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Addictions shape social interactions

McKinley Valentine — 2 min read
Addictions shape social interactions
Photo by kychan / Unsplash

I think a lot about addiction - I'm pretty sure I'm less addiction-tolerant than most people. Even coffee - it bothers me that I'm addicted, and it bothers me more that people are really cavalier about being addicted. When someone says "I couldn't give up coffee, I need it to wake up in the morning" in this completely blase way like they're not literally just describing the symptoms of dependency and withdrawal. It's tautological! The thing where you feel like you couldn't live without coffee is what addiction means. You would not tolerate this line of reasoning from a meth addict.

Plus, *gestures grandly at Australia's culture of binge-drinking and ubiquitous socially tolerated middle-class alcoholism*

I read this article on the accelerating pace of addiction - basically that technological progress is always going to make addictive things more targeted, concentrated and effective - just like it makes everything else more. From opium to heroin, willowbark to aspirin, myspace to facebook.

So the writer's point is that as more things get more addictive, larger %s of people are going to have huge swathes of their life and decision-making controlled by addictions. I don't mean opioids, I mean everything that capitalism wants to sell you that can possibly be made more psychologically addictive. This means that people who want to just not be addicted to too many things are going to look increasingly... weird? But not fun weird. Like non-participatory, pretentious, holier-than-thou weird.

The same way we've always reacted to people who won't have a drink, don't watch TV, don't eat cake, don't join in. (When I say 'we' I mean 'work colleagues and acquaintances'; I have faith that we will always be able to find our people.)

Anyway so look forward to that binary!

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #12 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

Unsolicited AdviceEQ & Interpersonal


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