There's something truly unique about alcohol that isn't true of any other addictive substance on the planet.
Except nicotine, sugar, caffeine, etc.
Honestly I'd say your argument is a much better fit for sugar.
I'm saying this as someone who went off it for a few years, and now back on it, trying to quit.
Tremendously addictive, and it's EVERYWHERE.
Birthday? Cake. Meeting up with friends? Drinks. Easter? Candy. Date? Chocolate. Did something good? Reward with cookies.
I sound like I'm on some bandwagon, but I'm not trying to argue that honey or agave or anything else is better, but there's very little sugar naturally in any real food, and we can't escape it.
Alcohol is at most gatherings, but it really isn't nearly as pervasive.
By the way, if you're looking for a way to get a clean break from sugar, following the paleo induction plan "Whole30" has worked well for me. The initial withdrawal symptoms are not fun, but the limited time span and the clarity of the program made it relatively easy to do.
Feel free to email if you want to discuss. I'm so glad to be off it again; I feel healthier and my mood is so much more positive and even.
I didn't have any trouble quitting last time, but having a family and more commitments now makes it tougher to completely revamp your habits.
What I find most fascinating is how I can look outside myself and notice how my rational brain time and time again gets disregarded by impulse, while knowing what I know. It's like observing someone else.
I have clear memories and notes over how (as you describe) my mood was better and I felt healthier, yet an immediate impulse with a fleeting effect takes priority, while knowing it will only prolong the problem.
Fruits have a surprisingly low glycemic index because they aren't processed and you have to get through fiber and digest the cells before having access to all of the sugar. I've changed my diet to avoid sugar and notice that I very rarely feel actively hungry/crashy vs. before, and most fruit is just fine.
Ice Cream (premium): 37
Sponge Cake: 46
Frosted Flakes: 55
Snicker's Bar: 55
Fruits really are very high GI compared to regular snack foods. They're relatively healthy for other reasons though.
But I get your point, it shouldn't really be about what's naturally occuring, but how it affects your body. I stay away from fruit as well.
Alcohol is a viable a substitute for carbohydrates for feeding nerve cells. Ethanol -> acetate -> ATP. Some research was published a few years ago about how the brains of heavy drinkers switch to running on acetate....
I'm not sure about pervasiveness, though. In the US, a lot more people are caffeine dependent. And Facebook's MAU is way higher than alcohol's.
But there only so much parents can do AND there is this thing called 'sense of belonging' that influence kids to be as much as their peers
That's really insane man. Take care of yourself. :)
However, to me, there is something special about emails that makes them a much personal way to communicate. When I send an email to a friend, I feel like I made a personal connection. I feel I like the person a lot more when I write an email to them and get an email back. When I commented on/liked a facebook status, it just feels like it's some shit I have to do when I am bored. Since I deleted my facebook, it turns out that there are very few friends/acquaintances that I added on Facebook that I feel like I need to connect on a personal level. That's very strange.
In some ways it feels like I've never been this lonely before. It makes me realize just how superficial most of my connections really were. I moved around a lot and had a sizable group of friends I would interact with on facebook, but now that it's gone... only three of them still make the effort to text or call me at least once a week to catch up. Sure, I have more friends who are simply indisposed and busy, but because they have social media they don't seek much interaction outside of it and so we don't talk.
It honestly hurts and the last two nights I've actually broken into long crying fits over how lonely I feel, because I feel like I don't connect with anyone, even the people I do talk to. I know facebook wasn't providing that level of connection I desired, but I realized it had tricked me into thinking it did. I realized that in the past, when I felt this kind of loneliness-induced depression creeping up, I would get on social media just to look at other human beings and remind me I'm not on a rock by myself and other people are dealing with the same emotions. Decent short-term solution for getting rid of the symptoms, but it did nothing to address the problem itself.
Incentivised social media like Facebook is really not healthy for the developing psyche. It's shaped the way I think and feel, and what triggers my brain's reward systems, and now I'm suffering for it.
There's a GREAT book that I am careful recommending as indeed I think it explores ideas that can be abused easily: Hooked, how to build habit-forming products ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hooked-How-Build-Habit-Forming-Prod... )
1) Facebook is part of an initiative to lay down internet infrastructure in Africa, with the catch being that access to Facebook, Google, et al. is heavily subsidized. They are attempting to trap an entire continent on their platform, with subsidized tax money, knowingly simultaneously creating the most advanced social monitoring tool ever to exist. The CIA already has "social unrest" prediction mechanisms and, regardless of what some people involved think they're doing it for, this tool will be used to enslave the continent, continue preventing its people from achieving economic parity with the West, and provide better data for three-letter agencies to use in their sociopolitical and economic targeting (targeted propaganda, red herring social issues, media blackouts, even full-scale political coups)
I have not read this article but I was in a hurry to find a source to give you. I'm hoping the Guardian doesn't let me down here:
2) They have better data than anyone else with respect to gauging addicting user behavior, and instead of taking the Nintendo approach ("Why don't you take a break and play outside?") they actively exploit these behavioral patterns to increase user engagement. 1/4 of the world's population exists on an insulating platform that does not have their interests in mind. They are unwittingly paving Facebook a permanent highway over our social systems. This creates negatively-reinforcing social vacuums and a massive chilling and normalization effect. But even worse than this normalization is the ideological reinforcement and mass hyper-emotional response that tends to result from an network of humans all checking their emotional response against others in a social vacuum. To make things even worse, Facebook capitalizes here as well and exploits users' emotional response mechanisms.
Here's a paper from a few years ago exploring this concept. I wanted to find a more recent article that was quite good but I couldn't locate it with a quick search:
The article I wanted to find mentioned one of the ways Facebook would exploit peoples' emotions to provoke their addictive behavior:
Facebook knows John spends about 10 minutes going through his feed at a time. During work hours, this number is 3 minutes. Right when Facebook thinks John might be about to put his phone away, they will suddenly show him a post from a friend he likes. He might stick around a little longer and comment. He scrolls a little more just because he is used to the behavior, and when Facebook thinks he is about to leave again they show him a post from someone he doesn't like. Bonus points if Facebook has determined the post is positive in nature. This triggers a negative emotional response in John and he scrolls a while longer, looking for a post that will give him another dopamine rush and return his "happiness" to him.
It's disgusting. It's predatory. It's abusive. It's no different than the CIA knowingly spreading crack and fentanyl to control the population and create pockets of crime that call for increased enforcement.
In my search, I did come across this and it concerned me. Seems like Facebook is expanding the ability of its users to enforce the chilling effect by allowing them to report "mentally unhealthy" posts so the users can be targeted for behavioral modification and automatic reporting to mental health agencies, as opposed to say, just messaging their friend directly and saying, "Hey, you OK man? You seem a bit sad."
They are also using ML to do the same thing, automatically. Just further separating us in the name of bringing us together.