My eyes have fully opened recently to the extent of addiction in myself and society generally. Of course addiction is a problem for most societies, but usually the addiction only holds a small minority captive. This time, however, it appears to have the majority of society held by the addictive mechanism and pretty much completely unaware of.
What is it? Yup, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – It’s called Social Media only it’s not very social.
It’s a revolution folks, a revolution of the way we react and interact. In the last 10 years the way we do EVERYTHING has changed fundamentally, and that means we have had no real time to adjust either mentally or, more to the point, emotionally. The tsunami of social media interaction has begun to define our lives. And short of a total meltdown of the internet or a collapse of society, the tsunami has only just begun.
Statistics reveal that cell phone use and web use generally increased enormously from 2014. Check this to see what Im talking about!
Some statistics: Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today. In 1995, it was less than 1%.
The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013.
The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014.
But the statistics are one thing. The anecdotal, visual evidence, is more distressing and alarming.
Look around at your friends, your kids, maybe even your parents, look in the malls, or on public transport, and then take a deep and honest look inside yourself and see if you are really any different from any of them. ADDICTION IS NOT ON AND OFF. It’s not a switch that is either up, meaning not addicted, or down, meaning addicted. Oh no. Addiction is all about degrees and measures. Addiction is wrapped up with necessity and habit, with social conditioning and deeply held human issues rooted in our ancestral dna, and stuff about the herd mentality and ancient tribal behaviour demanded by sheer survival.
Check whether this list includes anything you do.
Almost everyone is addicted to something, even if its just in some small way. It may be subtle, or it may be all consuming, but its there. It may not interfere with healthy functioning, but its there, and its something that pulls at us if we don’t do it habitually. It may not be that destructive to our life, well being, relationships, work and so on but there it is.
WISDOM AND ADDICTION ARE LIKE OIL AND WATER.
I think the sooner we recognise that addictive impulse in ourselves and where it lives, in what dark corner it hides, and, most importantly, what purpose is it serving, the more we can understand ourselves and transcend the torment of our addictions. Because the nature of addiction is unconscious and denied. And it ALWAYS serves a purpose, always it offers us the carrot of salvation from our suffering. It always offers us love. But addiction itself is a highly powerful force. Even more than the object of ones addiction is the ADDICTION. It is a mechanism, a highly powerful shadowy mechanism that thrives on darkness and fear.
Because addiction is so closely linked to our basic existential nature it is intertwined with the two base forces of love and fear.
Maybe addiction is the unconscious human answer to separation syndrome. Thats why addiction is essentially a spiritual phenomena.
The answer to addiction is waking up to the truth of who you are. The answer to all addiction is love and inner authority. To overcome addiction, as well as the physical component, one must fall in love with oneself, show up, tell the truth, see where you hide from fear and what you are afraid of, and then chose to love yourself. The answer to addiction is love and connection, but that connection is to yourself and the world.
Anything less than your full power released into the world could result in the activation of this addiction mechanism. It may protect you for a while. But it will eat you in the end. It is voracious and hungry.
So let us return to the issue in hand. The modern cultural acceptable addiction. Social media.
Head down, buried in the screen, totally distracted, emotionally dependent on ‘likes’, comments, notifications, increasing friends lists, etc etc we disappear from awareness and presence into the world of the mind through the screen and down the rabbit hole.
We check our phones at least 150 times a day, many of us, so I worked out that on average that means every 6 minutes or so. And it is increasing.
If it affects you, if you keep checking your phone, inbox, social media, even when there is no real reason, then I’m afraid you are in the modern matrix. And the matrix has you.
I know because I have been in the matrix also. I was completely convinced I was acting from real freedom and just exercising my freedoms and really enjoying all my friends and contacts and likes etc. But the truth was that the walls of my prison had changed and got smaller. They built the prison around me while I was distracted by content.
BOILING THE FROG.
Many of us have been led, innocently, to the pot on the stove and have been boiled, so slowly we have not noticed. These giant social media corporations hire well qualified, highly professional psychologists and marketers to investigate you and me and to work out how to get us to do what they want, willingly and blindly, as though we were free.
They know your habits, your preferences, your likes, dislikes they know how long you do something and they know what you don’t like. Between your phone stats, your Facebook analytics, google and amazon they know you better than you know yourself. You have an online profile that informs social media and they promote and market to accordingly. They feed you what you want, even if you don’t know what you want.
It is that scary. And you don’t even realise, because they have offset their activities with your rewards. Those rewards are (the illusion of) connection, being liked, importance, information, and power.
Don’t buy any of it because its not real.
I quit Facebook and Twitter very recently and I am feeling the effects of the withdrawal. Some parts of life have been rendered meaningless. Where is the instant gratification of a new like? Where is the surfing new posts to give me some distraction? Where is the relief I get every day, relief from the truth of my own life?
Gone…Facebook shut down and Twitter deactivated. It feels powerful, detoxing and vulnerable….Do it…try it out, inquire, investigate, tell the truth.
And comment here…Its the only place you will find me..
The Matrix has you…..and at some point you have to make a decision..