The Addiction We Deny!
What does it mean to be addicted? The simple answer is: being unable to resist something, feeling helpless to its pull, feeling powerless to a substance, behavior, etc. What happens when we become addicted to not feeling, or only feeling certain feelings? We cope, we outsource, we create ways to distract or temporarily change the way we feel because not feeling is easier than feeling. That is the world we have always lived in and we are familiar with the common addictions like, drugs, alcohol, eating, sex, to name a few. What scares me are the ones that fall within “socially acceptable” disguises, like technology and social media. As the ease and access of technology has grown it has given all of us a convenient excuse to ‘do’ something versus just ‘be’ and feel. These devices and the excuses people make up to justify their massive usage have become digital pacifiers for people. We have outsourced our inability or unwillingness to face our lives or the feelings associated with it. The percentage of kids under the age of 14 who are suffering from mental health issues, including depression and even suicide, has risen exponentially since the emergence of these technologies compared to 20yrs ago. These devices are addictive! This issue is not exclusive to young people but they are our future and most impressionable. Technology is a good thing and something I’m a huge advocate for BUT as a tool, not a coping mechanism from doing the hard work and dealing with our emotions. You can’t learn to walk without falling and you can’t grow into a well adjusted adult without being punched in the mouth by life. For the person reading this saying, not me, leave your phone at home and go out for 4 hours and let me know if that creates any internal tension. For the person saying, holy cow, I could never do that, it’s time to examine how you’re avoiding life.
Being uncomfortable and being challenged is a part of growth, put down your digital pacifier and start living your life.