“We are in a national, and perhaps global, Guy Disaster Mode that needs to be noticed and solutions advanced to fix a totally novel phenomenon…” – these are the words of Dr. Philip Zimbardo in this article recently published by CNN.

Do you agree with him?

The article, “The Demise of Guys,” talks about a generation that is suffering in many areas of life such as real-life dating relationships with women, work, school, etc.

 Essentially, this “Disaster Mode” is the influence of “arousal addictions” where the newness or progression of something (such as porn) is itself the addiction, as opposed to something like a food addiction where addicts want more of the same food.

What I found interesting in the article was the mention of an “expanded present hedonistic time zone.”  It’s the idea that addictions such as porn take you into a moment where the past and the future fade so far into the distance that you barely remember that they exist.

All that exists is the present – the right now – and nothing else matters.

That kind of a mindset can bring you to do things you wouldn’t normally do, either because you remember past experiences that did not end well or because you’re thinking of how your actions will affect your future.  But when you’re in this “time zone,” none of those things matter.  They’re not even part of the equation.  You don’t consider how your actions will affect your relationship with your significant other, your spouse, or those you love.  You don’t consider how it will affect your job or your future.

Can you relate to that feeling?

And what do you think about the concerns they bring up regarding the side effects of excessive porn use?:

  • Inability and unwillingness to navigate the complexities and risks that come along with real-life relationships, school, and employment.
  • Depression and poor physical health brought about by a cycle of isolation where porn becomes a substitute for healthy face-to-face interactions, social or sexual.
  • Now, I believe there are even more critical spiritual side effects resulting from porn use, but that’s a subject for another day.  We often stereotype these issues, and it’s easy to believe that it’s only “religious” people who try to point out the negative aspects of porn.  That’s simply not true.
  • There are painfully real, day-to-day life consequences and side effects that accompany an addiction to porn outside of the spiritual implications.  The stories of people who would agree with that are not few and far between.

The question is:  are you in Disaster Mode?  If so, recognizing that is the first step.  But it’s just as important to understand that you don’t have to stay there.  We know that there are plenty of stories of people whose lives have been shattered by porn addiction, but there are also plenty of stories of lives that have been radically restored to hope and wholeness.

XXXChurch is here to help you.  You are not alone.