Where do you hang out when you are online?
I would say the majority of people view the internet a singular, ubiquitous invisible glob that is both formless and shapeless. When you visit the internet, you simply go ‘online’.
What if the internet was a lot more like our everyday life than we thought? would that be a stretch of the imagination? If the internet was created by humans, wouldn’t it inevitably resemble the world that humans are used to?
I’m not trying to make some sort of ‘Matrix’ like statement here , rather I would like to help you see that your online habits reveal so much about what is going on inside of you.
Let’s talk about the neighborhoods online.
You can see the obvious neighborhoods such as Finance. In these neighborhoods, just like on Wall St. you’ll have banking, investing, and that type of pragmatic modality.
When you go online to do business you will see advertising about businesses, investing, entrepreneurialism, etc . You enter essentially a business Centric world catered to the needs of this demographic.
Next, and most popular amongst younger Folk is the social media neighborhood.
This is a place where people often get lost and where time and space ceases to exist. I myself have experienced innumerable occasions when I went to log into Facebook to check a message and spent an uncomfortable amount of time doing nothing in particular for my own benefit. Somehow, Facebook defeated me in those instances. The same holds true for Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever else is popular at this particular nanosecond in history.
Why is any of this important? Great question, thanks for asking!
Because I help people who are struggling with porn addiction, that’s why.
Just like in the real world, prostitution, ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’, and other venues for illicit sexual activity all seem to occur in seedy areas. Have you noticed this? There usually aren’t any bright neon signs that say ‘Adults Toys’ in fancy schmancy neighborhoods. It’s not that scandalous things aren’t happening there too, it’s just that generally speaking wealthy people have more resources to hide their iniquities.
Well, it turns out the web isn’t much different.
There are definitely places people travel to when they get when they get that urge. There are absolutely specialized areas online which are havens for porn and that’s where this behavior is reinforced endlessly. Just like with feedback loops in the human mind, the more you think about something the more it perpetuates the same thoughts and you form cycles that become increasingly more difficult to break.
How does that manifest online is that when you spend time watching porn? All of the marketing companies realize that and you become a target to them which intern causes you to experience more spam with porn more advertising about porn, etc. Don’t believe me? Ever search for a product on Google and then see it everywhere on Facebook? Well, porn does this in spades.
So when you are trying to break free from porn it’s extremely important to understand the need to not go to certain parts of the web because your chances of running into ‘old friends’ and being pulled down into that world are much higher. I know plenty of people who have to cut out their social media for a long while during their recovery because it seems as though pornography and social media are next door neighbors. And sometimes they ‘borrow butter’ from one another like good neighbours (If you know what I mean…)
Do you want a suggestion?
It would be very strange behavior for somebody to just leave their house, get on a random bus, stay on that bus for an hour without any idea as to where they’re going, and then expect to not wind up lost.
Then why do we behave that way with the web?
People get lost online all the time because they have no idea what their purposes is online. we have now reached a state of online behavior where people are reporting serious emotional repercussions after spending too much time on social media. The reason is they don’t know why they’re logged on and yet once they are there they can’t seem to get away. They unconsciously sneak into the web and unconsciously get stuck there.
This is really unhealthy behavior.
What would be a much healthier scenario would be to first get clear on what you want out of your online experience, to figure out where online you need to go in order to achieve that goal, and then to Simply do that — AND LEAVE. You get in and get out on your terms. If you’re not able to do that then it would be safe to say that you don’t have control.
Gaining control over your life is essential in order to really achieve any level of sustainable happiness. It is vital that we regain authority of our online lives, otherwise we lose both our online and offline minds, bodies, and souls to something that we don’t even really care about.
Hope to see you in the healthy part of town (online) someday soon!
Originally published at medium.com