Think Different Theory

Social Media, Cigarettes, and Where to Draw the Line


In this episode, I’m going to talk about how social media is just as addictive as cigarettes or any other powerful drug. The reason people get so hooked on it is that our lives are boring and we always need that instant high of Dopamine.


Many studies have shown that social media addiction is indeed real, and for social media companies, it’s all for their financial gain and nothing more. Question is; does the end justify the means when it comes to using social media to get a message out?

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • It’s easier to make it happen if you believe it’s possible (01:15)
  • Life every day is pretty boring (03:54)
  • Social media is a drug (06:49)
  • Living in an instant gratification society (08:43)
  • Reality is boring and people don’t like boring stuff (14:26)


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June 21, 2019


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Disclaimer:   The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors

00:00          It’s actually kind of depressing if you think about it, because the brain doesn’t know the difference whether you’re smoking a cigarette, or you know, getting drunk, or on social media, the same exact chemical is released in your brain, Dopamine. The brain feels it the same. It doesn’t know the difference. And so you look at it and go, “Well, where do you draw the line? Right? You gotta be aware of these things because it’s hard. These things really do affect people. And so that’s why I’m just… I try to be aware of it.

00:30          You are now entering a new paradigm.

00:34          So, here’s my issue. I wanted to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like, how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love, and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti, @JoshForti on Instagram, and I ask life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do, know, and understand. On this podcast, we think different, we dream bigger, and we live in a world without limits. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.

01:15          What’s up guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti, and I’ve gotta be honest with you. This episode is probably gonna be a little bit different. I’m a little bit… I don’t know if down is the right word, but I’m a little bit… deep in thought, which sometimes can lead to more. Once again, depressing is not the right word, but like just kind of more reality-based things, things that aren’t so exciting. Actually, this episode might even sound a little bit different. Normally I have like a stand, a little arm that comes off of my desk that holds the microphone, but I actually took it off. I’m actually holding the microphone like I’d be speaking on stage right now as I’m recording this episode, just because I’m very into this right now. Like my mind has been racing about this… these topics all day, and… I don’t… I don’t know if I’m actually gonna teach anything specifically on this episode.

02:02          Like I’m not gonna be like, “Here’s the main point, here’s what it is.” I’ll probably tie it all together at the end, but I want to just talk about today’s society, and some of the things that I’m kind of struggling with, or not… just kind of dealing with and processing. Here’s how this all came about. There’s actually a method to my madness about this. Welcome back to the program, by the way, I appreciate you listening. If you like this… if you like to show, share it out with a friend? That would mean a lot to me, and I try to be open and honest with you guys at all the time. Also, if you haven’t left a rating and review yet, please, please, please do that, because I believe that this message… the reason I put out this podcast is because I believe this message needs to be shared out with more people, and I’m actually going to tie this all together at the end, it’s going to be pretty fascinating.

02:36          I kind of jotted down a few notes here, but let me back up to where this all started. So this morning I… I’m actually recording this on a Saturday, and I just got done deep cleaning my whole apartment, now you might be like, “Oh Josh. Okay, that’s interesting.” I actually like doing that every now and then. So every like, I don’t know, once a month, once every two months or so, I deep clean my whole apartment and office and everything. Like not just like a typical like, “Oh vacuum…” And like, I actually like deep super clean it. And, when I do that, I oftentimes have… like in the past I’ve had music playing. Today was an audiobook. There’s a little bit of music at the beginning, but an audiobook, listening, but I always get very deep in thought during this time. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something about deep cleaning an apartment and my… you know, organizing everything gets me really thinking about life.

03:19          And, one of the things that I am known for, and one of the things I’ve talked about a lot on the podcast, and on Facebook, on social, you know, just in general, is getting to the source of things, getting to the source of what causes problems. And so I was thinking today just about life, and about society, and about how messed up we are as a society, and how I’m ultimately going to go try and fix it, and do my part to make the world better. And, I started thinking about the root causes of things, and as you know, I started drilling down. I’m like, “Wow, you know, social media and advertising”, and all these different things, and how we got to this point. And it was fascinating because as I was going back, and I knew going back to root causes, root causes, root causes, root causes.

