My Phone Is My Family

 

Just like an alcoholic turns to the bottle in times of stress, most of us turn to our devices and social media. Engagement with social media and cell phones releases dopamine; the same highly addictive chemical that makes us feel good when we drink, smoke and gamble. But unlike other highly addictive activities, there are no age restrictions on social media and cell phones. Sitting at dinner with your friends while texting someone who isn’t there sends a subconscious message to those around you: “You’re just not that important to me.” The temporary relief of instant gratification allows for everything at your fingertips. Everything, that is, except job satisfaction and strength of relationships. Social media leads many of us to advertise our lives as amazing even though we’re  profoundly depressed. The dramatic increase in suicide rates and drug overdoses nationwide illustrate, among other things, that isolation is dangerous for social creatures. Quarantined by connection, we’ve become addicted to loneliness.

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