Vices and Causes in an Isolated Society

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Written for Human Development Fall 09

Submitted: November 25, 2009

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Submitted: November 25, 2009



If present day parental and authority figures were to identify society’s most prominent enemy, it would undoubtedly gravitate towards drug abuse in today’s adolescence.If there were to be another enemy identified it would reside with violence existing in the teen and young adult age group.There are constant advertisements raising awareness of drug abuse and promoting abstinence, like D.A.R.E. and Above the Influence.There are several organizations that hold frequent meetings dedicated to decrease the amount of violence bred among teens, like S.A.V.E, a student led anti violence group. While these are positive ideas indeed, they are certainly only counteracting results of a deeper issue, as many organizations and advertisements suggest and encourage exploiting.Like when weeding a garden one must remove the negative internal and external factors - from the roots. With the stem issue certainly is drugs, violence, and less obvious aspects such as the constant, reckless use of technology, the root is something silent that grows in the hearts of the young, and is certainly a catalyst for the crippling of a healthy functioning society.The spark that lights this fire lies with social isolation. While much of the self medication exhibited throughout the teen and young adult generation are only temporarily effective and may sometimes create an allusion for a clean, positively evolving society, they are ultimately self destructive methods that hollow out the core of identities and relationships while allowing underlying issues influencing the isolation to amplify. One must recognize that to abolish this stealth enemy which is given less attention than its externally noticeable consequences, you must first understand the origins to the root of the so called weed which is draining individuals of control and turning the foundation of our society into dust.In retracting the social footprints through the truth frozen in time, we can shed light on the secrets to undoing several of the already well known poisons pervading in today’s world.The revelation in this quest will ultimately explain many of the practices used to not overcome, but evade issues fueling an antisocial lifestyle, were the same practices that bred the vice requiring disease to begin with, which raises the question, are all we as a society doing is running in circles, fighting fire with fire?
When imprisoned in the darkness of social isolation, the victim is looking for an exit.In a situation where they voluntarily isolated themselves, the victim is not necessarily aware of their own self destruction.In the same respect, the victim is not aware that, while the initial issue which induced their need to retreat is still in existence, their solution to coping with their loneliness is also as ineffective.Social isolation is only the gray area in which people exist when transitioning from tragedy to dependency. While they may choose not to acknowledge the appropriate response to heal their pain, the victim again allows themselves to be mislead by a temporary solution.A person who is feeling socially detached and desperately seeks an immediate cure for their isolation is going to be attracted to social activities that are universally accepted.This is the simple, and thus appealing but horribly misleading “light,” out of the hole that is isolation.For young adults, this devil disguised as a guide out of hell is drug use.In 2008, statistics showed that 43% of high school seniors used alcohol within the past 30 days, 19.4% used marijuana.The two most common drugs used by adolescence: alcohol contributes to loss of self control, an aspect restraining one’s self from social contact, and decreases insecurities, another factor influenced by the initial problem and largely dictating their social isolation; Marijuana distorts one’s perception and increases difficulty in problem solving, a common characteristic of one who is socially isolated being over thinking a situation or having an already false perception of a situation, that is now re-altered to immerse them into a social situation.As drug use increases throughout society, it becomes less and less of an attraction to the actual effects of the drugs, but to the universal acceptance that is found throughout their peers in the participation of these activities that simultaneously impairs the very chemical characteristics that create the need to feel isolated: decision making and judgment based on learned memory, memory which is linked to the presence of an unpleasant past that enhances insecurities. This is a solution that is so accepted and accessible, it is easy to understand why a victim of social isolation would become addicted to “cutting the weeds from the stems.”The socially isolated subject attempts to block out the pain by creating an overall numbness to the humane part of them that can recognize badness.A solution with temporary biological effects only temporarily cures their original issues, and for this reason addiction is immanent.Of course, is not authority figure’s attempt to remove drug consumption only a temporary cure for the seed from which social isolation was spawned? There lies the question, what influences the isolation creating the desire to abuse drugs?
