A Social Addiction

By Devon James

I’ve noticed an addiction. Not one to alcohol or drugs, but more of a social addiction; an addiction to going out. Week after week, almost day after day, my friends do the same things at the same bars and house parties with the same people and it makes me want to pose a question:

If you do the same things you do during a special event that you do every other day, did you just waste that special event?

A lot of people don’t party daily, and so when they do, on a holiday, or during a special occasion, it’s a lot more understandable. In my opinion, a lot more healthy, too. However, there are those who feel like they can’t miss a single ‘taco Tuesday’ or ‘welfare Wednesday’ with $2 drinks. Don’t even get me started on the weekend. But when you go out night after night, week after week, for months on end, and then a special holiday rolls around and you do the same thing, are you making the most of your holiday, or just falling into the trap that these establishments want you in?

I’ve struggled with this mindset before. Clubs and bars make a huge deal about their special nights to make you feel like you can’t miss it. If you don’t go, you’re going to miss something important and that’s socially unacceptable. People do the same for their house parties. You have to go because all your friends are going to be there, right? I have noticed this since I first started going out, about 10 years ago. A decade later, things haven’t changed. The one thing I know for certain is there will always be more parties, and more special nights at the club. If you miss one, it’s not going to be the end of the world.

I am absolutely not trying to say that you should not go out with your friends on the holidays. Let me give you a bit of perspective, though. Let’s say you enjoy going out several nights a week, and clear through the weekend. You’ve gotten so used to doing it that it’s basically socially mandatory by now. How about during a holiday, instead of just going out AGAIN, you find something extra special to do? Go for a hike with good friends, then out to dinner and maybe a movie. Go out boating, or jet skiing, something on the water. Go to a fair or festival. There is so much more to life, and you’re going to miss it if you spend it inside.

I am not trying to shame anyone or call anyone out. I just love giving perspective. I recently discovered that I am wasting a lot of time doing the same things over and over and I ask myself: why? If I spend my time around the same people, in the same handful of businesses, or at a few people’s house parties, there is so much I am missing out on. You may not even notice how much you’re not doing, by doing the same things over and over. You probably don’t even notice how much money you’re funneling into these places.

Again, I am not saying that going out is bad. It’s wonderful to be out with friends, relax and unwind. It’s essential to share stories and laugh. A good friend once said something to me that really stood out; “Everything in moderation”. This goes for so many things. Drinking, smoking, shopping, partying, it all needs to be moderated so that you have a healthy, happy, and balanced life. So next time you plan your next holiday adventure, try and do something different.