First post on porn and social media

The first time I heard about this thing called “MySpace” was about 12 years ago.
It was when I first learned about social media.
(I also learned about twitter and podcasts from patients)

A client told me about MySpace being this site where bands write info about themselves, post music and interact with fans.
He was also constantly fighting his girlfriend about being on it. He was jealous of the time and jealous of the relationships she was building. She kept telling him he was being insecure, unreasonable and jealous; it was not a big deal.  But it was, to him. And therefore, them.

So, from the first time I heard about social media it’s been associated with the damage it can do on relationships.

These days social media comes up in most sessions counseling and coaching sessions.
We were even introduced to an online tool for promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles (nutrition, physical activity, stress management) that emphasizes social media at Kaiser today.

I’ll be writing a lot about porn and sexual addiction here on the blog but I’ll also be writing about social media and it’s impact on relationships, childhood development and our emotional and spiritual health.
The way porn and social media are used are just symptoms, symptoms of the way we live, the things we are living and longing for, individually and as a society.

One of the most destructive things that porn teaches is to comfort yourself
in isolation.
To cope stress and escape from reality instead of being connected, to hide.
I think one of the most dangerous things about FB, social media and our phones/tablets that maybe make it even more destructive individually and to us as families is it allows us to hide in plain sight.
And while we may feel some level of shame to want to hide our addictions to things that are more “unacceptable…” from our kids, it’s becoming increasingly common and acceptable to neglect our children, friends and present company to escape to our screens.
And I don’t think it’s fair for us as parents to bemoan our kids spending too much time on video games or online when whenever they happen to put down their controller or phone and look over at us we are not available or present for them.
We are teaching them what life is about and how to live it by our examples.
And toddlers are smart enough to see what we are giving our lives to.

Sometimes when I’m driving home from counseling I write things in response to what I’ve heard.
Things I wish I could say to my clients.
Here’s a spoken word I wrote one night awhile ago on the loneliness and disconnection social media is creating and reinforcing in marriages:

There was a time when
you couldn’t keep your eyes
or your hands off of me
Now your eyes are reserved for that screen
your hands are devoted to that iPad
These days the only time I hear you laugh or see you smile
is to stupid videos on youTube
You give your best to strangers on your screen
These days the only thing I hear from you is your irritation and annoyance.
You give me, contempt
Where did we go wrong?

I stopped reaching out to you.
You didn’t notice.
I can’t handle your silent rejection
I swear I get so angry I just want to take a hammer
to that damn tablet

But I don’t
Because deep down inside
I’m afraid
I’m afraid that you’d be even more angry
Even more angry at
losing it
than the fact that you are losing me
What did I do to deserve this disdain?
I want to say all this to you
but you can’t be bothered
so I retreat to my iPhone
And wonder

Do you feel the same?

Published by

Sovann

Licensed professional counselor and health coach in Portland, OR Pre-marital and couples counseling. Individual counseling for anxiety, depression, insomnia, sleep disorders, sexual addiction, porn addiction, career, transitions, grief, burnout, personal growth.

2 thoughts on “First post on porn and social media”

    1. Thank you Allison!
      I think the role of screens (video games, TV, tablets, smartphones) are playing in our homes is one of the key parenting and relationship challenges we all deal with.

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