Can you think of a modern-day poison people willingly ingest? I can think of plenty. After someone asked for examples, these were the most discussed poisons.
1. 24-Hour News Cycles
The number-one voted response, and I agree, is the 24-hour news cycle—my God. No one is meant to consume that much terrible trash and political nonsense all day. And the stories stay on repeat.
During the last years of their lives, my parents stayed watching the news and were always angry about politics. What a waste of energy, time, and peace of mind. Several people in the thread share stories of parents and grandparents wholly consumed by this madness.
2. Short Video Content
Short video content has taken over social media platforms to the point where YouTube creators apologize for being forced into creating them to satisfy altered attention spans. Otherwise, as content creators, they’d be going out of business.
Many agree that you can get so lost in the targeted recommendations you can lose an entire day without realizing it. As a writer, I feel this too. People don’t want to read anymore, and anything over 500 words, forget it. If that.
YouTube forced bloggers into creating video content because people stopped reading what they could consume in a three-minute video that now must be 20 seconds max to keep your attention. It’s frighteningly sad.
Alcohol is the worst vice on the planet. Man. The media sells it to you, and the government ensures you can get it everywhere. From Hollywood glamorizing it in film and television to being in every corner store, it’s no wonder it’s so difficult for people to quit.
Additionally, people have their entire personalities wrapped up in wine and microbrews. It’s become such the social norm that you’re treated like an alien if you tell people you don’t drink. While some tried to argue that alcohol isn’t a problem for everyone, others reminded them that alcohol is technically poison. So it’s an honest answer to the initial question.
4. Social Media
“TikTok specifically is a poison of the attention span.” Social media is poisoning humanity’s morals for clout—self-esteem with false beauty standards with filters and FaceTune.
It’s a massive time waster and leads to mental health struggles, including social anxiety and depression. Additionally, it can exacerbate conditions such as eating disorders. Social media also creates a platform for cyberbullying. It’s toxic.
Outrage is poison to your mental health. However, we thrive on it and yearn for it. One explains that it’s helpful to those in control, so we’ll never escape it. For example, political parties and activists need you outraged, one-tracked, immune to genuine empathy, and motivated to solidify their power.
An avid reader confesses that they recently read 1984, and the description of “the two minutes hate” scared them once they understood it. It is a daily ceremony where all people gather around a TV-like device and watch a government propaganda broadcast focused on brewing hatred.
“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds, any pretense was always unnecessary.
A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, torture, smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.
And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
It sounds similar to those 24-hour news cycles to me…
6. Processed Sugars
Sugar is the enemy, and it is in everything, and they put it there on purpose. It’s infuriating the deeper you dive into the American food system. But I digress. I quit sugar three months years ago, and I still remember the cravings, headaches, irritability, and fatigue of the withdrawals.
Eating fruit is a healthier solution to satisfying cravings. However, avoid fruit juices. Eventually, you stop craving junk food as much when introducing healthy sugars in fruit.
Vaping replaced cigarettes for many smokers, but not without its own consequences. Vaping devices (vapes) can expose smokers to toxic metals such as arsenic, chromium, nickel, and lead. Additionally, there is nicotine in vape juice.
So it’s still feeding the same addiction as cigarettes were. It’s just a different vice. I understand not all vape juice has nicotine. As a former smoker and vaper, I don’t know anyone who smokes nicotine-free juices.
Soda is my white whale! Ugh. Why is it so hard to beat? Between the sugar and caffeine, it’s unpleasant to withdraw from, and I’ve done it many times. The headaches are the worst, but the initial fatigue is also terrible.
The cravings are intense, and like alcohol, it’s everywhere. Soda is often included in meals at fast food and take-out joints. But it is terrible for you. It’s linked to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
9. Self-Hate Talk
“Extremely harsh and self-hating words.” This user explains they used to use self-deprecating humor all the time without realizing the harmful consequences of it. Another adds, “My therapist says self-compassion is the hardest thing to practice. I agree.”
10. Vegetable Oils
Finally, someone shares “Vegetable” oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, peanut, vegetable, and many others. “They’re rancid, nutrient-deficient poison.”
Natural Saturated fats such as butter, lard, tallow, virgin coconut oil, and real extra virgin olive oil are healthier alternatives. Check the ingredients list. “Vegetable” oils are in just about everything. They make up a massive portion of your daily caloric intake.
11. Energy Drinks
Numerous things have come out stating that energy drinks are not good for you or your heart. However, people chug them (sometimes multiple) daily despite the warning.
12. Misinformation and Disinformation
So what’s the difference between misinformation and disinformation? One explains, “Intent. Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. Examples include rumors, insults, and pranks. Disinformation is deliberate and contains malicious content such as hoaxes, spear phishing, and propaganda. It spreads fear and suspicion among the population.”
“Everything sucks, and we’re gonna die.” Yes, exactly, so let’s make the most of it, have fun, and choose the lighter side of things instead of dwelling in darkness. Stewing in negativity is a dastardly place to be that brings others down. We call them energy vampires — sucking all the optimism out of the room.
The American diet is full of toxins and dangerous chemicals linked to cancer. What else do they cause, and why do we allow this and then knowingly consume the food? It feels hopeless the digger you dive down that rabbit hole. I suggest you start with the documentary FOOD, INC.
15. The Wrong People
My father always said, “You are the company you keep.” And, “What you put in you is what will come out of you.” Sure, that means books, music, movies, and other media. But it also means people. A final user adds, “Being with the wrong people. Even if you don’t feel or think about it, hanging with the wrong people can negatively affect your life.”
This thread inspired this post.
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What are you starting to dislike more as you get older? I’ll go first—the music. Music is one of my biggest passions in life. I love singing and used to dance all over the place. However, somehow, I’ve become the person who “can’t understand what they’re saying,” and I’m OK with it. After someone asked an online community this question, here are their best responses.
This post was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.
Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.