There are many healthy, accessible responses to overcoming social isolation. Unfortunately, those who suffer with this condition view an effective cure similar to the summit of a mountain, their legs frozen from whatever factors influenced their desire to isolate.An appropriate choice of action in summiting social anxiety would be the difficult rout of shedding light on whatever personal injuries are implanted in their past, thus thawing a part of them lost to the original issue and opening a door for resolving their challenges.The advancing fog of social isolation, separating one from society and themselves as they run blindly towards misleading spotlights, can only be disperse when their origins are explored, walking backward from drug abuse towards the original issue.This is difficult though because the initial problem is often parallel with the end result of one’s self destructive lifestyle, thus it serves as a cognitive reminder to continue abusing drugs in a world they are comfortably miserable in while pressuring them to abuse vices that help sooth the wounds that were cut so deep and never actually disappeared.The idea is, when one is wounded during their early childhood years by exposure to drug and alcohol abuse, it is often in the form of distance from a parent who is constantly under the influence.This proves that a true relationship can never be built in drifting from our infected identities during drug use, regardless of its potential to temporarily decrease social anxiety.
“The percentage of adolescents using illicit drugs in the past year increased with the level of paternal alcohol use, with illicit drug use reported by 14.0percent of adolescents who lived with a father who did not use alcohol in the past year…and 24.2percent of those who lived with a father with an alcohol use disorder.” (1 Rockville, MD)
Growing up virtually alone and exposed to drugs influences both social isolation, in the fact that they have lost the most basic training in social skills – connection to their family, and consequently drug use for it is something that they have a solid familiarity with and automatically draws them towards others with pasts similar to their own, and current habits in common.As the effects of alcohol are temporary, using this as a way to both eliminate social isolation is much like holding only ice on the wound that caused the loss of social skills, so that when the ice melts, the wounds will not only still exist, but will have become infected in the way that it has spread into a new chapter of their lives and influenced others to abuse the same behaviors.Even if the new aspects in their lives eliminate social isolation and actually form beneficial relationships, the victim’s existence is still balanced by the continuing advancement of their unresolved underlying issues, (the spreading of the ignored infection.)They stand still, lost in a haze with more victims of social anxiety, and the same vices they now abuse themselves, which is often the only remaining similarity when the smoke clears the crashing of their lives built upon broken histories.
The idea associated with the term addiction centers on drug abuse.The definition describes the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to do something that is psychologically or physically habit forming.With authority figure’s focus on creating abstinence in an adolescent generation’s access to drugs, it is recognizable that their apparent focus on minimizing violence may be in the same respect an act of humoring the symptoms of lurking social isolation, causing teens to use violence - to connect.If an addiction is a state of being enslaved to one’s own practice, is a lifestyle of violence that circulates in neighborhoods and families generation upon generation not the quintessential example of addiction? “The most recent figures provided by law enforcement are approximately two-thirds adult-aged and one-third juvenile-aged gang members.”(1 NYGC) Enslavement to a practice in this sense may be relative to both the lifestyle and also the act of committing violence that binds this lifestyle.Examine the physical changes while one commits an act of violence: their heart rate elevates, blood pressure rises, chemical changes exist in the brain to develop adrenalin.This radical physical change similar to the use of speed, one that would block out unpleasant thoughts, in it self is enough to create an addiction, while guilt will be mentally blocked by preexisting anger.Through various therapeutic tactics, this type of physical addiction to violence can be undone.It is however a reliance on a violent lifestyle that represents the emotionally and psychologically habit forming chapter in the addiction to violence authority figures are everyday attempting to remove.Like the effort to extinguish drug abuse within the youth, it is important not to focus on mire temporary methods that may increase the difficulty of access the means of inflicting violence while consequently forcing the underlying issue to adopt a new outlet in exacerbation.To truly remove violence it is again the underlying issue that must be exposed, understood, and overcome, and it is again relevant to social isolation.One who feels detached or isolated, either entirely by choice or forcefully banished from a foundation of human connection, becomes desperate to re-immerse them selves into a unity.Fifty percent of gang members in America are Hispanic minorities, and thirty five percent are African American.(1 NYGC)However, whatever the influence that determined their need to isolate, it is expectable that this influence damaged the victims self confidence and delayed if not destroyed their ability to healthily relate to other human beings.This is why violent groups are so incredibly inviting to an insecure victim of social isolation. It is a “band aid” for two terribly painful wounds.The abuse they practice on others delivers the illusion of power they lost in the experience that influenced their isolation.This is, of course, only temporary for it is relative with the physical changes in one’s body while committing violence that always subside, thus the imminent addiction.Violence in an organization is also a temporary cure for those who have found a common pain that is twined with loneliness, and thus in the common need to commit violence towards a similar target they have developed a brotherhood that comfortably eliminates isolation, for example, the Black Panthers in the 1960s.This brotherhood is based completely on violence however, and like with drug abuse when one recognizes the negative aspects in their actions – violence being a temporary cure for a past that can not be undone, only forgiven, whatever bond has been formed is now laced with the existence of their own unhealthy vices.When one purifies their lifestyle, looking into their past at not only the pain they endured – but provoked, is a new difficult challenge, and one that will exist between them and those previously involved. This, in the world of violence is inevitable for any outcome: loosing so many of your own to prison and death that you question the worthiness of your way of life, or in the event that they kill everybody, they ask themselves - what is left in their life?Was all of the pain caused worth whatever they have achieved?In the sense of permanent destruction verses temporary satisfaction, the answer is obvious.
