Is Pornography Use Increasing Loneliness, Particularly for Young People?
Quality relationships and close social connections are associated with decreased mortality risk for all causes. Yet among teens, loneliness, isolation, despair, and depression appear to be increasing, along with rates of teen suicide. Concerns over these trends have led many to ask, “What’s changed?” Some factors seem to be tied to how technology has changed our world. Teen access to mobile devices is approaching 100%, and near constant connectivity is a reality of teen development.4 For at least some teens, disappearing into their devices may be linked to negative emotional, identity, and relationship health. In addition to social media and gaming, for some teens, a significant amount of screen time is spent accessing pornography, which may also be a significant contributor to teen loneliness, isolation, and relationship void.