Internet is a Drug
The more I think about it, the more apparent this is to me. The Internet is a Drug. Obviously not a drug in the sense of something that can be swallowed, but it is a drug in many other ways. It has been studied and proven that internet users have experienced chemical alterations in their brains due to their frequenting specific websites. So indeed, it can, and very likely causes a change in brain chemistry with most people online, especially if they engage in social media, or if they are exposed to too much depressing news.
I wrote an article last year, called Interpersonal Challenges in the 21st Century. In that article I discussed the difference of dating now, compared to what it would of been like 100 years ago. Back then, you would of typically met your partner through a social gathering, such as a church event, or even a school mate, a co-worker, friend of the family, or someone you typically bumped into in the store. Typically, they would be from the same town, and you would both get your news and information from the same source: The Newspaper and gossip. You also both grew up this way, and so your mindset would typically be similar, and a connection can form rather easily. In the famous words of Steve Majetic, "If the Impedance of the Source equals the Impedance of the Load, maximum transfer occurs." Sure, this is a Ohms law thing, but it also works to explain human dynamics too.
With the internet, people gets news, information, emotions and anxiety from all sorts of sources. There is too much information and too many sources out there! And who knows what is accurate anymore? The idea of Whitepapers and 'facts' is a seemingly dying concept. So it isn't a surprise when you can't connect with someone who lives around the corner from you now. Chances are they get their information from other sources, and have a completely different view of the world. Even people in the same family are having this issue.
I suspect the Internet is one of the main causal sources for depression which in turn cause people to seek out and use anti-depressant drugs. Anti-depressants tend to cause people to be happy, yes, but they also make it difficult for that person to love, and have deep positive emotions as well. I suspect this, combined with the Internet's tendency to disassociate people from their local community (I think that is the best way to describe the effect I spoke about earlier) is what leads people to take drastic measures when it comes to emotional support. I have known people to focus all their emotional energy on a pet, rather than a human being whom is sitting right next to them every day. I have also known people who suggest that they are so strongly emotionally connected to someone who lives on the other side of the world, that they hang onto that relationship for years, when the possibility to actually physically interact with them is very slim if not realistically impossible. Sure, there are likely many people out there who are similar enough to us, that through the magic drug that is The Internet, we can meet and connect with. But this is also a cruel tease of sorts at the same time.
It seems this may be why there is a rise in the Kink culture. People just looking for extreme sexual activity, with no emotional bond. Personally, I find this to be very shallow. But it seems to be very prolific now. The rise of Kink may be a physical reaction to counter the lack of physical emotional connection caused by the internet's tendency to disassociate people from their lives.
In this way, I believe that it seems that The Internet is a very addictive drug. Many people have become dependent on it, and I do believe it is harming the human race more than it is helping it. Sure, I myself am guilty of being socially dependent on The Internet. I hate it... I really do. I wish I could just walk around the corner and talk to someone who will be on the same wavelength and impedance as I am. This addiction is tough, and I do wish that it could be helped. But sadly, short of killing The Internet and cutting people off from their tit of Internet Social Bubbles, I don't see any real solution to this long term. Perhaps the only thing we can do is be aware of this danger, and keep an open mind. ~sighs~