Sobriety and Technology Management
Stepping into recovery from sex addiction almost always involves a choice to refrain from activity on the internet, whether it is chat rooms, pornography videos, or explicit ads on Craig’s List.
The easy access of these sites has facilitated a surge in the problems of addiction as these sexually explicit opportunities abound on the web.
One of my early recommendations to clients is to put filters on all devices to make it more difficult to get to the undesirable sites. There are many choices out there and people often are confused about the best and most effective options. I am always clear to state that filters are not fool proof. There are always methods for getting around the filters, and for a tech savvy person, even more so. Think of the filter as a means of slowing you down, making it harder to get to the source of your “drug,” and hopefully give you time to reconsider the urge and reach out for other sources of help and support.
Below I have provided several resources to help you get information to decide what is right for you and your family. It’s important to understand there is no one single best fit for everyone. Factors to consider in making the choice include:
- What are you trying to protect? A single computer, cellphone, person, or a network?
- What model of equipment are you dealing with? (PC, MAC, iOS, Android, Multiple models etc.)
- Do you just want to block the sites, or do you want reporting of the visited or attempted sites sent to someone for further accountability?
- What level of technical expertise do you have to manage the system? How complex or simple do you want the system to be?
- You can choose to put the filters on the individual devices or on the router to block any device on that network. Which one works best for you?
While most of these filters are marketed for “parental control,” there are plenty of adults choosing to use them for their own reasons. Here are websites available to help you explore and compare the many options that can be used for your purpose and situation:
Relativity by Elements Behavioral Health
SexualRecovery.com – comparisons relevant for sex addiction recovery. It’s a great website overall, with lots of information on sex addiction and recovery. The link takes you to an article they have posted comparing many of the filter software programs on the market providing a recommendation to which ones are the most effective.
Top 10 Reviews
Review of the Best Internet Filter Software – a website for reviewing all kinds of products, this specific site compares filter software with price, reviews, features and some brief articles for further understanding.
Top Christian Internet Filters and Accountability Software – an article providing similar information on locating filters that “keep your online experiences clean, safe, and family-friendly.”
For programs to install directly to the router, here are a couple of options:
These is by no means an exhaustive list. However, this information will get you started in getting educated on the options and making the choice that is right for you. If this is new territory for you it might not feel like an easy task, but well worth the investment of time, money, and effort to facilitate healthy sobriety.
Written by Cheryl Schenck LPC, CSAT