Pornography is a Social Issue for Millennials

Many Millennials care about doing something about the problem of pornography because they have  direct experience seeing how it has created problems for their friends, their family, and even in their own life. But is this an issue that only those with first-hand experiences care about? Because it is so widespread and having such an impact on our culture, pornography and sexualized media affect everyone in society because it often changes the way people think about others, how they relate to others, and how they act toward those around them.

As noted in The Millenial Review, “Pornography’s impact goes beyond the individual, affecting any relationships that person might have as well.”

This personal story comes from a Millennial university student who hadn’t paid much attention to the issue of pornography until she became an intern for Reach 10. As she learned more, she started sharing her thoughts about it and was surprised at the reaction she got from friends.  

Miji’s Story

Pornography was not something that I was very aware of and not thinking much about. Part of it was because of the environment that I grew up in. I was born and raised in Korea. Growing up, I didn’t know pornography was a big problem. I had many friends who were watching pornography, and it was considered a “natural human instinct” to watch that type of media. This was during my teenage years, so I felt the people who were watching pornography were reacting to normal curiosity as a human being. I didn’t really realize the serious negative impact that pornography could influence on one’s life. So this ignorance of the detrimental effects of pornography continued until I found Reach 10.

Vauna Davis, the founder of Reach 10, told us about its mission and what the organization was trying to do. When she shared one of her experiences with pornography issues, that was when I started to see pornography issues differently. Pornography issues were not only about being addicted to heavy pornographic movies and materials. It was also about lack of attention to these issues when there are so many media and images flowing around disguised as not a big deal. I began to realize pornographic images and media around me especially on social media websites. I also noticed some Korean news websites advertising porn websites and content on the side bar of an article.

Your Friends Have an Opinion – Give Them a Chance to Share It

The more I was involved in Reach 10, the more I gained new perspective looking at the issues. So, with the intention to be more educated on pornography issues, I started to take the Reach 10 Challenge to talk to 10 people about the issue of pornography. One day, I posted my opinion about pornography on Facebook.

I didn’t think people would comment on my post, but people were very interested in the issue.

Even friends who are not really close commented and shared their sincere opinions about the issue. I indeed felt reconnected with them even though it was only through online social media.

To be honest, when I first started to take the Challenge, I felt I was alone trying to talk about this hard topic with people. I didn’t really know how to start the conversation with people and worried it would create a huge awkwardness between us.

However, once I gained more knowledge by following the Reach 10 Challenge steps, I felt more confident knowing that pornography is a big issue and that there is the culture of shame which hinders people from getting help and overcoming pornography.

Think of Pornography as Just Another Important Social Issue to Talk About

The good news is that you will be surprised to see howmany people are willing to talk and share their opinions about it. And I learned that the conversation doesn’t have to be very heavy or serious. It can be just like talking about other current hot social issues with friends or co-workers. I think the most important part about sharing what you think is to be the part of eliminating the culture of silence and shame in the issue by being little bit more open to that kind of conversation. Before the Reach 10 Challenge, I wouldn’t have much interest or even courage to talk about this problem with people. However, now I see the need of this open communication on pornography as we are living in a pornified culture.

-Miji Lee, Reach 10 Intern