Media Sobriety Covenant

We recommend that all adults that wish to keep their family safe online and with media consider making the following commitment.  While we do not believe it is helpful to be legalistic or too rigid, we do believe that there is power to making and signing covenants.  The goal of this covenant is to establish boundaries to help keep a family safe in the information age.


1.   Commitment to Media Sobriety: avoiding all forms of media addiction, including avoiding pornography, gaming addiction, chat addiction, television addiction or any form of online or media addiction that is damaging to relationships.

2.   Commitment to Protect Children Online: including installing Internet filtering software, requiring children to use and taking additional steps for online safety including having all children in the family sign an online safety covenant.

3.   Commitment to Protect Children from All Second Hand Smut: keeping any movies, games, channels, magazines, books and music that you use that may be inappropriate for children out of their reach. This may include locking these materials in a safe place if necessary.

4.   Commitment to Get Educated on Online and Media Safety: become knowledgeable about media and online safety issues and aware of new challenges that may emerge as technology and popular culture change.

5.   Commitment to Appropriate Communication: including maintaining appropriate boundaries in communication with others online whether through e-mail, chat, instant message, talk, video, blogs or any other form of media. A good guideline is, if something would be inappropriate in communication with someone in person, then it is inappropriate online.

6.   Commitment to Avoid Online Affairs: commit to avoid online affairs. A good guideline is if you would not go to a level of emotional depth and intimacy in communication with someone face-to-face in person, then you should not go to that level of depth online - an online affair is still an affair.

7.   Commitment to Recovery: to enter recovery and sign the Media Sobriety Covenant for Adults in Recovery if I am not able to maintain these commitments and maintain media sobriety.

8.   Commitment to Supporting Others in Recovery: If I am in relationship with someone who is in recovery from pornography or other media addiction, I am committed to not making decisions that might expose them to second-hand smut; specifically, I will keep any potentially triggering movies, channels, games, magazines or other media out of reach of the person in recovery. If I show a pattern of enabling my partner in their addiction, I will seek individual and/or couples counseling to deal with my part in any family patterns.

We agree to follow the above commitments.

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Eight Additional Commitments of Media Sobriety Covenant for Adults in Recovery for Pornography or Media Addiction


While rigid boundaries and guidelines may not be needed for all adults, for adults that are unable to maintain ongoing media sobriety, rigidity is often needed and very helpful. The following is a suggested covenant for those who have had an ongoing issue with pornography or media addiction. It is recommended that adults in recovery sign both this recovery covenant and the Eight Commitments of Media Sobriety Covenant for Adults.

1.   Commitment to Have Accountability Partner:  for accountability to be effective, it is helpful to communicate with your partner at least once or twice a week if not daily. See list of suggested accountability questions.

2.   Commitment to Have Accountability Software: installed on all computers you use at home, work (if possible) and other locations.  (See the “Software Tools for the Home” section of this manual.)

3.   Commitment to Recovery Groups: enter support groups, recovery groups and/or counseling if the issue persists. If there are family patterns that may be enabling your addiction, seek couples or family counseling also.

4.   Commitment to Close Entry Points: cancel any subscriptions, memberships, channels, access to 900” phone numbers or other points of entry. Commitment to dispose of any media or magazines that are a trigger or to make sure they are beyond reach.

5.   Commitment to Learn about Recovery: investigate and pursue resources to learn more about recovery (see the steps listed in this manual).

6.   Commitment to Have Transparency with Spouse: be transparent on where you are in recovery in general (being honest on general frequency and severity of acting out), but do not use him/her as your accountability partner.

7.   Commitment to End Online Affairs:  any online relationship that either could be considered an online affair or is significantly damaging to your marriage. A good guideline is if you would not go to a level of emotional depth and intimacy in communication with someone face-to-face in person, then you should not go to that level of depth online - an online affair is still an affair.

8.   Commitment to Avoid Hiding:  Commitment to allow accountability partner (and/or spouse) to review phone bills, credit card purchases, or other applicable records if the issue persists, to avoid hiding the severity of the issue.

I agree to follow the above commitments.


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