Company helps fight online porn addiction - WNEM TV 5

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Company helps fight online porn addiction

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
OWOSSO, MI (WNEM) -

Patrick Smith said online pornography was destroying his life.

“My actions had consequences beyond just me. What I was doing online impacted the lives of the people around me,” Smith said.

For years, he was giving in to online temptations almost every single day.

“I was genuinely overcome by addiction to internet pornography. The most insidious part was, i knew better,” Smith said.

When his family found out, he said his online obsession blew in like a fierce winter storm. And he was faced with losing everything.

“At the time I had a mentor who said, you need accountability in this area of your life. This is a part of your life that you have cornered off and kept secret from the people that you love the most,” Smith said.

Smith said in his search for help, he found a company called Covenant Eyes based in Owosso.

The company installs software on your digital devices to monitor your online activity.  If you visit a porn site, it sends an alert to your loved ones. 

For Smith and his wife, it wasn't as much about restricting him but instead having total transparency in their relationship.

“That weekly report serves as a reminder to have good, meaningful conversation about what healthy and unhealthy habits are,” Smith said.

The service costs $14 per month, which is a small price to pay according to Dan Armstrong with Covenant Eyes. 

He said his company also offers a system that can limit your time on the internet or block inappropriate content completely. Armstrong said unlike other filters once purchased, the Covenant Eyes filter can’t be easily removed.

“If you try to disable it, there is technology that will show your accountability partner that you were trying to disable it or trying to turn it off,” Armstrong said.

Kelsie Rose helps with technology issues at the company. She said Covenant Eyes serves a growing number of people – more than 200,000 people worldwide.

“From users, from people that have gotten the service because of online temptation, or even parents, having the software on the phones or the devices is incredibly helpful knowing that someone is seeing your online activity,” Rose said.

Smith said he's in recovery from his online porn addiction. 

He recently joined covenant eyes to pursue his new passion: helping others with their online dependencies. He said he will never remove the software security.

“It is something that I will absolutely have internet accountability software on my devices, simply as a safeguard,” Smith said.

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