The only cure to deep seeded pain is full recognition of the past as apposed to suppressing it.This, of course, is the most difficult.How most people deal with internal anguish lying long dormant is the ignoring of it and abuse of vices that offer temporary relief.Though not necessarily always in the form of a commitment to gang violence, many adults do absolutely use violence to expel the anger and insecurity that is result of un-dealt with issues.This can be in the form of utter overreaction to something that would otherwise be dealt with in conversation, and very often the victim of this blind rage is one who will not retaliate, thus not force the attacker’s reflection on their own horrific action.This victim is often one who is physically weaker: an attacker’s child.It is because key emotional and physical developments, particularly in the brain, develop in the child hood years, that it is essential a nurturing atmosphere is present for an adolescent - one that promotes trust and compassion of one’s surroundings by practicing this where the child holds the center of their universe: their home.“In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.” (1 Childhelp.) When the key period of a child’s growth during which they develop communication and connection skills is distorted by acts of violence either experienced or observed by the people who naturally serve as a role model to them, the complete opposite reactions will occur in that of a nurturing environment.The child will become socially inept by default, succumbing to isolation.Also, developing in an atmosphere of constant aggression, the possible hereditary incline towards anger will be awoken while the will to commit violence is learned.“Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.” (1 Childhelp)Throughout all of this, the child will have little compassion and respect for themselves or anyone else, especially those in their vision that are weaker for their perception will be contorted to identify only physical external features, often still idolizing the center figure of abuse. It is because of their youth it will be almost impossible for them to imagine an alternative lifestyle than that of violence, and so even more difficult it becomes for them to seek help in understanding what happened to them. They then continue unquestioningly through their life distanced from healthily functioning circles of people, with a burning hatred within themselves that they have no idea how to extinguish even if they could muster the strength to embrace it, this strength that was stolen long ago.An illusion of internal strength can be replaced through acts of violence, a learned practice that consumed them too quickly at too young of an age for them to understand its falseness.This idea is now combined with and encouraged by the virus that is anger.The truth of the potential destruction of aggression, even the destruction which they lived, is buried with a past where the virus was born.They find only comfortable connections in other’s that share their passion for violence.Here, it is safe to let yourself be with someone else, because here you are both, for once, executing vengeance upon the rest of the world.
The majority of today’s society views drugs and alcohol as a constant corruption agent, and recognizes that it was always tied to negativity.Though the forces that are at work to remove both these enemies from today’s society sometimes focus more on restricting the outlet that is drugs and violence without targeting the underlying issue that is often a combination of the two or something else entirely, there are other vices that have been ignored completely and allowed to continue corrupting the unknowing victims of social isolation.This is often because they are masked by something that was once viewed as a positive: technology.“The number of pages of content viewed at in May 2007 increased to 15.8 billion… Facebook’s decision to open registration has helped attract new visitors … 12-17 year olds grew 149 percent and those age 35 and older grew 98 percent.”(2 comScore) Though these websites are promoted to keep friends close in contact, if one were to look deeper they would see while procuring an immediate relationship, it is ultimately undoing that human connection members of a society naturally need to live healthy happy lives.One can not truly embrace the joy of wasting an autumn afternoon with a best friend in the forest while talking over instant messaging; the smiles that light up summer nights never shine as bright when they’re sent through picture messages; one can simply not experience the butterfly feeling when they here their loved one laugh through a Myspace reply of LOL.Technology, when used responsibly, is an excellent resource for those who physically cannot see each other to keep in contact, but what it has become through reckless abuse by teens and pre-teens to young to realize it, is a way of communicating without actually practicing a personal connection.To not have to hear the tone of one’s voice through texting is to avoid an emotional spiral; to not have to see the expression on a loved ones face in the event of tragedy is to avoid sharing that pain.Avoiding, though easier, is still the opposite of embracing, and without full acknowledgment of a difficult situation especially when involving someone you care about, there can be now understanding, thus no known appropriate action.Now, the individual cannot grow, and the relationship cannot grow, thus a third form of dismantling family built society.Not only does the appealing use of cyber-communication further restrain those who already lack social skills from working through their interpersonal issues, it creates an enormous void in the growth of a society where people strengthen old relationships and form future friendships.When these skills that come from personal contact are lost, even before old friendships deteriorate by the lost passion found in overcoming difficulties and embracing excitement, the option of any relationship post the adoption of technology is thrown out the window.The relationships that still exist were formed when their social skills were still intact, which are now hanging on a thread of an temporary identity soon to be lost through unresolved insecurities in a constantly fluctuating society communicating through empty gray spaces of technological communication.
