NoFap And Social Media
(Why it could be a problem)
Is social media bad during NoFap?
Well, the short answer is, yes it can definitely be bad.
However, there is a way to use it correctly, so that it has minimum negative effects on your reboot. In order to learn how to navigate it in a smart way, we first have to look at all the pitfalls of using it…
…because trust me, there are several.
Using social media in a way that mimics porn is very bad for your reboot
If you have educated yourself at least a bit about PMO rebooting, you already know that the very core of rebooting means quitting porn and porn substitutes.
That one's pretty obvious, right?
However, in order to avoid falling into a big trap, we need to zoom in a bit on the expression “porn substitutes”.
What does it mean?
Porn substitutes are things you use in a way that mimics your porn surfing and that also arouses you a bit.
An example of a porn substitute:
- You see a hot fitness model on Instagram…
- You click on her picture to go to her profile just to see some more…
- While there, you open some more of her pictures…
- You then happen to see a friend of her's commenting, and that friend is even hotter…
- So now you have to go to her friends profile as well to check her out…
….and on and on it goes.
This is not good for your reboot!
That right there is not good for your PMO reboot, because it's that constant clicking and following in combination with a slight arousal that is the exact same pattern you have when you're on a porn site.
Using the same pattern means that it is highly likely that you are also activating the “porn pathways” in your brain. This is not what you want if you want to overcome an addiction or a bad habit.
By constantly reactivating your porn pathways you keep them strong and alive, when what you really want is for them to become weaker and weaker.
But pictures are not bad, right?
Now some of you may say ” yeah yeah, I kind of engage in the fitness model example, but it's not like the pictures arouse me. It's not like porn, right?”
It's not just what you are looking at that's the problem. It's the constant seeking, clicking and following and getting dragged along…
…pair this with even mild arousal and it could be a problem.
And hey, be honest now, why are you clicking, following and looking at those pictures in the first place, if they do not arouse you even the slightest? Is it to try to figure out how many sets she does for her biceps?…come one, I hardly think so!
Take a look at this video I made a while back for more details on what's good / bad to look at during a pmo reboot.
The free 90 day No PMO guide I talked about in the end of the video can be found by clicking right here.
If you repeatedly engage in, and use, these porn substitutes you might seriously prolong your recovery. And in worst case perhaps not recover at all.
This is true both when it comes to trying to fix your PIEX and resetting your dopamine system.
Social media can in and of itself prolong recovery, even if you do NOT use porn substitutes…
And so now some of you may say “what about the NoFap benefits if not having PIED?”
Well, by now you should know that most of the NoFap benefits happen because you reset your reward system by giving up fapping to porn…
…I.e. you get more sensitive to small dopamine elevating things in life, like socializing, listening to music and so on. And if you repeatedly hammer your reward system with social media your dopamine system might not be resetting fully…
…even if you're not engaging in porn substitutes.
Even if you're not engaging in porn substitutes, and you just use social media for its own sake, it is still a dopamine driven machine that can desensitize your reward system.
And, of course, if you also engage in porn substitutes on top of several hours of “normal” social media use, it's even worse.
How to navigate it?
Limit your use!
If you can commit to yourself to not spend any more than 2 hours a day then it will most likely not have much negative effects on you. This is assuming you are not clicking from girl to girl (porn substitutes) and you just use social media for its own sake…
…and, of course, assuming you can use social media without it making you relapse.
Keep your social media use to 2 hours / day or less…
I didn't just pull that number out of a hat.
The 2 hour “limit” is something that for example Professor Huberman, a phenomenal neurobiologist at Stanford university, recommends as studies have shown that more than that does indeed mess with our dopamine system.
Now, don't freak out completely if you happen to use social media way more than that. Most people do, and it's not like desensitization is an on-off thing. It's more of a spectrum.
After all, who's to say you can't have a good life if your dopamine system were to recover to say “only” 97% ? For most people, maybe that's good enough….
…and by the way, that 97% was just an example.
It's not like we know exactly how much or you are leaving on the table, in terms of recovery, if you're using social media for more than 2 hours a day. This is something I talk more about in the post Why NoFap doesn't work for you
Social media can make you relapse
It's a minefield when it comes to triggers
This one should need little to no explanation. I think most of you have noticed that social media is a minefield when it comes to triggers.
Obviously this is going to make it more difficult for you!
And, as I already alluded to in the previous point, just by scrolling and following you are already in a slight “autopilot mode”. ..
…you know, that mode that completely takes over and makes you leave the driving seat when you're having a full blown relapse.
By spending time on social media, it is like you already have one fot in the relapsing door!
Using it during the wrong time of the day can be bad for your dopamine system and thus slow down your recovery process
I think many people are familiar with the two first dangers that we've talked about today, but this one is perhaps not really common knowledge in the rebooting comunity.
So, allow me to elaborate…
No screens between 11pm and 4am!
It turns out that light viewing between 11pm and 4am is bad for your dopamine system.
That's right, viewing any kind of light for hours in the middle of the night can also mess with your dopamine system to the point of causing it to become, at least a bit, disrupted.
What does this mean?
Well if you're using social media you are viewing light, right?
So, as if social media wasn't bad enough on its own, it's even worse if you use it in the middle of the night.
Kind of like; a double whammy!
If you want to take a deeper dive into how light affects your dopamine system, watch this video where Huberman, the guy I mentioned earlier in today's post talks more about it (it starts at 19:00 into the video).
To sum it up…
Anything that can potentially cause a disrupted dopamine system can also be bad for your PMO recovery.
Well, because we are trying to reset, or regain sensitivity, by avoiding fapping to porn and the brain wont be able to do so if we keep blasting it with other, super stimulating things…
…simple as that.
NoFap and social media
When we sum everything up I think it's pretty safe to say that social media can be really bad for your NoFap journey.
It certainly has more risks than benefits and if you do decide to still keep it in your life, please do so in a very mindful way.
Also, do your best to limit your use!
I hope you found the article informative.
Related post: How to stop watching porn ad night
P.S. If you need my help with rebooting, or need to reach out to me with some questions, you can find my contact page right here.