I have often heard the phrase that the most dangerous, and most challenging, addictive drugs are to be found on store shelves, or for free on the internet, and I subscribe 100% to this theory. I remember my childhood very well, I remember the stories of grandparents and my parents about times when I wasn't born yet, and comparing the vices and the human addiction of those times with the vices of now, I realize that our grandparents were much freer of these mental and physical parasites.
A clear example of the person controlled by his vices was even one of my grandparents, who for decades could not live without alcohol and cigarettes, and managed to give up both only a few years before he died, and with the certainty that these two have contributed massively to his death. I can't imagine what other addictions thirty years ago could have been, besides alcohol or cigarettes, because you didn't have much access to many, that you have nowadays...
And even in their case, I personally believe that they did not have as much control over the population, especially among young people, as they do today. I assign this ascent of the level of dependence that many of us are currently in, addiction caused by chemicals or simple pixels on the screen, mainly to their ease of access.
Let's take a first example, sugar... How many of those born before 1970 were as addicted to sugar as we are today? I suppose the numbers are much lower, and the only valid reason was that sweets were not as accessible then, as they are today. There were not so many companies producing tens of thousands of sweetened beverages, full of chemicals, or other similar products, and not too many shops to market them either.
Cases of diabetes worldwide have increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, according to the World Health Organization, and we certainly cannot consider sugar from sweetened products as a major factor in the development of this disease, but it certainly contributes greatly, as in the case of heart disease due to cholesterol produced in large quantities by the human body to fight against the sugar deposited on the arteries, and last but not least in the case of obesity.
Sugar was present in people's lives 40 years ago and it is still present today, although in higher amounts and forms, but let's talk about another sweetener of modern human life. Social media... I would consider this as one of the most challenging addiction provoking activities in the world at the moment. Almost any social media network available at the moment is free and easy to use, the vast majority of them coming pre-installed in phones, being the perfect candidate to become the virtual sugar of the 21st century. Almost all were created to create addiction, and the most known among them are used daily by billions of people in almost anywhere in the world.
No wonder that in America youngs between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media for three hours a day. Three hours... out of 24. I gave up such vices I could say overnight, but I would have been worthy of the record book for sure for how often I used them. Imagine what effects these three hours spent online can have on the developing brain of a teenager. What else could that teenager do instead of losing three hours a day, every day, on facebook, instagram, tinder or twitter, is another important question, that nobody asks. I guess that's how you create zombies, that eat themselves, not others. Again... accessible = addictive.
If we mentioned the social media and young people today, not to hide away pornography, that seems to wreak havoc among young people. Boys, or let's just say men up to 40 years old, suffer from porn induced erectile dysfunction and can only have erection with the help of hardcore porn. Why? Possible due to the fact that pornography is free and accessible to anyone in this world, some getting to consume too much of it on a daily basis, becoming over-stimulated and experiencing difficulties in real life with real partners, reality that does not rise to the level of the movies they watch regularly.
About pornography I will write in more detail in a future article, because there is much to discuss about this subject, but let's not forget about drugs, the famous ones. Yes, I know that marijuana and cocaine are not the discoveries of the 21st century, but I think they are much more accessible and easy to transport, thus use, nowadays than they were 40-50 years ago. Certainly not only accessibility causes dependency, but it is a major factor in their spread among consumers. There are probably apps already that can help someone buy some weed or a gram of coca, or if not, it's definitely someone who knows someone, who is just a message away from delivering what they need.
Regarding marijuana, there will definitely be people who will comment on its healing properties, and I personally admit that I smoked about 10-20 times in my entire life, which means I know a bit about what I'm talking about, but I didn't include marijuana in this post to analyze its chemical properties, but the addiction it can cause precisely because of the much greater availability it has now.
I could continue this post with a few other very relevant examples, but it's already too long, and I don't want to become boring, so I'll stop here. Looking closely at our behavior as a species, it seems somehow obvious to me that we were somehow created to become addicted, thanks to our brain receptors that can easily create us into addicts, on a particular substance, or activity, but at the same time I realize that the level of social evolution, but also the technological evolution, to which we have reached, greatly facilitates creating harmful and addictive habits than it we experienced half a century ago. What do you think, how much fiction and reality is in this post?
Image courtesy of pixabay and free to use
Thanks for attention,