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Also there's a very important difference: Soma is described as non-addictive, no hangover. It's a way to control society but keeping it productive at the same time. Any drug that causes "epidemics" that result in death or defeating from work would be useless. You can argue that it's enough that most people keep working though, even if a fraction gets trashed.

Edit: if anything, social media or other addictive distractions are more like soma.

Just to build up on previous comment and yours, "social media or addictive distractions" is also a thing known for a long time.

"Panem et circenses" is a known latin expression about providing to the masses the 2 biggest basics (food and entertainement) to appease it, sometimes used to show a decline.

SOcial MediA... Hmm

It seems to me that the direct translation is "bread and circus".

Or you could just say "bread and circuses" which is the common english idiom.

He was making a point about the oldness of the saying though, putting it in it's original latin helps deliver his point I guess

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