The People vs Social Media


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They say that "necessity is the mother of invention". If that's the case, then "recreation" is invention's piece of shit, abusive father. He's responsible for some of the most dangerous and harmful substances on the planet. And also some of the most fun.

Before the Europeans disrupted the Americas, its indigenous people used to grow, pick, dry, pack into a pipe and smoke, the tobacco leaf. It was a medicine. Now, I'm not here to discuss history in too much detail, but the practice was adopted by the new Americans, and exported all over the world.

Then, the leaves were rolled into cigars, as the pipe became less convenient. No necessity. Pure recreation. And further, then, we all know what happened, eventually a $770bn global industry blossomed, on the back of shredded tobacco leaves, rolled in saltpetre laced paper, with a "healthy" filter. The cigarette was born.

Now, unless you're over about 80, you probably haven't experienced a time when the cigarette wasn't a plague. A cancer-causing, stinking scourge of anyone dumb enough to light one and suck it's moist, rancid tip. And yet... it remains, a $770 BILLION, with a B, industry. It can't possibly make sense. Until you realize that they used to be "good for you"

I'll stop patronizing, you all know the history. But they were foisted on youngster, their medicinal and health benefits touted. And two things happened: The population became addicted. And a handful of white dudes became richer than God himself.

And then - people got sick. Dropping like flies. Cigarettes, it was concluded, were absolutely fucking TERRIBLE for you. The studies weren't quick, in fact they took decades. Politicians were lobbied, data suppressed. But, eventually, we got to where we are today. But it's too late.

Now, yes MILLIONS of people have quit smoking. I quit in 2012. Millions of premature deaths have been avoided, but they pale in comparison to the deaths that occurred during mankind's dilly dallying about "what to do about tobacco". If you're smart, you put it in the bin.

Recreation was the father of invention when a weird Harvard student thought it would be fun to create a voyeuristic networking website, largely based on a few elements of existing websites, call The Facebook. No one needed it. Well... no one needed it until it became the coolest thing since... well since James Dean smoking a cigarette.

Social Media was born. And now you're addicted to it, a handful of white guys are richer than god, and its killing you.

There must have been, at some point, a doctor who noticed a lot of his patients were coughing. I'm sure there are a TON of psychiatrists, thinkers, doctors out there right now who... actually.... here's one now:

Julia @teddy_red

I’ve read that some Facebook execs don’t let their children use it & they and other Tech Grandees (at Apple I think) strictly limit the time their family spends online 🤔