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.
When children emerge from school looking for that signature moment of eye contact with a parent, the parent is usually looking down at their phone. We stare down at our devices so often that physicians have added a condition called “Text Neck” to their diagnoses. We would rather text than talk. We’re sleeping with our digital devices and growing anxious without them. The seductive technology that feeds this culture of distraction highlights a paradoxical vulnerability: we are lonely, but fearful of intimacy. Online connectivity offers the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We can’t get enough of each other as long as we can have each other at a distance, in amounts that we can control, with the ability to hide from those we’re connected to. By indulging a habit of constant connection we risk losing our capacity for the kind of solitude that energizes and restores. And if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely.
Social media apps are one of the biggest reasons we pick up our phones. A host of tricks then make it hard for us to put them down. Quitting facebook produces the same physiological reactions as quitting smoking, in part because social media companies hire Attention Engineers who borrow principals from the Las Vegas casino gambling world to make their products as addictive as possible. We rarely if ever hear the term “Habit Forming Technology”. Social media users are experimented on constantly to maximize continued platform scrolling. Modern algorithms driven by AI make sure you don’t decide what gets in and never see what got edited out. We tend to think of the internet as superior to societies of yesteryear where gatekeepers controlled the flow of information. But most of today’s information flows through a handful of big companies that act as contemporary gatekeepers. Who will control the emerging smart surveillance infrastructure, and what will be the rights of the controlled?
America’s technological obsessions take a toll on our health. Our bodies were not designed to deal with the explosion of EMF activity currently pulsing everywhere via cell towers, Wi-Fi, smart meters and the Internet of Things. Your heart and brain are sensitive electrical organs that can be disrupted by exposure to EMFs. Pregnant women in China are required to wear Faraday clothing to shield the unborn from EMFs. Overwhelming evidence illustrates strong correlations between EMFs and infertility, DNA damage, cancer, cardiomyopathy and neuropsychiatric conditions. Meanwhile, individuals with electrohypersensitivity report headaches, ringing in the ears, insomnia, fatigue, migraines, indigestion, chest pain, and confusion. As with DDT, tobacco, lead, asbestos and Roundup, captured regulators and scientists loudly assure us EMFs are safe. The Telecom lobby might be well-funded and politically powerful, but we have enough evidence to at least take precautions when using this technology.
Big Telecom funds the studies that tell us their toxic tech is safe. Now they’re rolling out an untested application of a weapons-grade technology to actualize self-driving cars and the internet of things. 5G is designed to deliver concentrated and focused electromagnetic radiation in excess of 100 times current levels, in the same manner as directed energy weapons. 5G is being unveiled in America first because the U.S. allows radiation thresholds that are orders of magnitude higher than other civilized western countries that acknowledge the cancer and health risks associated with wireless signals. It’s no longer a subject for debate that wireless radiation is carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and genotoxic for humans. And it’s irresponsible to begin unrolling another untested technology when we’re not even measuring what our exposures are to existing networks. But thanks to the Verizon-owned FCC, the deployment of small cells and 5G cannot legally be slowed by local legislation.