The war on drugs is becoming digital and I’m not talking about online head shops, like Billowby. Literally, our relationship with the future of drugs is shifting toward digital drugs as a means for medication and recreation. Binaural beats are just the tip of the iceberg.
Believe it or not, you’ve already consumed the gateway drug that’ll lead to much “harder” digital drugs down the road. How do I know?
Technology, The Gateway to Digital Drugs
You have a physiological dependence on technology. Don’t believe me? Go to the grocery store, leave your phone at home, and ask yourself how you felt while you were away from it. You probably felt like a coffee-drinker that hasn’t had their morning cup yet or a someone who can’t find their bottle of heartburn medication after eating three hot dogs. Not good, right?!
That’s because technology acts just like drugs. Every time you log onto Facebook your brain releases dopamine causing you to feel rewarded. In the same way, when you use only your email to reach a new client or customer, you are positively reinforced to continue using a technology-assisted method of business.
“But, I don’t feel like an addict.” Well, of course. Haven’t you ever seen the show intervention? The addict always denies their problem, which is why the first step in Alcoholics Anonymous is Acceptance.
Is technology an entirely bad drug? No. Is it entirely good? Not for me to decide. But, what I can tell you is that your phone, laptop, and TV screen are merely a gateway drug to the wide world of digital drugs coming to a device near you.
The Brown Noise and Binaural Beats
For millennia, wise men have pondered the ability to reach someone’s internal functions via external methods.
For instance, ancient practitioners of QiGong believe breathing slender, silent, and deep breaths is a way to reach the lower dan tian – an area just below the navel, capable of nourishing the body with good energy to sustain a long, healthy life.
Also, creators of South Park (the TV show), believe there’s a specific music note (The Brown Noise) one can play that will force any innocent listener to bake a batch of brownies in their pants. In other words, go poop. While the Mythbusters took a deep dive to debunk this myth, it hasn’t stopped others from being inspired.
Today, there is a wide range of audio drugs on the market called binaural beats. That’s right, music that messes you up. The early binaural beats mimicked the effects of physical drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc… While they’ve been widely claimed as ineffective, it hasn’t stopped legislatures from considering criminalizing this form of digital drugs.
Realistically, we’ll see these binaural beats acting in a therapeutic way before they begin getting people “high”. For instance, there’s a fad sweeping the nation for meditation apps such as Sway, which use soothing music to relieve stress and get in tune with “The Now”.
For digital drugs, ears aren’t the only channel for treatment.
Gotta see it to believe it
Have you ever given a presentation, looked out at the audience of faces, and felt your heart sprint with anxiety? How about looked out at the setting sun and felt all of your stress melt away with the day?
We see, therefore we feel. Therefore, our surrounding limit our feelings.
But, that is changing with virtual reality. Naturally, VR is a tool to immerse one into entirely new worlds from one’s own. The initial speculators think that it’ll be used to place people inside of their favorite video games, but it can be so much more.
Imagine using a VR world to treat someone with depression by transporting them to some of their most memorized places, helping them see the bright side of things again. Or, imagine taking the audio meditation apps one step further, and transporting someone to a Buddhist temple in the Shaolin mountains to meditate alongside the originators.
Currently, researchers at Barcelona University are even using VR to help people cope with one unavoidable event: death. By putting the viewer in a near-death experience, the experiment has shown to lessen people’s fear of death.
It gets even better
In the grand scheme of things, binaural beats and VR are merely the Ibuprofen and Claritin of digital drugs. They serve an important purpose but are still only over-the-counter drugs in comparison to the possibilities of digital drugs.
In our current state of medicine, a body’s reaction limits the effectiveness of drugs. For that reason, most medication has a long list of side-effects that encompass just about everything that can possibly go wrong.
But, digital drugs preview the world where we talk directly to our biological problems. They are a means for communicating with the brain in its own language, working directly with the control center of the body to treat our diseases and dysfunctions.
Digital drugs shouldn’t be feared, but rather looked at for their vast possibilities in healthcare (especially once we become cyborgs).
Laugh at you fears
Often times we fear things because we just don’t know them. Honestly, I was scared to leave home and go to college. But, I quickly learned once I arrived at school that it would be an amazing experience.
Taking a moment to learn about your fears gives you an opportunity to uncover the truth behind the fear.
I’ll admit, the future of technology can be quite frightening, but once you learn more about it, you’ll probably just laugh at its absurdity.
Honestly, I just wrote an entire article on digital drugs…and you read it! Laugh at that. Think what Einstein would’ve said after hearing about digital drugs. He’d probably be thrilled.
They say laughter is the best form of medicine. Those that can prescribe laughter to themselves on demand will never get sick.
Laugh at your fears and then learn more about them. They may become your strength.
While I’ve never personally been afraid of the future of technology, I understand how it can be extremely frightening to others. That’s why I created Quick Theories – a weekly newsletter exploring modern technology and its effects on your future – to help you understand and adopt technology in your own creative way.
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