The Tobacco Story of a Young Social Networking Addict at 2 A.M.
“Doesn’t it feel horrible to suffocate yourself with toxins and tar?”
“Doesn’t it feel awful to ruin your own life with your own hands?”
It was around 2 o’clock in the night when I was arranging my textbooks on the shelf, which I had been spreading throughout my cubicle for the whole day. I was exhausted from the long day. I furiously completed the work I was doing and quickly leaned on my bed with a sigh of relief. I work late during the week, and on Sundays, I like to sleep late. I didn’t use my phone quite a bit. I was tired but I couldn’t sleep, so I thought why not see if there was anyone online for chatting? Even if there was no one, I would scroll through these social media applications and go through some updates about people’s lives on my network.
I opened my Instagram. There were many notifications on my profile because I don’t use my social profile actively. I checked my DMs and saw the message from one of my closest friends, Harsh. “Hey Ani, how are you?” I saw the time. He delivered a message to me at 7 p.m. I also felt bad for my late replies. Anyhow, “hello harsh” was sent, but I saw he was active 3 hours ago. So I went through Instagram stories to see what was new. I tapped on the bar at the top of the newsfeed, and it represented stories in a colourful ring around the profile pictures of my friends. I tapped on the first story, and I got shattered.
Nowadays, an appealing trend is going on where people share their lives on what we call social media. Sharing knowledgeable and humorous content is appreciable. I lost my mind there when I saw one of my friends’ publishing and posting tracks where they were losing track, such as tobacco, alcohol, and some other toxic things in their online presence, which they were setting for the first time in excitement and, after that, enjoying for the whole life. But do these people have their whole lives? Nah!!
My heart got tightened. I gave myself some time. It was very difficult to see how easily we spread wrong messages to society. Our generation thinks it’s cool to be fucking cool for spoiling their own lives. For them, it’s not a big deal. I guess. But I felt so broken and helpless by seeing people choose the wrong path. I kept myself on hold. Maybe they have a reason too.
Why do people fill them with toxins and tar? I can’t ignore this because I am only 21 and all the people around me are of my generation. We all suffer from unwanted happenings in our lives. We have suffered from temporary relationships, gotten hurt several times, and we are restless, overstressed, disturbed, depressed, have nightmares, and flashbacks. We are in trauma! I may not be correct, but we lose our senses by choosing the coolest way to turn our emotions into this unwanted enjoyment.
The study says some parts of our population are suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It is important to realise that the substances we use for our pleasure and relaxation are secretly increasing our chances of getting PTSD. However, it has also been proven that tobacco can worsen the situation. Temporarily, it gives you immediate relief, but in the long term, it’s gifting you several diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, COPD, etc. It’s not right to ruin your life. We only get it once.
I can’t ignore the shit of my loved ones. I purposely jumped into the inbox of my friend who posted that Instagram story, whom I had not talked to for a long time, but now I needed to talk. because she needs a reality check. “Hey, Arvi, are you okay?” When I sent this message, my blood bowled that time, but I didn’t want to be irrational. I was waiting for her to reply. Deep inside, I was worried too, because there is no loss more painful than losing yourself. She is my friend since childhood, and I know what kind of person she is, but I watched her three Instagram stories back to back. “I am scared. I need to talk. Reply to me Dumbo. “ After waiting for 5 minutes, she replied, “Haji madam.” I saw the message and sent her another one, “Can you call me?” I asked, because while calling is more convenient, she can’t get away without answering me. “Not now, I will call you tomorrow,” she replied in a second. I said nothing to her because I didn’t know what to expect next. All I could do was wait for the next day.
But it did not relax me as it seems like a big social issue that is ignored by society. Would we try to talk to them or just scroll down our news feed and tap on the next story? Why can’t we stop our mates from doing all these things? We see our people losing their sanity. We should always remember our goals, ethics, responsibility, and true self. We can forget ourselves for a while, but we can never forget our true selves.
It was getting very difficult for me to sleep. I was feeling suffocated and heartbroken. This is an enormous problem that is destroying our generation. I couldn’t stop myself from searching for hashtags like #smoking, #tobacco, and others on Instagram. It shattered me after seeing millions of youngsters regularly uploading different stuff similar to my friend’s stories. I’m sure millions of people enjoy tobacco because it helps them relax in the present by acting as a stress reliever or the only solution to every problem.
This is a real problem when choosing the wrong way, directionless people. Instead of approaching a self-care lifestyle, we are adapting to self-harm. We can connect with our family and friends, exercise or meditate, do music therapy, read books or take a walk, we can attend yoga classes, keep a journal, we can join social clubs, non-government organizations, and help others. But we all do it: consumption of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, etc. because it requires a lot of effort to adopt good habits.
It was five in the morning. I was blown away by seeing the youth sleeping. What to do now? I was confused, but the fact that I knew that a single step could make a big change was comforting. From where I got an idea of sharing this issue on my blog, I went back to my cubicle, turned on my laptop, and started writing this incident on my notepad. Because if people are posting where they lose their tracks, why can’t we remind society to be back on track?
While writing, I was lost in thought of Arvi, because talking to your people is an enormous need in today’s time. Knowing their mental state is more important than anything. Why do we stop our loved ones whenever we see them choosing the wrong path? Are we so busy in our lives that we don’t care about anyone else? But trust me, we are all on the same page when we are looking for someone with whom we can share our thoughts and emotional sufferings. And if you know someone who is losing track, please let them know the value of life.
Heartfelt appeal to society and our young generation: if you see your friends having bad habits that can be harmful to them, don’t be a spectator. Make them stop, try to guide them right, help them out of their problems. Help them recognize their goals, their dreams, the people who love them, and their purpose, which they often forget. Because every life has its value
LinkedIn: Komal Thukral
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