Growing up, ads from MAD (Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers) and Don’t Do Drugs were rampant. It was drilled into my head not to partake in alcohol or drugs as they were very addictive. Unfortunately, even though we know this, countless people in our country struggle with abusing both. Thankfully, support groups and clinics exist to help people overcome their bondage because that is really what we are talking about. Something controls you to the point where you don’t have a choice any more. You are no longer free to live your life; you NEED alcohol or drugs to function. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well, we have a bigger problem today than in years past.
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes; we just aren’t giving others the same attention. I find them just as deadly, though. I would add to the list food, cell phones, and social media. I think COVID-19 has accelerated the food addiction as people have gone to it for comfort and relief rather than each other. Food should be fuel, but it becomes a huge need to make some feel better…until they are 75 pounds overweight and diagnosed with a serious illness. If you are carrying a ton of extra weight, your joints will wear out faster as will your organs. We weren’t designed to be overweight.
Cell phones are a tool designed to serve us and help us accomplish things. Do you realize that most of the technologies from the 80s (phone, music player, computer, recorder, editor, connector) are ALL in your cell now? We carry incredible power with us, but with all power comes responsibility. We need to know when to put the phone down and actually BE in the moment. If you can’t leave your phone for an hour, you have a problem. You may not remember a time before cell phones, but I do, and we did just fine. We didn’t have everything at our finger tips in a nano second, and we lived to tell about it! Cell phones aren’t a bad technology but can create bad habits like checking it when you shouldn’t.
Lastly is social media, and I believe it has destroyed the fabric of our country and is attempting to ruin families. Instead of connecting us, it is dividing us. We are being played! We are all guilty of being on it far too often and seeking attention, attraction, likes and love in all the wrong places. In a desperate attempt to feel like we matter, we rely upon social media responses for our significance, and that is extremely dangerous. When we care more about what people think about us than about who we really are and what we do, it’s an addiction.
These addictions are more dangerous because they are subtle. We actually accept obesity these days because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We consider it normal when someone’s face is in their phone and they are dissing us. We seem to be happier looking at what others are doing instead of living our own lives. It has to stop!
If you are addicted to food, admit it and seek professional help. You have options. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of places to go for cell phones and social media because I don’t think we are ready to admit the problem. I would love to see social media sights deemed publishers who can be held liable for what is posted. This would hopefully stop the censorship that is happening for conservatives, but more importantly, it would probably make it more social once again rather than political. It wouldn’t solve the problem, though, of overuse. That is on each of us. We have to put it in its place and limit our time on it.
For one week, track the time you spend on your phone and social media and journal how you feel after spending time with it. Are you happier than if you were with loved ones in person or are you down and depressed, which can lead to that food, alcohol or drug addiction? I turn off my cell phone at dinner time. That’s it – no more social media for me. I spend time with my husband in the evening.
Addictions are serious and are harming so many people. You can do better! There is hope, and I pray you take the first step by admitting you have a problem. Coaches and counselors can help you go step by step. Here’s to freeing yourself up to live a better life.
Perhaps you want to set some specific goals to reduce your dependency upon your cell phone or social media for 2021? My booklet, Reach the Goal in Record Time! will guide you through the goal setting process and assist you in achieving success.