How Social Media Is Drugging Kids (And Why Parents Don’t See It)
Unconscious and unlimited use of social media makes us addicted to the instant gratification it provides and is as destructive as the addictive use of alcohol, drugs or sex.
When rough times hit us in life, kids will prefer to retreat and hide out with these or other drugs. In this case the drug of choice is: social media.
Growing up with unlimited and unconscious access to it, they/we become so used to the instant gratification it provides that it renders them/us unaware and unskilled to build long-lasting and profound real-life friendships and relationships that we can lean on for support when we go through a hard time.
Let me start explaining this with an analogy.
“What if some new technologies like social media👩🏼💻📱 are just like fire? 🔥”
Fire is pretty powerful and can really hurt us…☠
But it can also do great things like heat up a home or cook your food 👍🏼
So… we decided:
‘We are not going to let people have access to fire until they understand the risks and benefits and have learned the skills to deal with them” ✅
(Smart humans, we are🤓)
We put restrictions on fire but not on social media
Now, let’s compare having access to fire to having access to social media🌐
Looking at our own lives, we don’t really have any rules or restrictions around it…🆓
It just kinda appeared into our world a couple of years ago and we we just accepted it as “cool new technological development”📈
We think it’s normal to have unlimited free access to social media…
I mean, social media are always just one slide or tap away.
📱The apps are on our phone…
And our phone lives in our pockets…
Since it feels so normal…
We just assume that social media is beneficial to us as humans👫
That it enhances our connection, deepens relationships and makes us more informed👨👩👧👦
Now, that’s actually true💯
Just like fire does amazing things like warm up a home, cook your food et cetera👍🏼
⁉But could it be that social media, just like fire, has a dangerous side?⁉ (hint: yes, it does)
The hidden danger of social media lies in our brains
It’s hard to believe, right?
I mean, look at it… Look at the icons on your phone📲
How can they be dangerous?!
They’re so fun and innocent and cute!🐶
The fact is that the majority of us doesn’t really understand what the effects of social media are on our developement.
Fact: The majority of us doesn't really understand what the effects of social media are on our brains. Click To Tweet
And we can’t blame ourselves!
It’s all happening very fast and we are not all neuroscientists nor do we have the time to research everything ourselves.
But we can be happy that there are people who do investigate the effects social media has, and more specifically: the addictive effect social media has on humans because of it’s built-in gambling-like attention-sucking system.
How social media is just like gambling
Why do we like gambling?
Because it feels like a game.
There’s suspense with every play you make and a potential pay-off at then end.
You either win or lose.
If you miss, you try again.
And instantly, you’ll know the result.
Win or loss.
It gives you a rush.
That same system is present in our social media apps.
It feels like a game.
Refreshing the Facebook app to see if you get any more of those red notifications to let you know something happened…
Refreshing your Snapchat feed to make new snaps appear…
Posting a picture and seeing the likes roll in, making your phone beep and showing notifications…
It triggers dopamine, a happy chemical in our brain.
This is where sex, drugs and alcohol come into the mix
Dopamine is the same chemical that gets released when you feel happy.
Like when you drink alcohol.
Or use drugs…
Or have sex.
Why do you think alcohol, drugs and sex are THE most common addictions in life?
It’s because it gives us an immediate relief of our pain.
Alcohol, drugs and sex gives us a quick joy, a quick shot of dopamine.
Obviously, people fleeing into substance abuse or sex to avoid their pain and problems are better off with a long-term plan that involves therapy but hey…
That takes time…
Things you don’t need when you turn to alcohol, drugs or sex.
Well, lucky for our kids: we have banned alcohol, drugs and sex from them until they are 18, right!? 😃 (or 16 or 21 in some countries)
Way to go again, smart humans.🤓 Looking out for yourself there!🥇
Social Media requires little commitment, courage or honesty
What doesn’t look anything like alcohol, drugs or sex but has the same instant gratification effect, dopamine release, doesn’t require time, doesn’t require commitment, doesn’t require courage, doesn’t require honesty….?
Swiping and judging peoples faces on Tinder…
Binge-watching the next series on Netflix…
Engaging in superficial comment threads on your friend’s post on Instagram…
Only posting the shiny side of your life on Facebook….
Does it require a real commitment of your time?
Does it require you to be courageous?
Does it give you instant gratification?
You bet! (*You are a match!*)
I’m just saying:
Anywhere we see people fleeing from their problems and seeking refuge in alcohol, drugs or sex…
We want to help… or we want them to get help…
And all this time, a whole generation is growing up right now that has completely free access to something JUST as powerful as alcohol, drugs or sex: social media.
Missing the skills and friends to help us through hard times
So now, when things get tough for kids and teenagers… They don’t have to grab a bottle, use drugs or have sex…
They can just grab their phone…Today, when things get tough for kids & teenagers... They can numb their pain with social media. Click To Tweet
The people around them?
We don’t say anything…
We didn’t even know this might be bad for them!
But I’m telling you:
Kids turning to their phone in difficult times in their life is the equivalent of handing young kids bottles of liquor, heroin and a couple of prostitutes to numb their pain with.Letting kids have full access to their phones is like handing them they keys to your liquor cabinet and trusting they'll use it well Click To Tweet
They will create a habit of looking for quick fixes with no real long term solution.
They will steer clear from hard work that requires commitment, honesty, courage and their time…
They’d rather flee to the amusement of their phone.
They will lack the skills to develop true, heartfelt connections with other humans…
Because that’s what’s needed for deep, fulfilling human relationships…
Courage to speak the truth about your life and what you’ve been through and how you really feel.
Honesty to stop lying to yourself that you are fine, and to tell your friend the truth they might not want to hear.
Your time and uninterrupted attention to listen to yourself and your loved ones…
And commitment to keep showing up, to keep being honest and courageous…
That’s what’s needed to create deep, long-lasting human relationships that can stand the test of time…
Just the kind of thing humans need when life gets tough…
But hey, who would do that if you can just get a quick hit of approval on Tinder or Instagram?
Or forget about the world by binging a series on Netflix?
That’s the attitude a lot of us are growing up with.
Good luck fixing that in the future, smart humans…🤓
And you thought our current generation was difficult😆😂