The Drug of Modern Day Society

By Sébastien Langlois-Fortier

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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.

 

Works Cited

  1. 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/.
  2. “How Our Addiction to Digital Technology Is Changing the Way We Live.” The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 28 July 2017. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A499483990/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=114b1a92. Accessed 2018.
  3. Keller, Jared. “We Are All Internet Addicts Now—Just Don’t Call It That.” Pacific Standard, edited by Jack Lasky, 30 May 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010236276/OVIC?u=60iskl&xid=e4ecdd59. Accessed 2018.
  4. Konnikova, Maria. “Internet Addiction Is a Legitimate Mental Condition.” New Yorker, edited by Jack Lasky, 26 Nov. 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010236275/OVIC?u=60iskl&xid=70770130. Accessed 2018.
  5. 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.
  6. “Recent Findings from University of Kansas Provides New Insights into Media and Society (When Is Social Media Use Social Interaction? Defining Mediated Social Interaction).” Politics & Government Week, 8 Feb. 2018, p. 262. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A526226533/GIC?u=60iskl&xid=cb358c32. Accessed 2018.
  7. “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.
  8. “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.

6 thoughts on “The Drug of Modern Day Society

  1. Vincent

    Paragraph 5 was quite interesting. I really liked paragraph 3 as well. Love the short sentences at the end. Overall, a good topic and a good editorial.

  2. Nicole Garwood

    Very nice points presented in this. I liked the facts you put in, they were very convincing.

  3. Rayan

    I liked how its a really new issue and something people should pay more attention to well written.

  4. Tim Farrow

    This is an important topic, and a very well-written article! A good deal of research is beginning to show the links between technology use and addiction. This topic isn’t going away anytime soon, and your generation may very well be the one that tackles it.

  5. Jaymin Baird

    Interesting and valid topic, Seb! Your writing is clear and engaging. This is a problem that haunts so many people and it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

  6. Martin Fortier

    Well-written Sebastien. Great article and great subject. This is indeed a serious modern day problem and your generation grew up surrounded by technology, making it sometimes hard to imagine a world without it. I think the GAP trips are about the only occasion given to you to fully disconnect for an extended period of time.
    I actually think you’re a good example of staying disciplined with your use of cellphones and make it a priority to be fully present when you’re with other people. While we can avoid the use of substances, it is impossible to completely avoid the technology drug that you describe. This one takes discipline, requiring that we set our own usage limits and know when to make use of it to remain social in person, not just virtually.

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