Common Addictions in Society


Nowadays, we are constantly faced with different temptations that will ultimately lead to addiction.  It doesn’t matter whether the action or thing itself is meant to be good, once it has become an obsession or an addiction, there will be adverse consequences.  There are various addictions in society, but we will be discussing three of the most commonly found ones in Hong Kong.


The first one is work addiction.  Believe it or not, lots of Hong Kongers have an obsession with work, whether it be working adults or students, many adults work even after they have gone home.  Some factors that have contributed to this addiction are immense pressure from workload, they believe that they have lots of work to do and have to finish everything, putting all of it above other important things like sleep; they want to succeed and everyone likes to succeed, but being obsessive compulsive about it would eventually lead to work addiction, as those addicted would very often assign extra work for themselves to do.  Students force themselves to write extra essays, and workers would write additional reports for work; and the rise of the use of smart phones allows them to work at anytime and anywhere, so the temptation will become greater.


To many people, this addiction seems petty, but there will be negative effects brought about eventually.  As they put work before everything else, they would decrease the amount of time they have left for sleep or even worse, not sleeping at all, in order to give themselves more time to work.  This would cause their health and energy to deteriorate as they may get overworked easily.  Also, they would have less time for their social life, which is of vital importance.  I would suggest that we show students and workers some examples of Japanese workers who have worked themselves to death’s bed, and tell them the various and serious consequences that would happen to them.  This is a problem we have to tackle as it is very prominent in Asian countries.


The second common addiction is Internet addiction.  With the rapid improvement of technology, it is very easy for Hong Kongers to get access to the Internet with their smart phones or other electronic gadgets.  The major factor to this addiction is boredom and loneliness, which are things that people simply can’t stand, so they would use the Internet to read interesting things so as to make the feeling go away or forget about it for a little while.  The negative effects include less time for real social life, as those addicted spend a vast amount of time browsing the Net, instead of speaking or interacting with their friends face-to-face.  Another adverse effect is that using the Internet for prolonged periods of time is bad for the eyesight, as facing a lit-up screen would bring a certain degree of damage.  To discourage people from becoming victims of Internet addiction, schools can launch some educational campaigns on this matter, parents can limit the time their children can use the Interest, and reward them when they go out to do other things more wholesome besides surfing the net.


The third common addiction is smoking.  Although there have been many campaigns and policies made by our government in discouraging people from smoking, there has been an increase in the smoking population.  Some factors that cause this are stress and peer-pressure.  People use smoking as a way to relax and de-stress themselves from the pressure of work or life.  It gives them time to blank out and ignore everything else for a small period of time.  Also, many people take up smoking because those around them do it.  This is most evident in the construction industry, where many people communicate and exchange deals or information through ‘smoking conferences’, if one wishes to blend in, they would have to smoke too. There are undoubtedly many negative effects brought up smoking.  Poor health, yellowish teeth, and being more cancer-prone are only the tip of the iceberg of adverse effects.  The addiction also brings about harm to those around smokers.  This is not only a problem in Hong Kong, but also an international problem.  So in order to discourage people from being addicted, schools and the government should launch more campaigns in educating our next generations on the harm brought about by smoking to not only the individual, but also to others.  The government can also implement stricter regulations on cigarettes and ‘fake’ cigarettes from being sold in Hong Kong to further discourage those who may be interested, but haven’t tried the first puff yet.


Above are three common addictions in our society, although they may seem common or even ‘harmless’, they bring about long-term adverse effects.  So we must by all means curb them, and discourage others from falling into these avoidable traps.