The opposite of addiction is connection

The void the internet fills

Hi there,

This week, it gets real.

Below are five things I thought were worth sharing this week:

  1. When we compulsively turn to our devices, social media, the internet, what are we avoiding? What are we escaping from? What is missing? Who is missing? How can we feel more connected? What kind of relationships can we foster for a deeper connection? Because the opposite of addiction is connection.

  2. Some books you inch through. Some books you devour. Some books consume you, chew you, and spit you out: Renewed. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté is the book that is consuming me at the moment. From street-dwelling drug addicts of Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside to high-functioning workaholics, the continuum of addiction cuts a wide and painful swath through our culture. “A sense of deficient emptiness pervades our entire culture. The drug addict is more painfully conscious of this void than most people and has limited means of escaping it. The rest of us find other ways of suppressing our fears of emptiness or of distracting ourselves from it… To a lesser degree, behavioural addictions (read: Internet addiction) are also response to this terror of the void.” (pg. 36-37) Oof…

  3. The Best Explanation of Addiction I’ve Ever Heard – Dr. Gabor Maté is a 10-minute summary of Dr. Maté’s exploration of addiction as a response to pain and an attempt to escape suffering. Worth watching.

  4. A quote I want to share with you this week:

    The problem is not that the truth is harsh but that liberation from ignorance is as painful as being born. Run after truth until you are breathless. Accept the pain involved in re-creating yourself afresh. These ideas will take a life to comprehend, a hard one interspersed with drunken moments.
    — Naguib Mahfouz.

  5. People aren't disposable (or, why apps can't cure loneliness).

    Every day I hear about another new app designed to help people in cities make friends because we’re all so bloody lonely. But what the (app) makers never seem to understand is that lack of choice is not the problem. Swiping and matching with theoretically like-minded people is effortless. Meeting those people and getting to know them and coordinating plans to meet again is hard work. Those apps are only worsening things. They promise us friendship at the push of a button. Friendship as a series of quick hits of validation.”

    The solution? “If you reframe the goal as finding a single, strong friendship you’ll build deep connections and chose people worthy of your energy.”

That’s all for this week!

Thank you for reading, and please share with anyone you think may benefit.

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Until next time,

Mehret


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