DEAR EDITOR:

Social media users, in many cases, are addicts. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. and creator of the iPhone, did not allow his children to have a phone. He did not want them to become addicted to technology.

We are being programmed from infancy. Ninety-two percent of the 2-year-olds have a personal device. They are modern-day babysitters. Young people are being groomed for shopping, addictive behavior and political and social opinions. Modern video game competition gathers tens of thousands of fans to sit in a stadium or online at home for hours to watch a video game.

The fabric of our social system is being frayed by the lack of face-to-face communication. The restaurants and malls are full of people who ignore other people, including their friends. Inter-generational contact is practically non-existent!

Dopamine and serotonin are naturally occurring brain chemicals that make us happy. The difference in the two is that dopamine can have both negative and positive effects on an individual. When we receive the anticipated reward, we feel good (likes). When we don’t receive the reward, we feel terrible until we get the reward we want. The average time that a person spends without checking his/her social media is 15 minutes. In South Korea, social media is included with alcohol, tobacco, and drug addictions.

Dopamine-releasing activities (drugs, sex, alcohol, gambling, shopping, social media, etc.) do not provide long-lasting happiness and positive feelings. When coming off social media, you have to adopt new serotonin-releasing habits, and then maintain them to fight the cravings.

We have campuses full of addicts who live in cyberspace. They are marginally able to communicate with a person of another generation. Without their “pacifier,” they are a wreck! These addicts don’t even know what gender they are! Tragically for all of us, their maturation into healthy adults may never happen.

We are made in the image of God. We need to know who we are, and what we are to do. We are to be a family. Spending time with loved ones cannot be replaced with emojis. When we are on social media sites most of the time, it is no wonder that there are so many lonely people in the world.

It’s not Facebook that you are craving, it’s dopamine!

Jim Cole

Marietta

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