Many of you will know that I wrote a lengthy essay speaking out against pornography. The tone of the essay was one of empowerment against addiction and also of sympathy with those already addicted. I do not believe in condemning people, only in helping them to better themselves.
The essay was part experience, part information gleaned from conversations, part introspection, part personal philosophy, and part research. Throughout the essay, I made no distinction between those elements, because I was not interested in writing some kind of personal confession. However, somebody out there has interpreted it just like that. In the eyes of someone (I don’t know who, because this was communicated to me through a third party), I am viewed as dangerous. I am gutted that someone could so completely miss the 101 positive things I had to say that will help young people steer clear of pornography, and instead see me as some kind of villain.
I knew I was taking a risk to tackle such a taboo topic, but I also knew that so many young people were naively exposing themselves to porn and becoming addicted behind their parents’ backs, and all I could think was, “I know exactly what porn is, and I know exactly how to keep it out of my life. I can’t not share what I know.”
Anyway, I took the essay down, and in doing so I disappointed myself, because I feel I caved in to something I try very hard not to do: live in fear of what other people think of me. It’s the way a lot of people live, and it’s no way to live.
I plan to make some changes to the essay and put it back online. I want to improve the accuracy, amend some parts that I’ve had new thinking on, and snip a lot of unnecessary waffle out.
I try to live an inspiring life. I try not to be someone who merely comes home in the evening, switches on his television, and has no higher purpose than to entertain himself as much as possible on the way to death. I want to be the sort of person who does what he believes is right without fear of the consequences, but sometimes it’s so hard. I am just so disturbed that someone could read something I said and paint a picture of me that is the total opposite of what I am.
I leave you with some statistical information that reveals the sheer scale of pornography on the internet. The word “epidemic” comes to mind, and it’s clear that it extends to young people. I feel this is the ultimate justification for the necessity of an essay like mine:
- Number of pornographic websites: 4.2 million (12% of total websites in world)
- Daily pornographic search engine requests: 68 million (25% of total search engine requests)
- Received unwanted exposure to sexual material: 34% of internet users
- Monthly pornographic downloads (peer-to-peer): 1.5 million (35% of all downloads)
- Average age of first internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old
- 15-17 year olds having multiple hardcore exposures: 80%
- 8-16 year olds having viewed porn online: 90% (most while doing homework)
- Christians who said pornography is a major problem in the home: 47%
- Adults admitting to internet sexual addiction: 10%
These stats are from Family Safe Media. Click the link for a lot more.