By Sébastien Langlois-Fortier
I had never experienced the effects of drugs until I got my first cell phone.
I spent my morning surrounding myself with friends only to spend that time staring blankly at a screen. I woke up checking my phone, I came out of class checking that same phone. My family and I took a trip to the restaurant and not once did I open my mouth. My fingers were the only part of me that moved, tapping away on “social” media.
Health classes involve a unit called “Substance Use and Abuse”, which focuses primarily on drugs such as crack, cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol, and so on. But why not focus on a drug that every teenager experiences on a daily basis?
Drugs are substances that have a physiological effect when introduced to the body. Why has technology not made it onto the list? Health class education should focus on dangers that are common in people’s life. We’re aware that crack won’t do our bodies any good or that alcoholism is a threat to our lives, so what about technology? I say we focus on an addictive substance that people aren’t fully aware of, that every single person in that health class can improve on.
Addictions activate what is called the “pleasure pathway” of the brain. Dopamine release is increased, along with opiates and other neurochemicals that stimulate the brain to produce a “high”. This reward system seen in drugs is extremely present in internet usage and it’s constantly inviting us in for more.
Sexual stimulation through pornography, romantic stimulation through dating sites, financial stimulation through online gambling or social stimulation and the sense of belonging through social media. The possibilities are endless.
I’ll admit my addiction follows me everyday, the absence of internet access leaves me stranded in silence. I choose to avoid that silence by filling it up with more noise. More technology.
People need time to think for themselves, silence away from the endless distractions that the internet offers. We’re persuaded to think and act in certain ways according to what we’re told online, we need individuality.
Since we were born we’ve relied on the internet for everything, no wonder we’ve all fallen into “The Drug of Modern Day Society” — technology. Since 2012, worldwide internet usage has increased by 50%. Education, communication, entertainment, they all rely on technology.
Welcome to the 21st century. Loss of sleep, increase in anxiety, being swayed into a media of manipulation, doesn’t seem healthy to me.
People need to be informed of this danger, educated on this threat.
We’re on drugs everyday, it’s time we take action.
- Cash, Hilarie, et al. “Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice.” Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice, 8 Nov. 2012, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/.
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- Manjoo, Farhad. “Digital Addiction Stirs Worry Even In Its Creators.” The New York Times, 12 Feb. 2018, p. F6(L). Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A527166906/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=8df48d01. Accessed 2018.
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- “Teens Addicted to Smartphones Are Found Less Happy-Study.” Philippines Daily Inquirer [Makati City, Philippines], 24 Jan. 2018. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A524828410/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=4f9897bd. Accessed 2018.
- “University of Bamberg Reports Findings in Computing (Mobile Communication as Invader in Face-to-Face Interactions: An Analysis of Predictors for Parallel Communication Habits).” Computer Weekly News, 19 July 2017, p. 421. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A498613240/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=cb667eed. Accessed 2018.