Volunteering for Addiction
Volunteering for Addiction
“Addict” or “Addiction” are strange words that are used interchangeably for both bad and good.
“He was an addict” is said often when some drug user goes off on the deep and does something bad or gets killed.
“Great game, very addictive” is often seen in reviews for video games or TV shows, for instance.
Isn’t that interesting?
Is addiction, in general, a bad thing?
Natural addiction vs. designed addiction
About the only “natural” aspect of life that I can think of that is addictive – is probably sex. And even then, too much promiscuity and fun can lead to disastrous outcomes – most often an STD, and other times in relationship trouble. Perhaps feeding the human ego is also addictive – via fitness or beauty or other superficial aspects (clothes, belongings).
One can argue that drugs and alcohol are also “natural,” but not really. Almost all of those products have been altered or processed in some way by humans. I don’t see anyone addicted to raw plants.
So most of what is addictive these days are by design. When conscious addictive planning (such as gamification) goes into the development of a product. That doesn’t rub us the right way.
Which is why we avoid almost anything that has a subconscious hook. Like games and shows – they often get you to the point where you’re obsessed, and bad things happen as a result – like binge watching.
The victims claim it is their choice – but they’d be hard-pressed to curtail that activity. Ask anyone addicted to carbs if they could give up their bread, cookies, or chips.
All forms of addiction require self-awareness
Once you’ve realized how much of this world is designed to be addictive, you begin to pull back. You ask “cui bono?” It’s no secret that the developers of many social media platforms knew exactly how to “gamify” the public. Which is why – even despite many knowing this – they still voluntarily engage. Sick, isn’t it?
Food is also a complex web. From simple sugars that toy with your insulin and blood sugar levels to dastardly additives like MSG that completely take control of your body. That is one reason we really avoid most Asian food – even our past favorite, Thai. Realizing after the fact that you really had no control as you ate is uncomforting enough to cause us to avoid.
And while it’s true that many of the addictive activities out in the world aren’t necessarily (or instantly) detrimental to you or me, it still sucks to be controlled by something or someone.
But understanding what is happening to you is not a skill most people have.
Self-imposed addiction – or obsession
Another form of addiction which is an individual trait – can often be called obsession. Where people become tunnel-vision focused on one thing (artwork, music, whatever). There are many reasons why that happens, each independently different. Everything from parenting to external societal influences.
Moderation and honesty
A well-balanced life is probably the safest choice to make. You can still be competent with many skills without becoming obsessed.
Looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself also isn’t easy for most – as they look for affirmation externally. Not many folks can ask themselves why they do anything they do. Finding reliable sources for information is also a tough nut to crack since our world is riddled with disinformation and misinformation – all for the benefit of a few.
What percentage of the population does what they like entirely for their own uninfluenced reasons? Very small.
Something to think about as you continue on whatever path you’re on.