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The Linkage Between Social Media Addiction and Sexual Dysfunction

Posted by on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, 10:05
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social media addiction leads to ED

In America, a conservative estimate suggests that about 10% of Americans have an addiction to social media, amounting to 33.19 Americans based on the population data of 2021. The figure was just 5% in 2005. By 2021, 72% of Americans have got their social media accounts.

The evolution of social media since then has its cash register ringing by touting it as a place to meet and mingle with no boundaries, make new friends separated by oceans, and explore the unknown realms of life. The hope that the virtual interactive platforms can help you keep the loneliness at bay and make life more joyful and fulfilling is still a far cry.

In reality, the study suggests that compulsive and obsessive involvement with social media may trigger certain health conditions in the long run, including sexual dysfunction.

Let’s explore more about how sexual dysfunction can be a direct fallout of social media dependency and whether there is a link between social media addiction and sexual dysfunction.


Sexual Dysfunction & Social Media Impact

For those who have not experienced sexual dysfunction yet, it is an underlying health condition that disengages people from carrying out sexual activities with their partners by creating a low urge to engage in active sex. Social media addiction could be one of the many causes that can trigger sexual disinterest in both men and women.


Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction for Men

  • Hard to get an erection
  • Troublesome to maintain an erection
  • Noticeable manifestation of low libido
  • Low self-esteem and fear of performing sex


The link between Social Media and Loneliness

Amid our bustling city life, loneliness creeps in heavily, and venting off the feeling of loneliness becomes a desperate need for many. Taking refuge in the popular social media platforms and mingling with virtual friends could be a respite from long-standing loneliness. However, it has a downside, too, as experienced by many in the case studies.

Too much dependency on it can turn to addiction, also termed social media addiction or internet addiction. This level of virtual interactions may create sexual apathy, low libido, and, in extreme cases, sexual dysfunction because of the absence of room for physical interactions.

Social media like TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram lead the pack, capturing the minds of a sizeable audience. An estimated of over 4.9 billion people worldwide engage with social media every day. By 2027, the number of users may rise to 6 billion in daily social media use.


Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction Worldwide

According to the International Journal of Impotence Research, 2020, erectile dysfunction will affect 322 million men by 2025. As suggested by Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 2012, sexual dysfunction affects roughly 30 million men in the United States. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 2019, 1 in 10 American men will have Erectile Dysfunction at some point. Based on a study of 8 countries, as mentioned in Current Medical and Research Opinion, 2004, the US shows the highest rate of self-reported ED, about 22%.


The link between Social Media and Risk of Sexual Problems

Although Social media could be a refuge for many to combat loneliness, on the contrary, the absence of physical interaction can make the users lonely and unhappy and give birth to negative emotions of unfulfilment. These negative emotions can affect mental state and may impair sex drive in men.

Compulsive minds occupied in social media drive the rise of sex problems, including sexual apathy and erectile dysfunction. The study suggests that people with sex issues can gravitate to social media usage. The connection found between near ubiquitous social media and sexual dysfunction is pressing.


Underlying Reasoning

Stress plays a critical role in determining the level of sexual disorders. There is no clear sign that social media usage can affect sexual health, but it does concern mental health and happiness. Researchers suggest social media and its ilk affect sexual functioning by augmenting stress and deteriorating mental health conditions.

In a study conducted by the University of Michigan Psychologists, where they texted 82 students (50 women and 32 men) five times each day for two weeks, asking about how they feel right now and about life, as social media use rises during the week, participants felt worse. With social media use for two weeks, life satisfaction levels decreased substantially. This phenomenon may affect sexual health and libido, causing sexual dysfunction. Face-to-face interactions did not produce this result.

California State University, Fullerton, surveyed 55 college students, 238 women, and 317 men, asking them to stop using social media for one week. The abstainers, after one week, felt a significant stress reduction. Low-stress levels may cause physical and sexual well-being and boost libido.



The internet, with many good things, may not be an unmixed blessing. Internet advertising is always looking to maximize clickbait, trying to attract eyeballs. The unabated advertisements and constant chatter spur anxiety and anger, and these stress elements are not conducive to healthy sexual activities. The ubiquitous internet and “doom-scrolling“ can cause media hypnotism by alienating the user from the physical world and face-to-face conversation, leading to mental stress, loneliness, anxiety, and depression, which may cause poor sexual health, including sexual dysfunction.