I wonder if some of you can relate to what I will say next.

There was a time when I was working at the only job I really have ever known, since the age of 16, which gave me a wonderful and successful lifestyle, had me wandering into bathrooms, at work, just so I could hit my crackpipe of drugs because the “high” was too addictive and I could not wait until after hours.  I realized I was wrong and what I was doing could get me an immediate dismissal, but the attraction, the need was too strong for me to beat it. Eventually, it did beat me.

I had to have it.  No matter what needed to be paid in the way of bills or other obligatory commitments like “food shopping”, as long as I had the newest, most potent delivery of what made me feel good, I would eventually have to accept I spent everything I had to get it, and would have to wait until another paycheck and maybe, just maybe, but probably not, I would handle my business, but the business I handled was getting my next fix because I had a new supply of resources.  However, if the need became too strong, and it often did, I would begin looking at what you had, to steal, so I could sell and replenish my supply and it didn’t matter who you were.  Brother, Father, Grandmother, Friend and even Enemy.  Your money was green and could be gotten by your soon-to-be-discovered missing television, jewelry, laptop.

I might be speaking about my former addiction to crack cocaine, but I’m talking now about our addiction to social media and the tool we use to get us there.  I used a crack-pipe and a cigarette lighter.  You use a smartphone and an Internet connection, WiFi, to get you to the same space.  Just last night I met a young lady who I will not provide any details of identifying who she might be because she remains on my friend’s list at this very moment, who offered to do anything I wanted as long as I got her a cellphone!  She would even get her mother involved!  How about this concept:  You cannot afford a post-paid plan, or simply don’t qualify so you use “load” to get your fix.  I did the same thing with drugs.  It is called “buying on credit”.  I would set myself up good in the beginning and when the money ran out, I would guarantee the drug dealer 100 or 150% rise on the cost if he would “front” me drugs and I’ll pay later plan.  I learned a long time ago, the way to show you how addicted you really were is by what you would do for another hit, another load.

How many of “us”, yes, I’ll include myself because game recognize game and because I have been addicted on something for most of my life, I can see, if I am honest, how addicted I have become to social media.  For many of us, it is just an exchange of what gets us high, but it is the same nevertheless.  How many of you KNOW the rules of the job about using your mobiles—YET, does that stop you?  How many of you have gone to the bathroom to see if you have gotten a response to your post, question or email to someone?  How many of you have chosen to spend money for another app when it could have gone for a credit card bill, or food, or to put gas in your car?  How many “selfies” have you taken, in the last day, week or month?  Selfies!  That’s got to be the most stupidest of concepts, but “hey” addiction to ourselves and the need to show others, well, that’s called “narcissism”.  Let me give you another term: exhibitionist.  Some show more, some show less, but it is all the same, just different degrees, and those degrees will change as long as you are in the mode of addiction.  Just give it time.

At this very moment, no joke, if I count the gadgets, around me at this very moment, it is: (2) laptops, (3) tablets, both with mobile accessibility, and (1) mobile, a “Bluetooth” speaker and (1) desk-shelf speaker, (2) power banks and (1) Bible.  Oh wait, I have Bibles installed on five of these gadgets?  Does that make it any better?  This is just what is in front of me at the moment I’m writing this.  This does not even begin to list what I have in the room next to me!  Are you getting my point?  I got it bad and I admit it, but if you recognize the symptoms you are exhibiting like walking down the street, not knowing what is going around you, because you’re too focused on what is in your hand.  Some of you have become so proficient in chatting and texting, it is truly an incredible feat, almost like an art-form.

Then comes that day.  That day when there is a drought, as we called it on the street when there was no more crack.  That’s when we look around and “settle for” whatever we could find.  Those of us who smoked crack, began to see if we could find reefer, or crystal meth even heroin.  It might not be our drug of choice, but it will serve until the next shipment arrives.  What happens when you cannot get that gadget you want, what do you settle for?  When that Internet connection is not available, where do you go so you can “connect up”?  How many of you have left your perfectly safe and convenient homes just to head to the mall so you can use their WiFi for an hour?  How about those who have two cellphones and got it so bad you are there for two hours because once the time on one expires, you got the other available.  Or you Internet Café junkies.  Yeah, I hadn’t forgotten you.  You are trying to “hook up” on the “connect” trying to find that guy or that girl and if there hadn’t been that many people there, Sally Sue or Johnny would have seen more, on cam, than your face!

Yep, it is true, I have the ability to do whatever I want, in the name of the Lord, with my gadgets, and mostly I do, but what do I do when it is not in “the name of the Lord”?  That’s the question we, you, I are not so quick to respond.

So, it is all the same, my friends.  Addiction.  The devil just arranged it so we’re able to carry ours a little bit more discrete everywhere we go but most of you have gotten past that point and proudly demonstrate your addiction as you walk and drive.  Thank goodness for security keys and passwords, right?

April 22, 2017