There's a mass addiction hiding in plain sight, and your mother has been coopted, too. Our parents, who foreswore cigarettes, are blind to the new juice, blind to what their lives - our lives - have become: a digital hallucination. Mute the audio-visual stimuli from our lives and we look unwell, zombie-like, anesthetized. The black mirror is king, the dealer of cheap dopamine that's running and distracting our lives.
Yet, opportunity exists where responsibility is abdicated. We have slowly, subtly given up our responsibility to our shared humanity, to our sanity. The social ground is fertile for change and improvement.
Rebel. Push back. Intermittent fast your phone. Try focused, intentional, proactive, intensive use. Then, rest. Engage in the real world.
Need help? Seek out the few remaining places where computers can't be used, or at least are somewhat taboo: in and around water, in nature, at group workout classes. Such refuges are increasingly rare, making them increasingly precious.
30 years ago, if someone lit up a cigarette next to you, it was acceptable, sociable, even attractive. Now, we rightly recognized its harm: it's unhealthy, selfish, even disgusting. Walk into any cafe, bar, or restaurant today, and you'll see examples of social interaction interrupted by ping, conversation-stopped-by-search, and the endless scroll. The zeitgeist is ripe for a perspective shift: this distraction and inattention is rude, inhuman, and fueling disconnection. Who is the slave, and who is the master here?
Lead by example. Try insisting on tech independence around friends.
We are the guinea pigs. Designers, engineers, and psychologists have weaponized these products, and we're suffering because of their success. They've turned us all into Skinner's rats - click, scroll, click.
Thank your parents for saving you from lung cancer.
Help them - help us - curb the new cigarettes.