Social media usage is one of the leading pastimes for individuals all around the world. The latest statistics show that there are over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, with 90.4% of the millennial generation actively using social media every day. In fact, it is estimated that the average user spends three hours each day on instant messaging and social networking platforms. Though companies are finding these tools useful in marketing products or services to wider audiences, and consumers rely on the recommendations and positive brand interactions for their purchasing choices, social media may be a silent threat to your sex life. In particular, areas of men's sexual health are heavily impacted.
The Cause for Concern
A generic opinion of social media activity sees a relatively harmless communication and networking platform. When used in moderation, it can be a tool to promote change or encourage positive behaviors, such as the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the #MeToo movement. However, recent studies are showing that social media use is no longer a harmless form of entertainment, becoming an addiction for more than 210 million people around the world. This constant refreshing, tapping, and swiping has had debilitating effects on people. For the 68% of adult males that use social media sites, there is a heightened risk of developing social isolation, depression, and erectile dysfunction. Yes, ED can occur from too much time spent on social media.
The Unrealistic Expectations
Social media allows people and companies to share information, photos, opinions, and products at great lengths, and often with very little filters. Not only can misinformation spread this way, but the constant insight into someone’s else life or the repeated exposure to marketing slogans establishes unrealistic expectations for your life, health, and even sexual performance. Weight loss and extreme fitness routines are trending on social media, and men everywhere are being subtly informed that their “dad bod”, “beer belly”, and aging imperfections are ruining their attractiveness and sex appeal. It’s not just women who have body image issues. More than ever, men are being programmed to think that there is an “ideal man” that they can become through these fad diets, protein shakes, gym memberships, and supplement routines. Much of these images or the pressure to make these changes comes from social media friends, groups, or pages. When men suffer from body image issues and insecurities, it can have a direct effect on their sexual performance.
The Psychological Influences on ED
Low self-esteem is just one of the many psychological factors that account for almost 20% of erectile dysfunctional cases. Though some prior experiences of poor performance could be the cause of performance anxiety, men who struggle to accept themselves often have trouble engaging in intercourse on both an emotional and physical level. Though a man may feel arousal, a lack of confidence in how one will reciprocate interest could create difficulties in getting and maintaining an erection. When you aren’t able to either get or keep an erection that is hard enough for sex more than 50% of the time, you are probably suffering from erectile dysfunction The mental stress and anxiety can cause his focus to stray away from the feelings and bodily responses that sustain sex. Social media doesn’t help these anxieties, and can often make them worse. Finding out what a prior partner or spouse looked like when stalking old picture only adds insult to injury. The constant comparison that you are making between you and your peers online distort your perceptions of reality. This can lead you to self-loathing, which sabotages all sexual activity. Though medication may not be able to break your habit of checking Facebook for updates, a pill like Mt. Everest can help restore an erection that is hard enough for sex.
The Waste of Time
Too many males spend more time on their social media accounts than they do cultivating a relationship with their spouse or partner. Just look around when you are out to eat. How many people are fidgeting with their phones while waiting to be seated or while waiting for their meal? Social media is an escape that allows you to avoid certain realities or communication opportunities, and this disconnect can lead to a reduced interest in sex or a lack of connection to your significant other. Both of these situations can impact your sexual performance.
Don’t let your life become so wrapped in the distorted realities that you find on social media that you forget about the real benefits of a relationship with your partner. Your sex life is just one of the things that fall by the wayside when you spend too much time on the internet.
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