Today, we are talking about Instagram, because so many guys feel torn about deleting it. Instagram enhances their lives in certain ways, and yet they also recognize it as a trigger into sexual temptation. So they feel stuck.
I totally get it because in high school, social media was my pornography. I used to go on MySpace and masturbate to pictures and videos of the girls from my school or from my youth group at church—not my best life!
Sine then, my life has changed. I now use Instagram every day without struggling with temptation. I also spend time helping my clients handle it in a way that works for them. Sometimes they delete it, and sometimes they don't. How do you know what's right for you as an individual? That's that today's episode is all about:
Here are the pros and cons of having an Instagram account when you're trying to quit porn.
PRO #1: Education. If you follow certain Instagram accounts like @moralrevolution or @fightthenewdrug or @husbandmaterialmen, you will get awesome content every day to educate you, inform you, instruct you, and inspire you on how to quit porn. This allows you to turn your digital devices into part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
PRO #2: Connection. You can use Instagram to connect with other guys who are trying to quit porn. If you visit those accounts that I mentioned, look in the comments section for some potential allies. You can find people to encourage you and support you on this journey. But education and connection are available elsewhere, too. You don't need to be on Instagram to get them.
The cons are very significant.
CON #1: Instagram is highly visual. More than Twitter, more than Facebook, it's going to grab your attention with pictures and videos. And for guys (who are primarily sexually stimulated visually and physically) that can be a huge danger zone.
CON #2: Instagram is consumeristic. When you're scrolling through Instagram, receiving a visual buffet of endless variety and stimulation, your posture becomes passive. You become a consumer, not a creator. That passive posture naturally lends itself to using pornography, which asks nothing of you, except to consume it. Porn puts you in a consumeristic state of sexual passivity.
CON #3: Instagram uses an algorithm. It's smart. So when you linger on sexual content or you click on it, Instagram will take notes and it will show you more of it. That's why if you've clicked on some sexual content in the past, the Instagram algorithm will make sure to show you extremely sexualized content. That makes it really hard to quit porn while staying active on Instagram.
How do you know whether or not to delete your account?
Here are a few steps you can take:
STEP 1: Get clear on your goals. When you have clarity on the higher purpose for your life, you can ask questions like: "How does Instagram fit into my goals? Is it helping me reach them? Or is it hindering me?" One of my goals is to reach more guys like you who want to be free from porn. So I'm on Instagram with a purpose. I have a very specific goal and Instagram helps me achieve that goal. Maybe for your career or for some other purpose, you need to be on Instagram. You need to ask yourself, "Is it helping me towards that goal, or hindering me from that goal?" And if it's hindering you, here's what I recommend you do next:
STEP 2: Deactivate Instagram for one month. Try this out as an experiment. See what life is like without Instagram. Don't delete your account quite yet. When you delete it, your account is over. It's gone. You cannot get it back. That's usually an unrealistic step for people to take. Instead, try deactivating your account for 1 month and see how life changes. Is it easier to quit porn? Are you connecting with more people? Are you enjoying yourself more? Are you pursuing a bigger purpose for your life more fully? If so, after that one month trial, consider deleting it. At that point, you can have confidence knowing that you went without it for a month and life was way better.
If you do decide to keep your Instagram account. I recommend putting boundaries on when you access it, and where, and for how long.
If you want to know more about what that can look like, check out my video called Three Steps to Smartphone Safety.
In any case, whether you delete Instagram or not, may your digital devices become places of health and growth and connection.
If you want awesome content on Instagram to help you outgrow porn, follow Husband Material @husbandmaterialmen.