Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction in the Modern Day

Name: Diego Villegas
From: Casa Grande, Arizona
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction in the Modern Day

Addiction in the Modern Day

Addiction in the Modern Day


When addiction is discussed, generally what is being referred to is addiction to substances. The use of hard drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as excessive drinking certainly do pose a just as great a threat as ever. Addiction of this sort is very harmful and should be treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue, which is a strategy state and local governments just now beginning to consider. However, I would like to discuss addiction in a different form that has only recently emerged due to advancements in technology: addiction to the internet, social media, and pornography.

On the scale of human history, addiction of this sort is a very new phenomenon. The widespread use of the internet seen in the late 90s and early 2000s meant that people were more connected than they had ever been. Two people on opposite sides of the planet could carry out a conversation in real time, which is a completely unprecedented level of communication. Despite this, people in today’s society generally report feeling lonelier than they’ve ever been. I am not attempting to explain why this is the case, but there is a clear cause: an increasing reliance on social media. As a result of interpersonal interactions taking place mostly online and less so in person, more people are attracted to social media to meet people to have more online interactions. So, the internet begets loneliness and loneliness draws people to the internet, and on and on people spiral. For most people, addiction to pornography is tightly linked as one leads to the other. More time spent on the internet means less time out in the real world meeting people in person, which means less romantic relationships. This positive feedback cycle, as with any kind of addiction, is very difficult to break. But it can be done with determination and a strong will.

Since the amount of time someone spends on the internet is completely up to them, there is not much that can be done on an individual level to prevent addiction. On a larger scale we can work to spread awareness and encourage people to spend less time on the internet. I think now more than ever during this pandemic, when human interaction is very limited, people are desperate to connect with others in any way they can. When used in moderation, the internet is a wonderful invention that can connect people separated in vast distances. But like many things, the wonder conceals a slippery slope to addiction.

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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction in the Modern Day
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