I recently came across an article from Breaking Muscle discussing the factors at work in the demise of our health in America. I especially enjoyed what he mentions regarding addiction being an accepted business model (check out the expert below).
These manipulators employ our human nature against us to create paradoxically unnatural habits. The advance of technology has allowed for chemical combinations and constant sensory overload that our biology was not designed to handle. Our survival instincts tell us to gorge when we see food, especially high calorie food. The lizard brain still believes this could be its last meal ever. Our operating system is not built for a world of all-you-can-eat buffets and homes filled with boxes of cookies and dessert cereals. It’s not built for a world of algorithms that deliver the perfect video “up next;” where we have eliminated any possibility of boredom, and made it a requirement to curate highlight reels of our lives for thousands to see.
This is an essential area of human education in our era of abundance. Unfortunately, it is not taught anywhere. Our oversight is the manipulator’s opportunity. They spend lavishly, studying our minds and how we can best become addicted.
Addiction is a great business model. It means a reliable consumer inclined to overconsume. You “have to have” a few Dr. Peppers a day. Cha-ching. You “gotta keep your Snapchat streak going,” and feel an overwhelming compulsion to “catch up on social media” after a brief work meeting. Cha-ching, cha-ching. You watched that funny video your dad sent, and next thing you know you’ve spent an hour watching trick shots and dogs chasing their tails. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching.
We tell ourselves that these things are not addictive. We just like them, we say, and could choose to quit if and when they actually became a problem. Our denial and underestimation of the scientists’ mastery of addiction is tragic.
The question remains: what will we do with this information? Do we shake our heads, shrug our shoulders, and concede defeat to a world gone mad? Or do we decide our lives are made for more than that? Will we risk rocking the boat and hurting a few feelings to begin fighting for the future of our children?
As a mother, I do my best to teach my daughter the importance of overall health. While the future is unknown, I’m hoping that by equipping her with a fundamental knowledge of heath and wellness, she will be able to decipher between media and marketing, and make a choice of her own.
Camille and Lennox enjoying a healthy snack