America The Angry – How Social Media Has Destroyed Our Happiness

I think everyone will claim that their generation is the best, but growing up in the 80’s was hands down THE best.

This is simply not open for discussion. 🙂

For those of you that weren’t fortunate enough to grow up during this time, you may be wondering what it was that made it so awesome.

Hmmm. Where do I start?

We had phone’s with cords that wouldn’t tell us who was calling on the other end. The invention of “call waiting” was much more significant than the discovery of sliced bread.

1980's and social media

Our Friday nights were spent rushing to Blockbuster to see if we could get one of the newly released movies on VHS. And you got charged a fee if you didn’t rewind it before returning.

We had no idea who was going to show up at parties until we got there.

Skateland was lit.

We’d stay up all night listening to the radio so we could record our favorite song and then add it to our mix tape that we’d listen to on our Walkman.

Our entire school curriculum was kept in a Trapper Keeper.

We drank from water hoses when it got hot outside.

We drove around in cars without seatbelts and we rode our bikes without helmets.

Sounds like a ton of fun, doesn’t it???

Ask anyone that grew up during that time and I guarantee they’ll say YES. They’ll also probably say it was the happiest they ever were.

Fast forward to 2021.

What happened?

Why is everyone so unhappy?

How is it possible for everyone to be so angry when we live in a time where everything is right at our finger tips?

With a couple of taps on our handheld device that costs more than most people earn in a week’s worth of work, we can get just about anything we want:

Groceries delivered to our front door, a car to pick us up within minutes, a date with someone that “swiped right.”   

We live in the most technologically (and medically) advanced time in the history of the world, yet most people still aren’t able to find true happiness.

Do you want to know why?

It’s because of social media.

Ever hear anyone say these things:

“I hate FB.”

“Everyone is so annoying with their stupid thirst traps.”

How many people do you know that will admit they “love” social media?

I can count on one hand how many I know.

They all say things like “I’m only there to stay connected to my family.” Or “I just log on to check the news.”

Ummmmmmm…’re lying to yourself.

You’re on social media because you’re addicted to it, and it’s totally depriving you of your happiness.

It’s turned us into a nation of approval addicts that are constantly searching for the adrenaline rush received from getting the “likes.”

It’s the insatiable search for the feeling we get from a chemical called “dopamine.”

Dopamine is what gets released into our bodies when our brain is expecting a reward.

It’s the same feeling we get from gambling, sex, alcohol, shopping, food, or just about anything else that we enjoy.

Dopamine in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.

There’s nothing wrong with doing things that make us feel good.

But as with all things in life, it’s all about moderation.

Drinking alcohol is ok. Drinking too much alcohol is not okay.

Gambling is ok. Gambling too much is not okay.

You see where I’m going with this.

What we’re experiencing right now is a society whose overall happiness is directly linked to dopamine, and social media gives us the immediate “rush” we’re so insanely addicted to.

It’s what causes people to post endless “selfies” that have so many filters that they look like they were taken with a Polaroid camera from the 1980’s……aka the best generation ever.

Selfies and self confidence

Do you know anyone that has any of the following personality traits?

  • Always wants to be the center of attention.
  • Constantly seeking approval.
  • Overly concerned with physical appearance.
  • Excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval.
  • Not thinking before acting.
  • Self-centered and rarely shows concern for others.
  • Difficulty with relationships, often seeming fake or shallow.

These are all behaviors exhibited by people the American Psychiatric Association defines as suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Know anyone on Facebook/Instagram/SnapChat that fits this description?

Yeah, I do too. Lots of them.

And what about our poor children?

The ones that have access to a sort of “drug” that constantly gives them the same exhilarating rush adults get from alcohol or gambling.

It’s equivalent to having a bar stocked with alcohol in your kids bedroom that they have access to whenever they get upset.

Their brains haven’t developed the same type of coping mechanisms we have as adults, and it’s creating a generation that suffers from depression, low self-esteem, and the inability to properly deal with stress.

Deep emotional connections

The short term rush received from social media fails to provide us with the one thing we ALL need in order to find true “inside out” happiness – deep, meaningful relationships.

We’ve lost the ability/desire to put in the time and effort to work on things that will truly give us the feeling of fulfillment that we all so desperately need.

Social media has destroyed our society by training our brains to rely solely on exterior forces to dictate our internal happiness.

All of our relationships would improve significantly if we could just realize one simple concept:

The most important things in life aren’t things.

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