If one were to inspect even further, it would be surely discovered that the same technology, internet most prominently, that is used to comfortably communicate with others while avoiding embracing emotions and exposing their true selves, abolishing the option to grow, is the same source forcing adolescents to hide behind their computer screens.The world will never be a perfectly safe place, but we learn to understand our environment thus make it more enjoyable and survivable by immersing ourselves within it.As we all withdraw into complete isolation, we will watch as our world rapidly falls apart.With each new tragedy that stems or worsens from the abandoning of the most basic human skills that require practice to maintain and improve, ones that always relate to personal relations and the ability to adapt to an ever changing environment, the next generation’s mind will be immediately infected by this ramped negativity through the injection of internet based information less than thirty seconds after it took place.Could this be a good thing?Maybe, if schools can learn to teach their students why things exist in the nature that they do and how to deal with personal and global situations appropriately; if each parent could expose their child, after of course exposing themselves, to the reality of our world gradually so not to leave them in a shock of sudden exposure to suicide bombers on CNN or a Viral outbreak on the Comcast home page. Shock, after all, is a state that leads one with a desperate need to isolate.Unfortunately, few schools can provide the programs necessary to educate children on the means to survive physically or socially without the risk of lawsuits or loss of funds, and very few parents seem capable of monitoring their children without restricting them to a ridiculous measure.This choice of parenting actually pushes their children into isolation and severs communication.Now those with often the greatest opportunity to teach and train are completely sightless to the choices of their offspring, leaving them exposed to any destructive vices, outlets, and information, accessible within seconds of a mouse click.
It is all connected.Necessary mechanics for connecting with other people are dulled within adults who have chosen not deal with personal issues even several years dormant. With the teen and young adult generation facing challenges their unlike any other preceding their own, for example global warming, accelerated warfare, and a struggling economy, (many of these challenges the result of technology,) how can the examples be set by those who have forsaken the ability to understand themselves and the world they live in.At 18 years old, I have always connected better with those who are older than I, while remaining immersed in my own generation’s culture and those closely following my own.This, along with growing up in different atmospheres and now branching out more than ever by moving across the country, has allowed me to see reality from several different angels.Fear of the truth is a powerful force that weighs upon the shoulders of many example setting adults.It’s easier for them to relay the narrow minded ways in which they were raised on their children, but the world is rapidly changing.However, human characteristics both positive, to understand and negative, to ignore, remain the same as thousands of years before.In once falling into the dark nothingness of social isolation myself, a place that lies between fear often influenced by pain, and peace granted by understanding, I have realized the secrets to the solution of healing society not only within reach, but they are waiting behind doors only we can open by first founding a stable ground based on a truth within our own lives.Through my own struggle in overcoming anxiety and depression, issues that thrive most heavily in social isolation and were influenced by factors mentioned above, I have been able to see the cracks in society a lot clearer and closer, often residing in measures ranging from minimal to engulfing in friends and family.The longer my generation continues to use vices in escaping the world around them, the more damage they will create while running blindly through the darkness of doors closed to wisdom. The longer adults choose to not shed light on every aspect of themselves the more impossible will be for them open the doors for their children, for the road will be littered with wreckage of a generation’s abomination, a cataclysm exasperated while we all locked ourselves safely in the shade of ignorance.
This world looks different through they eyes of the innocent.This can be a good thing for maybe their vision is not yet distorted by biased emotions, but it can also be dangerous, for they are unknowing of what awaitsand already threatens them.If the maturing children and their vision can be collaborated with experienced adults who are willing to become teachers of wisdom instead producers of puppets, clones of themselves in a continuing cycle of vice inducing ignorance, then this world can surely turn the page to a brighter, healthier, and ultimately more positive present.

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