The Social Benefits of Cannabis.
The secret is out; the benefits of cannabis is a trending topic. There are stories upon stories of people using cannabis for relief. Everything from the side effects of chemo, inflammation from irritated joints, to a better night’s sleep. The emerging benefits of cannabis regarding health and wellness are just beginning to be understood. Even beyond that, though, cannabis might be exactly what we need as a human race for reasons beyond physical health. Cannabis may be the hero we need when it comes to the latest villain that’s in everyone’s pockets. Of course, I’m talking about social media and cell phone addiction.
Cannabis as a Social Catalyst to Break Cell Phone Addiction.
It wasn’t too long ago that a video of three grandmothers smoking weed for the first time together went viral. (If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and click here.) Since then, there have been plenty of videos of all kinds of people getting together to smoke some cannabis. Some of these people are from opposing sides of the political spectrum, some are separated by generational gaps, some subscribe to a different religion then the person sitting next to them, all of these videos capture something our souls ache for; connection. Spoiler alert; none of these videos end in screaming matches or fights.
The Consequences of Cell Phone Addiction.
The quiet threat that our smartphones pose isn’t one that brings physical pain or ailments directly. The issue lies in the widening of separation between people and their friends, their loved ones. I’m guilty of it, I’ll choose solitude at home and a netflix marathon while scrolling through my newsfeed over some of the invitations to go out and enjoy life that I get from friends. This was one of the first cues that sent me to google to read more about cell phone addiction. It was pretty easy to realize that some of these articles were talking about tendencies that I had.
We call it social media, but it’s more accurate to call it ‘social theater’. Profiles are perfectly curated and censored to give the best display of someones life. The viewer feels that they’re close to their friends, up to date on their life, but it’s all just a placebo for real human connection. This illusion satisfies our inclination towards instant gratification, but friendships aren’t a box you can check off of your to do list and move on. They need maintenance. I don’t think anyone is surprised that we’re seeing such plummets regarding mental health. Especially among those who are born with steady availability to social media and smartphones. Fewer people are sitting down with their friends, and when we are you better believe our phones are within arms reach.
There is no Substitute for Real Human Connection.
Cannabis has a natural magic that can target our social tendencies. It makes us more inclined to smile, to laugh. Both are actions that swarm our brains and bodies with chemical releases of serotonin, oxytocin, and more. These are carefully orchestrated responses meant to bond us together as social animals. I smoke cannabis by myself and I enjoy it, but smoking with someone else or a group is an entirely different experience. In a group setting, smoking cannabis has been known to make me forget about my phone. (Insert stoner joke here.) It’s just not important or as interesting as the life and conversation in front of me at that time. That distracting nature of a cannabis high is enough to break that cell phone addiction sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, if I smoke by myself my instagram feed is probably the first thing I’ll turn to. I’m not trying to get preach-y. Even then, my dogs running around the house can pull me from my phone. The temptation of cooking a great meal when I’m stoned can get me to log off and re-join the real world.
Put Down your Phone and Talk to your Friends.
Eric Gaston, one of the founders of The Evergreen Market, firmly believes that the timing is not coincidental. What cannabis does could potentially be the cure for distancing ourselves from each other while we snuggle up to our smartphones. “We are at a pivotal moment in the arc of humanity where we are at risk of losing authentic human connection. It is this connection that gives life meaning, and without it we are facing a crisis of consciousness.” Eric has made a conscious effort to cut his own phone time down. He’s gone away from facebook and opts instead to put his focus on those around him. “At the same time, we are witnessing the ascension of cannabis in our culture which, as a natural facilitator of connection and mindfulness, may well prove to be our salvation.”
Written by: Nikki Marangon
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