Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are We Addicted to Addiction?

Maybe it is because of all the fuss with Lilo, Mel Gibson and the BP Oil Spill, but I am getting tired of EVERYTHING being referred to as an addiction. The "addicted to oil" phrase being the number one offender. I have said it before and I will say it again: I am not addicted to oil -- my car is.

Morning T.V. just loves an addiction. Need to fill some time? Bring in an addiction expert. Apparently we are addicted to drugs, oil, alcohol, caffine, shopping, cats, dogs, clutter, bargains, computers, computer games, sex, online sex, food, junk food, make-up, exercise, not exercising, My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, blogging, texting, cell phones -- you name it, they have an addiction for it. My issue with calling everything we do on a repeated basis an "addiction" is that it implies there is some chemical dependency upon the object of our addiction. O.K., I suppose there could be some "chemical" alteration of our brains that occurs from playing too much "Farmville". However, playing too much "Farmville" seems to be a far cry being a crackhead. My so-called "addiction to oil" is pretty much a social norm. I am not personally sticking with oil because of some physical need my body has to go huff gas fumes. My car runs on gas. (Incidentally my car is a 2002 Isuzu Trooper we HAD to buy because Montana didn't plow their roads and we NEEDED a four-wheel drive SUV so I could see the cardiologist in St.Louis in the dead of winter. I continue to drive it because IT IS NOW PAID FOR. Hello?) Face it, we are ALL addicted to food. If we don't eat, we'll die. Some of us eat too much and get fat. Some of us eat the same amount we always ate and get fat. This is cruel and is known as middle-age. Calling every little thing an "addiction" sort of negates the power of an actual addiction, which is no longer referred to as "addiction" but chemical dependency. All of this makes my head hurt.

My point is -- and I am really starting to doubt whether or not I have one -- is that we are addicted to addiction. We LOVE addiction. T.V. in particular LOVES addiction. It gives us something to do, something to improve, something to judge other people about, something to talk about, something we can relate to, and most importantly -- something to broadcast on a slow news day.


  1. This is SO true! Every time someone gives in to a weakness to the point where it screws up his life, he gets to blame it on an addiction. And you're right about the changing terminology. If everything's an addiction, then real addiction needs to upgrade to "chemical dependency" or it loses its fear factor. Just another example of our need to super-size everything. Great post.

  2. I get mad about that too. I am not even close to being addicted to oil. My husband points out that I consume more wine per week than oil! I think part of the problem is 24 hour news. No problems are ever solved because there has to be a story 24/7.