American culture has been pushing us too far for a long time now. We are beginning to see the effects on a measurable scale. We are now experiencing entire generations plagued with varying levels of addiction. What if, through substance, technology, etc., we are all addicted?
Continuing The Conversation
In my last post, I wrote about how social media is disrupting our relationships. But that’s not the only thing it’s destroying. There is tangible evidence to suggest social media outlets are changing the very way our brain operates. Changing the chemical makeup of our brain, as well as controlling the way we process thoughts and emotions. I wanted to cite a few articles for more reading, but this post will be primarily my own thoughts and experiences on the matter. Glad we got that out of the way.
The truth is, this country has been perpetuating a culture of addiction for decades. It’s a problem anyone who tries to create a free country would face. There’s no limit to what is good and right and just for the people. Companies are constantly preying on the weakness of human nature, exploiting impulse, impatience, and a lack of health education. We are basically set up for failure from the start. Many people are legitimately prone to addiction based on their own genetic makeup and familial history, and I’m sure it’s much more difficult for them. But we are all somewhat prone to addictive behaviors simply based on cultural norms.
With every new generation, there is a more serious issue of addictive behaviors that are irrational, and more separated from reality.
I was talking to a kid the other day who is 13 years old. He had his phone taken up at school for being accused of taking videos of a fight. He had been without it for 5 days straight. He explained to me that his life was dramatically impacted by not having his phone because he couldn’t be in contact with his friends at all times, and clearly had an intense anxiety about not having it. I’ve seen much worse situations.
Admittedly, I also can’t help but feel an irrational anxiety when I don’t have my phone because I left it somewhere by accident, or it’s broken, etc. I despise that feeling because logically I feel that I am able to objectively see how completely ridiculous it is to feel anxious about not having my phone on me at all times. What am I really going to miss? Nothing. Furthermore, what is a teenager going to miss by not having their phone on them for 5 days straight? You guessed it: Nothing.
Out Of Touch
I’m not sure where we will see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one. It seems to constantly be getting worse. But if history has taught us anything, its that all of culture is a pendulum. And a pendulum can only swing so far before it has to come back. Maybe that looks like a total technological failure that causes the world to return to a pre-tech era, or maybe modern medicine and science discovers that cell phones and computers are killing us (which could totally be true in my opinion), but either way, something will have to break and cause us to come up with new solutions that will radically redefine culture and societal living patterns.
In an effort to rectify never being out of touch with the happenings of the world and those we care about, we have slowly become out of touch with reality. We experience moments that happen in front of us through the screen of our phone while we capture it with pictures or videos. We get to know someone through a website or app, rather than face to face interaction, and we tell stories about our life on blogs in hope someone who cares might read (irony).
This is always going to be a tough subject to discuss because we are all guilty of being hypocrites and addicts. Consumer markets are all after our soul. And right now they are getting everything they want, and we are left empty, wanting more.
So what are we going to do about it?