If it seems to you that the past few years have seen a wildfire epidemic of pornography addiction, that’s because it’s true. Yes, there’s a growing awareness of the problem, and that contributes to a sense that porn addiction is springing up everywhere, but also it actually is springing up everywhere. I do choose the term “epidemic” for effect. The porn that addicts consume nowadays festers almost exclusively online. The Internet is the Typhoid Mary of this contagion.
Google regularly releases a list of its top searches. The advertising behemoth doesn’t mention that it completely removes from the chart any X-rated-related searches. If it did, hugely popular searches such as “YouTube” and “Facebook” would plummet to near-oblivion. Twenty-five percent of all searches on the Internet are for porn. The Internet is to porn as crack is to cocaine. The Web made porn cheap or free, ubiquitous, and available in a panoply of varieties from tame to felonious.
Man, I hate writing this crap.
Not because online porn addiction is a dire problem — it is — but because it makes the Internet seem monolithically evil, one gigantic bad neighborhood to be avoided like a plague. I hear it, too, from folks who remember the good old days when it took effort, money and shame to acquire pornography on CDs or VHS tapes, or in magazines and on smoky reels of 8- and 16mm film.