Internet Addiction

Analysis:

This story is longer than most local TV news stories,so it does provide more information than normal. There are multiple sources used in this story, but is it clear what the expertise is of each person cited? The only group that is cited in terms of helping men overcome internet porn addiction is the Triple X Church, but the story does not give much background on this organization or its methodology other than it is faith based. The story ends by saying you can go to their website to take a quiz, which is a link to another faith-based organization. On the WZZM 13 site there are also links to other resources,most of which are links to the Triple X Church. Only one local resource is provided.

Story:

WZZM 13 Reporter – Well that’s right, there is no doubt that pornography is a controversial issue. Some can use small amounts of porn and will never have a problem with it. Others can quickly become addicted and for those people its ruining lives, relationships and jobs. A word of warning, some of the images might not be suitable for our younger viewers.

Justin Antwerp: “It felt like a high, you know, it felt like, just kind of an uncontrollable urge.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Pornography is one of those dirty little secrets and people are logging on to look at it more than ever. They’re doing it at home and at work. For some it’s an obsession.

Antwerp: “I felt like I couldn’t, I couldn’t sop myself from just continuing on.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – On the outside, Justin Antwerp appeared to have a great life. He was a minister, a husband and has 2 little girls. No one knew he was addicted to porn. It all started when he looked at a playboy magazine when he was a teenager.

Antwerp: “And you know, then that wouldn’t satisfy me you know, and then I found a whole new world of videos, you know and web cams and you know, all sorts of things.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Justin is among the growing number of men and women who are dealing with pornography addiction. You used to have to go to your local adult video store to get it, now you can see it all online.

Dr. Paul Clitella (PhD): “Its far easier to obtain than any drug.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Dr. Paul Critelli sees patients who have all kinds of addictions. He’s not surprised that pornography is becoming more common. He says Americans have a different view of sex compared to people in other countries.

Critelli: “If it weren’t so dirty then we wouldn’t use it to sell everything.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Pornography specifically on the Internet is a 57billion dollar industry; it’s larger than all professional sports. There are 4.2 million pornographic websites and those who view it are mostly men.

Antwerp: “I never got caught, I became really good at just covering things up.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Justin was looking at pornography at home and on his computer at work. Looking at it while on the job is becoming a problem we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. There have been a few different high profile cases right here in West Michigan. In 2006 a Kentwood deputy fire chief pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. The images were found on his computer at work. At the Cutlerville Fire Department pornographic images were discovered on a laptop. The computer company that was hired to find those images says these days businesses need to take a proactive approach to the problem.

Richard Reiffer (Chief Technical Officer): “In other words, what could we do to stop that from even happening to begin with. So we implement things like content filtering.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Psychologists say viewing porn at work is a sign that you have a problem, other questions to ask yourself include frequency, are you logging on more often. Intensity, are the pictures becoming more graphic. Duration, are the sessions on line becoming longer.

Dr. Critelli: “And if those things are increasing wither by jumps or rather steadily, then I would say you certainly have a problem and by the way, I would think those 3 attributes are a good measure of any kind of problem behavior.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Dr. Critelli believes there are cases where people can view porn and not have a problem. He says some people view it once and a while and have healthy sex lives. He doesn’t think small amounts are morally wrong. Psychologist Tom Karel disagrees.

Tom Karel: “It creates unrealistic expectations and unrealistic ideas as to what normal really looks like.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – In Justin’s case, pornography ruined his relationship with his wife. He says he hit rock bottom when he picked up a female hitchhiker.

Antwerp: “Nothing happened, but had the opportunity risen, I would have cheated on my wife that day and, um, that was a scary place to be.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – A few months later, Justin told his wife about his addiction.

Antwerp: “She was completely devastated and, um, she left the following weekend. The next morning I met with the elders in the church and resigned the position.”

WZZM 13 Reporter – Justin went into therapy and is now involved with the local anti-pornography group called Triple X Church. Justin hopes by coming out about his problem, he could show others that they can overcome their addiction.

Antwerp: “You know, I think by Gods grace, by everybody surrounding me, helping me to lift up, I’ve been able to get a hold on it”

WZZM 13 Reporter – And there is software you can get that blocks adult content on your computer at home. There is also accountability software for porn addicts. It actually notifies the software company when a pornographic site is accessed. For more information and to take a quiz about pornography addiction, go to our website at wzzm13.com.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org