Ending your daily binge on porn involves some major life changes, but quitting doesn’t have to be the drudgery you think it will be. Believe it or not, quitting will actually make you a better you!
Statistics show us that porn can mold us to be, well, a-not-so-nice-guy or gal. Shockingly, only half of daily porn users say porn featuring teens is wrong, even though it’s legally child pornography. And regrettably, men with higher past exposure to violent pornography are six times more likely to report having raped someone compared to those who reported low exposure. It’s rare that anyone in their right mind begins anything with the intention of hurting another person. But we hope you’ll seriously consider this grave consequence as you think about giving up porn.
When you quit porn and begin seeking to live a life of chastity, every passing day you’ll become more you again, or maybe even you for the first time! You will begin to have more and more interesting topics to talk about. You’ll grow to be more motivated. Without the burden of always feeling like you’re hiding something, you’ll gradually become more focused on others.
So, how do you do quit porn and grow in chastity? You might want to start by considering how to replace the time you spend consuming pornography. The Barna study, The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age found that, “among teens ages 13 to 17 (46%) and young adults ages 18 to 24 (42%), “boredom” is the second most common reason for seeking porn, behind “personal arousal,” which is the top reason among every age group. Having ideas to fight boredom ahead of time keeps us from auto-piloting to our screens. Here’s a great place to start. Begin filling your time by:
- Attending Mass, Praying, and Studying Daily – God designed us for worship. Our calling is to know, love, and serve him. The best way to do this is by honoring God’s Sabbath, praying to him, and studying his Divine Word. There’s no better way to know, love, and serve God than to talk to him and worship at his altar. You may even wish to pray to God with the help of the Novena for Purity.
- Going on Adventures – Get out and experience something beyond yourself and your daily routine. Going on a weekly adventure will remind you that there is much more to life than instant gratification found in a click of a computer mouse. The world is an exciting and beautiful design to behold. Don’t let porn keep you from new tastes, sounds, sights, and so much more!
- Surrounding Yourself with Friends – Many people say they fall back into viewing pornography because they feel lonely or not supported. God made us to be in relationship with others. So, friendship and relationships are an important aspect of our lives, and a lot of times determine whether or not we’re able to kick porn and grow in chastity. If we don’t have others around us on a regular basis, how will we know we are loved and appreciated? Who will keep us accountable for our actions? We need friends to love, guide, and help us grow. This is why we at Covenant Eyes believe in the power of accountability. When someone else knows how you’re using the internet, it helps change your behavior. Our Internet Accountability monitors your online activity and reports it to a trusted friend you designate to provide you opportunity for ongoing conversations about using the internet with integrity.
There are many other ways to fill your time with virtuous and productive activity. Consider reading Covenant Eyes ebook Hobbies and Habits to learn how healthy hobbies and habits can help your break free from porn and grow in chastity. Get out there and become you! Again, quitting porn doesn’t need to be a drudgery. In fact, your life will become more exciting and fulfilling without it.
Amanda Zurface is the Catholic Campaign Coordinator for Covenant Eyes. Amanda holds a License and MA in Canon Law and a BA in Catholic Theology and Social Justice. Amanda has served in various roles within the Catholic Church both in the United States and internationally. She is the co-author of Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture and Transformed by Beauty. She resides in Zanesville, Ohio, where she also serves as the Director of Faith Formation at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.