The Influence of Social Media on Sexual Addiction

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

There is no doubt that social media has significantly changed the way we function as a society and the lens through which we perceive each other. At the tips of our fingers, we have worldwide access to people, places, businesses and more through various mainstream social media platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube

With virtual interactions on a daily basis, it is easy to see how relationships are dwindling with less face-to-face conversations and quality time.

For those who struggle with addiction, including sexual addiction or hypersexuality, the role of social media may also be examined and understood in a different light.

A Way to Hide

For the individual dealing with sexual addiction, social media can become a way to hide quietly behind a façade that is carefully crafted to portray a certain type of image to others. The virtual images that people can develop are likely a far stretch from what they are in reality, hiding struggles that may not ever have been seen or observed otherwise.

Social media also has the power to create dangerous stigmas and stereotypes about a wide variety of issues. For example, addiction in itself, whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex, can be watered down as an issue of “lack of control”, when in reality, there are a host of factors that contribute to the development of addiction.

Group of students in a hallwayIf social media is the only outlet people use to gather information and build ideas, this can very well create misguided perceptions about serious disorders, such as hypersexuality. For the person who may be struggling with this disorder, this can cause greater shame and guilt about what they are facing, making it even more difficult to come forward for help.

Social media can also be used in powerfully positive ways as well. For individuals who are advocating on behalf of those who are struggling with addiction, social media can be a way to share articles that are enlightening and truth filling, speaking for those who may be voiceless or struggling in silence.

If your daily interactions on social media, be careful of what you read, post and share. Check your sources and be mindful of the perceptions you build through the lens of social media.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How do you think social media affects those dealing with sexual addiction?

Crystal Karges photo

Crystal Karges

Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 17, 2015
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