“I think it’s important and I think it’s true that our life experience is going to be about our attitude, our thoughts, our beliefs, our speech and our actions. We can transform our life experience simply by changing our language.” ~ Jason Mraz
For those of you know me, you’ll know that this is a topic I do enjoy debating upon. Of the three words in the title, I’m familiar with two. I don’t take drugs, and I try to not judge those who do. It’s a difficult line to balance upon to be honest, and I understand that there are so many people out there that are going through different phases in life. So, their life, their wish; as long as you don’t pressurise me, I have no reason for judgement.
Having said this, with reference to alcohol I can admit that I’m a rare social drinker, and with social media, there are several platforms (links on the side) that I use quite often and could even call myself mildly addicted to.
Why am I saying this? Because before I delve into these topics I think its significant to understand where my association with all of this stands at, else how can I discuss this in a clear and concise manner?
Its well-known that in our present day, it’s not uncommon to see that weekends and free time consist of partying, drugs, and alcohol. The way to have “fun”, is through experimenting with alcohol and drugs – that can either be provided through an immense amount of peer pressure or because individuals have the curiosity factor. And those who decide to not succumb to peer pressure are automatically labelled as being either “uncool”, or “lame”, or “sad”. Following on from this stage is ‘experimentation’, and after it becomes a constant go-to there is the possibility of dependency.
Naturally, I’m no doctor to state whether or not drugs and alcohol technically is good or otherwise; and there are so many different research papers out there exploring the same. I have heard that alcohol in moderation, such as a glass of wine is healthy. My consideration is this: if it is considered to be bad and there is enough proof of it, why is it that we have to put something harmful into us in order to be able to have fun?
Get a “high” as it’s called.
Personally, I’ve had individuals come to me and ask, “Well, you haven’t tried, so how do you know?” – and it’s true, I don’t know.
When there’s so much to experience in our world; be it adventure sports, traveling, photography, hiking (personal favourites of mine) – I have discovered that there is little necessity to explore the chemical or emotional effects that can be attained through alcohol or drugs. It’s relatively simple – long-term consequences versus short-term enjoyment.
A little snippet: In the Southern region of India, one of the things that Kerala is predominantly known for is in its delicious cuisine of non-vegetarian food. Although I’m an eggetarian, one of my absolute favourite meals is quite popular in Kerala; ‘vellappam’, which are rice-made spongy and thin pancake lookalikes – with a tangy and spicy egg curry. My mouth is watering already! It. Is. The. Best. And it’ll sound hugely amusing; but I actually go into a complete mode of happiness and tranquility after I eat this meal. Future husband, when we fight, you know what to get me. 😉
Hence these two aspects are known for its tangibility in its consequences, given one can physically notice the effects on one’s health. Social media on the other hand is slightly different. Well-known author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek points out in an interview that the millennials generation – which admittedly I am a part of – obtain our happiness through our likes, comments, and views on our social media platforms. The more likes, the higher the kick, the happier we are; all through the chemical release of dopamine. The logic doesn’t make sense if it’s considered truthfully (it’s just one click), but it’s what the reality is. This release of dopamine and this addiction as Sinek points out, is the “same kick that you obtain when you smoke, take alcohol, or gamble”.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Hence on social media, are we ever really true to ourselves? So many of us post things on social media just for the sake of it and just for the likes, because we attain this release of dopamine that makes us ‘happy’. We believe that by posting our joyful moments on social media, we’re not only sharing our happiness, but given that the world is seeing this and commenting or liking our posts – well, there’s the authentication. It’s this need for validation that is a major concern – to have someone else tell us what we believe we need to hear; whether it’s with regards to our jobs, our looks, or our relationships for example.
Why do we need this proof though? Surely we should be able to know if we are truly contented in life?
Why is it that we do not trust ourselves to be able to make the conscious decision to have our happiness lie in our own hands?
Surely there’s more to life than our Facebook or Instagram likes and comments?
If we take this a step further, I believe that there is a consistent need to be on a ‘high’. The millennials generation enjoy the after-effects of alcohol, drugs or social media, but as a courtesy of this dependency are naturally completely unaware of what it’s like to be without it.
And hence how to deal with real life problems.
Lets take a scale for example. On one end, we’ve got depressed, whether it’s with work concerns, broken relationships or financial difficulties (real life challenges) – and on the other end, its our “high”.
But what has happened to the middle point?
This brings me to the absolute crux of my debate; we want to have fun because the other aspect of not having fun is to be ‘depressed’ – this aspect that there are only two mood extremes. Why is it that we can only be either really happy, or really miserable?
How about instead we find our zen?
Note: Have you ever taken a sabbatical off technology? Its disconcerting initially; but it can be such an eye-opener as well, believe me. 🙂 That itch of constantly checking your phone and your thumbs flying away on screens, and actually not having anything to do and instead looking up to see what’s in front of you is quite uplifting.
Another note: Please don’t feel that I judge those who enjoy having a good time with any of these things. It’s not judgement but rather a question of just a simple: Why?
Do let me know your thoughts on this one. It’s a topic I absolutely find myself love to discuss and argue about – so feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below! And if you liked the article, share it. I believe that this is an important message. 🙂