03:54          I get to this point where I go, you know, life every day is pretty boring if you think about it, like take the average person’s life. It’s totally, totally, totally different than social media, right? The average person, they wake up, they don’t feel the greatest, right? And they go out and they maybe shower, eat breakfast, get in their car, drive to work maybe, but they don’t hate their job. And then, you know, some people actually may not mind their job too terribly, but they don’t, they’re not really enthusiastic about it. They go throughout their whole entire day, do the same thing over and over and over again. They get home, they turn on the TV, maybe have a beer, eat dinner, spend time with their kids, whatever, and then go to bed right there, do the same thing over and over and over again. That life is pretty boring, right?

04:33          And so with, and my life isn’t actually too much different. Entrepreneurs. Lights aren’t too much different in the sense of, you know, when I’m in the office, when I’m working, it’s from the time I wake up, the time I go to bed, I’m just working. Social media is very radically different than that. And the Internet has created this false reality of entertainment nonstop where these, this life on the Internet always has to be exciting. I mean the Logan Paul’s of the world captured on this well every single day vlogging, super, super exciting every single day. The next thing, next thing, the next thing. Well as I studied that more and if you’re a marketer, you may know this or if you know anything about the brain, you may know this. The thing that causes us to feel good, the drug in our brain that goes off is a drug called dopamine and so when we go and feel good about something, dopamine gets released.

05:24          All right. Now, this is true in all areas of our life from addictions, whether that’s alcohol or drugs to get a text message from a friend to anything that’s exciting. Anytime we like really feel good and excited like Yay, I feel high. Dopamine is released in our brains and makes us feel really good and dopamine is like one of the most addictive drugs and feelings on the planet. It’s why we feel so good. Why are we always crave it and it’s why when you get hooked on stimulus is like drugs or alcohol or things like that. It’s very hard to quit because when you smoke a cigarette or when you, you know, get a buzz off alcohol, your brain releases dopamine. And so on the day to day life on your average day, you don’t have tons of dopamine release. Like if you have a super exciting day, you’ve got lots of good things happening.

06:05          Yes, a lot of dopamine is going to be released, you have a great day, but on a down day you’re not going to have that dopamine there and it’s just going to be an average boring day. Well, social media has created a spot where we get excited about things, especially with influencers, right? And so the average person, they go throughout their day, they have a pretty boring day, and then they get on social media at the end of the day or whenever it is that they’re on social media and they get this burst of excitement because their favorite influencers there, or they made a post and it got a lot of likes and or you know, they got comments back or they got a new follower, whatever that thing is that’s releasing dopamine. Right? And so slowly over time, as social media has taken over and people get more and more attached to it, the reason that social media becomes bigger and bigger and bigger is because social media is a drug.

06:50          And we know this. This is scientifically proven. This is nothing new. In fact, you probably have heard this before, but literally, the same thing that’s released from a cigarette or from sugar or from, you know, whatever, a drug, alcoholic beverage or whatnot is the same thing that’s happening on social media. So it’d be the equivalent of like, Oh man, you’ve had a bad day. Open up the liquor cabinet. It’s gonna make you feel good. The same thing is true if you just open up social media. So now we live in this world where everybody has a boring life. Everybody wants an exciting life. So we go on the Internet and we find these influencers that are living this awesome life. We live vicariously through them, right? Because we want to live that life. It’s exciting and it’s whatnot. And what does that do? Well, we need that hit of dopamine.

07:31          Now I’m getting to a point with, this is very important. As I kind of walked through this whole process in my head as I was sitting here earlier today thinking about it, we want that hit of dopamine and social media is something that allows us to get that dopamine hit whenever we want. We get on social media, we feel good or depressed depending upon how you do it, but the goal of being on social media, the reason you got hooked on social media is because dopamine makes us feel good, so we’d get this hit well, now all of a sudden, just like a drug is bad and you think about a drug, you think about a cigarette, someone’s addicted to cigarettes, that’s a problem. We’ve, we’ve kind of labeled that as a society. Maybe that they’re not a bad person, but smoking cigarettes is a bad thing.

08:08          It’s bad for your health, but specifically because you’re addicted to that. Any form of addiction typically we view as bad or negative. Well, it used to be that in order to get that hit of dopamine, it was irregulated substance. You couldn’t drink at work. You couldn’t smoke at work a whole, I mean you had your smoke breaks or whatever. There’s nothing that you could do all the time and it’s certainly not something you can do during everyday life all the time. You can’t always be drunk, right? Or always be smoking, smoking a little bit easier, but now we have this source where we can get that hit whenever we want. Now we have this source where we can literally go and get that dopamine hit, whatever. We want. Instant gratification all the time. So now we live in this instant gratification society. We didn’t use to live there, but the reason that we now live in this instant gratification society is because the, the culture that we’ve created, social media is used to being instantly satisfied with dopamine by the notifications.

