This drug is habit forming

An argument against societal acceptance of things not good for us
social media

Tuesday January 9, 2024

social media

Sometimes they tell you that at the pharmacy: “this drug is habit forming”. Or, the saline nasal spray bottle thing I tried once, “this spray is refreshing, but not habit forming.” Oh, how nice.

Why doesn’t everything have this distinction? Driving in the car: non habit forming. Eating a bag of goldfish when I’m noodling on a work problem: def habit forming.

One time, someone put a candy jar with skittles right beside my desk. It was for the whole floor, but my consumption was certainly not a pro-rata share. Buggy code? Gimme some skittles. Habit formed.

Social media? Someone likes your post? Habit formed.

Ironically Dalle put “habit farming”, which is kinda what social media is

Why don’t they warn that social media is one of the most addictive digital things we do? That we’ve just accepted as a society?

It took until 1964 before the surgeon general announced smoking caused cancer. The first cigarette machine was invented in 1881 by Albert Bonsack. That’s +80 years, not to mention it was popular for much longer before that.

So yes, society can get it wrong for many years before they change course and do the more healthful thing.


Bryan lives somewhere at the intersection of faith, fatherhood, and futurism and writes about tech, books, Christianity, gratitude, and whatever’s on his mind. If you liked reading, perhaps you’ll also like subscribing: