The way out, back into the light

For those not willing to blindly accept this pre-ordained path created by our technocratic “masters,” solutions are unlikely to be found without shining a bright light into the darkness, upon this seemingly unbreakable bond between young people and digital technologies.

As Gabor Mate, renowned addiction expert, has often said, we have to look, not at why the addiction exists, but why we are driven to it when there is often so much pain, and so little gain.

Young people with poor social relationships and isolation are more likely to abuse social mediaand get addicted.

A lack of real-world friends is the primary driver of extended use of social media, which in turn leads to dependency and potential addiction.

The solution then must lie in changing our environments and cultures in ways that enhance the quality of our lives, helping young people to develop and nurture a strong sense of real-world connectedness.

With each other, and ideally also with the natural world, a relationship that is also strongly related to improved quality of life.

According to Charalambous:

“You’re seeing people more and more unfulfilled and more and more hungry for all the things that we need as a human. We need to feel a part of society, we need to feel like we’re fitting into groups and that we’re socially accepted.

“We need to bond to partners, obviously, social media is causing a lot of problems in that aspect. We need to feel that we’re providing a purpose and we are making an influence on the world. We need to feel safe. It’s about reconnecting back to reality or our perception of it at least.”

As with many addictions, the remedy is often found within the addiction itself and studies are looking at how virtual reality exposure therapy can help treat phobias, high anxiety and addictions.

Phone applications such as Calm or Insight Timer can also potentially help young people cultivate mindfulness.

Runaway technologies could be used as positive tools and various “protocols” can help youths and parents alike change their relationship with technology.

However, the best, easiest and most accessible remedy is, and always will be, found in nature.

In a world that is increasingly trying to transform us into human-machine hybrids, the remedy must lie in developing a higher level of consciousness of our innate humanness.

Building those connections that don’t just trigger a short-term dopamine buzz that needs to be repeated and repeated. But to build a sense of connection and bonding that comes through the release of oxytocin, the love hormone.

Building solid, long-lasting interactions that allow us to build purpose and meaning in our lives. Ultimately allow human transcendence, not posthuman, digital transcendence.

It’s our time to choose and to help bring a wider understanding of the pervasive and potentially destructive nature of digital technologies to those around us, to the youngest members of our families and communities most particularly.

Originally published by Alliance for Natural Health International.

Rob Verkerk, Ph.D., is the founder and executive & scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health.

Paraschiva Florescu is the mission facilitator of the Alliance for Natural Health International.