The Internet is our soma

It’s not as if I didn’t know this already. We are, without a doubt, collectively addicted to the Internet. It doesn’t matter how many digital detoxes you go on, or how many times you delete all the social media apps from your phone (to include WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram), you will always come back.

Resistance is futile.

The FOMO is too strong. 

There’s a transitional quote in the new Netflix documentary – The Social Dilemma – in which, Edward Tufte says:

There are only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”

The Internet is our soma:

Soma is a drug that is handed out for free to all the citizens of the World State. In small doses, soma makes people feel good. In large doses, it creates pleasant hallucinations and a sense of timelessness. The citizens of the World State are encouraged to take soma by “hypnopaedic” sayings like “A gram is better than a damn.” When they experience strong negative emotions, citizens take a soma “holiday” to distract them from the unpleasant feelings. John sees soma as a tool of social control. He says that taking soma makes the citizens of the World State “slaves.”

Brave New World

Brave New World (read it and have your mind expanded)

Lord knows I want to kick the habit. I want to real bad, but nothing short of a zombie apocalypse, where all the technology lay in dust and ruin like Oyzimandia’s statue, will stop me from coming back to this filthy habit. 

As Hunter Thompson once described politics and journalism, it’s “a habit worse than heroin”.

But what can we do? We’ll never be able to put the cat back in the bag now that’s out. 

The Social Dilemma is worth watching if you haven’t seen it already. I don’t think it’ll tell you anything you don’t already know or are at least aware of, but it has made me reflect on my own philosophical stance on the dilemma of social media and the apps that fuels our phone all of which are designed to keep pumping dopamine into your system.

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