Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

When people think of addiction, sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling are probably the first habits that come to mind.

But the addictions mentioned above are just the most stigmatized addictions people talk about because they tend to cause the most damage to the individual and their relationships.

However, there is a slew of other habits people have and can't break that can cause almost, if not, just as much damage to relationships.

Social media users shared several examples when Redditor Russian_lover1 asked:

"What is an addiction that society readily accepts as normal?"

Just because malls are closing down across the country doesn't mean people are no longer shopping.

Retail therapy has become so much more convenient online, and people are actively buying things they don't need more than ever.

The Destruction Of A Marriage

"I don't think a lot of people even realize this is a thing. My ex-husband had a shopping addiction and it ended up costing me a ton of money over the years and when we divorced."


Justifying Sales

"One of the reasons I left my ex fiancé was because of his shopping addiction. If it was on sale, he could not say 'no.' He seemed to think that if he bought something on sale he had saved us money and couldn't seem to comprehend that we didn't need rooster shaped umbrella holders so he had cost us money because we had no space or use for the sh*t he kept buying. And all he would say was 'but it was on sale! I saved us money!' 'Would you have bought this if it wasn't on sale?' 'Well…no…' 'Then why would you buy it? You're still costing us money?' 'Because it was on sale! I got us a deal!' And round and round and round we'd go. Same guy who would drive all over town burning gas to find milk that was 15 cents cheaper on the gallon."

"So glad I got out of that. It wasn't his worst offense, but it was the cherry on a sh*t sundae of a relationship."


Wants Vs. Need

"Yes this one is very real. My wife is not horrible for it to be honest, she finds great deals and typically returns well over half of the stuff she buys, but she buys a lot of stuff. We've discussed the difference of wants vs needs but there always seems to be justification at the time of purchase and then it gets stored somewhere and forgotten. It's just the high from shopping, which I didn't think would be as prevalent with online shopping but I was wrong."

"It's not breaking the bank or anything but we certainly have too much clutter and crap lying around."


The seemingly innocuous things we ingest have just as much addictive properties as the ones found in a drug.

Hooked On Coffee

"Caffeine is probably the most widely accepted addiction. It's no big deal when someone says 'man I can't even think until I've had a cup of coffee'. Replace coffee with almost anything else addictive and you've got yourself an intervention."


Energy Drinks

"I got so sick off of Monster drinks - only drank them for about a month but I was up to four a day and got a horrible UTI. Immediately stopped drinking them the moment I got home from the doctor."


The Essence Of Sweetness

"Wrong. Sugar is the most popular addiction. It's even in coffee."


"It doesn't help that the food industry dumps tons of sugar into foods for the sole purpose of making them addictive."


steve sugar GIF Giphy

These behavioral lifestyle addictions have the potential of driving a wedge between you and those closest to you.

Toiling Away The Hours

"I mean I know a few people addicted to work, like work at the government hospital in the morning-afternoon then go to the private hospital and work till 2 am type work addiction."

"Most people at work think this is a bit 'crazy' though."

"The problem with work addiction is that it tends to increase your success in life, as opposed to most other addictions (even if other QOL markers would still be lower than non addicts) so it is harder to see the harm in this particular addiction for most."


Our Mobile Devices

"Phones, I'm addicted to mine my girls addicted to hers my siblings and parents, my friends, most people ik tbh."

"First thing we do when getting up is checking out phone, last thing we do before sleeping, every time something isn't happening."

​"Now I'm not saying phones are bad yada yada but there is a real issue with addiction to them."​


Damaging Effects

"There really is. Humans are no longer capable of being bored. The real reason we were so much more imaginative and creative as kids is because we didn't have an instant source of entertainment at our hands, so when we ran out of something to do we created it. I remember one time I decided to feed our lawn with flowers and buds from the tree, oh and grass from the lawn itself."

"That said, i love my phone, and I think it legitimately improves my mood and my life. I see no reason to get rid of them if the benefit outweighs the damage. Similarly to masturbation/porn. Some people, a scary amount of people to be sure but not the majority become addicted to it and it takes away from their lives and even becomes their life. That's a problem, and they're obviously better without it, but I'd say for most of us it improves our life, and the loss is so insignificant that there's no reason to stop doing it."


Image Obsession

"Diet and exercise."


"This right here is the answer that should be at the top. Dopamine is a powerful thing."


The pandemic forced everyone to self-isolate, but that didn't mean people missed interacting with their friends.

Zoom sessions and other methods of online engagement like Facebook Messaging has soared.

And while we're not exactly out of the woods yet, people are still in active texting mode. I'm even seeing locals walking around the city as they text. Subway rides are generally quieter than ever because strap-hangers are all staring at their mobile devices.

Smartphone usage is dangerously convenient. And whether users don't like to acknowledge it or not, it is a normalized addiction that affects all of us, myself included.

But until there are proven facts that being addicted to our phones can cause severe mental or physical harm, the world will continue furiously advancing towards innovation, and we're all just passively going along for the ride until realizing we've reached a destination we were never prepared to reach.

Photo by UX Gun on Unsplash

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