you know - your mom isn't the only one visiting here ;)
This post was super helpful for me. I'm getting ready to teach a YW lesson where we'll address pornography and addiction. Tough subject to tackle!!
I really hope your 17 hr old friend has found some success in freeing himself from these chains.
Love you! I'm glad your 2016 goal is to write more :)