09:02          Facebook has admitted to this social media platforms, the likes, the notifications, they release dopamine. So we’re now, we’re literally hooked. We’re hooked to a 24 seven and are boring. Life is not exciting enough for us and we’re addicted to dopamine hits. So we’re constantly on social media, constantly doing the next thing. The next thing, the next thing following the next big person buying in the next big promise. And marketers just like myself have mastered this. Now not all marketing is bad, not all uses of creating dopamine are bad. There’s good causes for dopamine, just like any of a double-edged sword. But society as a whole, especially in America has pushed this to new levels of dopamine hits new levels of instant gratification. And I noticed this today and how I kind of got started on this a couple different ways. I saw an ad on Facebook as I was scrolling through Facebook, I dunno sometime at some point today and it was for, this is so weird.

09:54          I don’t know why I’m getting these ads. Targeting is off for sure. Cause I certainly don’t have the need for this. But there’s a, there’s an ad that’s going around where you can, it’s like this dude laying in like a hospital better as like a procedure chair and he’s got like this piece of plastic over his stomach and this lady comes up to him and puts this thing on that plastic or whatever and it’s like freezing body fat and is this ad for like freezing body fat. Now if anybody has ever seen me, if you’ve ever seen a picture of me, you know that like I could use them, we use some way to defnitely don’t need to lose it. So that’s why I’m saying the targeting is way off. But there are pitch essentially is that you can lose weight instantly. No work for it.

10:29          Just come in and do the procedure, will freeze your body fat done deal. And because we’re so used to our lives being not boring anymore, even though our lives are boring because we’re used to Instagram suffocation because, and the reason we haven’t should gratifications because of the dopamine from social media, because social media is literally a drug, which is why I tell people to get off social media and only use it in limited amounts. Like I have no problem with social media limitation. Just like I have no problem with weed and limitation or meet with, um, in, uh, what’s the word? Not Limitations but conservatively or within reason. So like I’ve no problem with weed. I have no problem with a lot of different, you know, things like that. Social media is the same way, but because we’re on 24, seven, we want instant gratification.

11:08          And so literally our society is so jacked up it, because I’m getting ads to freeze body fat. It’s like the risks are no lower than ever. And I’m like, oh my gosh. And then I, you know, drive down the road and I see, you know, billboards for gyms that are promising, you know, certain things are, or weight loss pills or anything like relationship fixes, a depression fixes. The pharmaceutical companies are just off the charts. Why? Because the pharmacol suit pharmaceutical companies are basically promising instant success or instant results, instant cure without having to do the work. Everybody wants to know like, aw man, I’m so depressed. I need to get on antidepressants. No, you don’t. You need to actually go out and live a healthy lifestyle. Your body will naturally take care of itself. You don’t need antidepressants. You need to go out there. Yes, I understand.

11:56          Like there’s, there’s certain people that need it. I understand that. I’m not trying to, I’m trying not to generalize everybody into one thing, but you understood what I’m talking about. And so I see this and I’m, I was, I’m cleaning today and I started thinking about all the different problems that we are or that we’re having in society today because of instant gratification because of social media. Social media itself is not the problem. Social media, sharing your status on Facebook. There’s nothing inherently wrong about that. The problem comes in and it’s not from you or for me, but the problem comes in because of the notifications, because of the dopamine hit, because people get addicted to it because people start living their life and they can’t stand the thought of life being boring. So they’ve got to consume more and more and more and more and more and more.

12:34          And so social media and the people that produced the platforms know how these things work. They know that you know how people’s brains work in dopamine and all that. So they program the algorithms to feed off of that and whatever people consume more of, they know that other people are to want to consume more of it so that the more engagement something gets, the more views it gets overall and what have you. And that led me to the point where it was, this is where this kind of just depressing moment and I’ve had this realization before, but I just, it hit me today and it’s one of those things where I’m really thinking about it. I’m really trying to figure out the solution because I don’t know what the solution is. I am not a shallow person. I’m not someone that like I used to put out lots of content on social media and I’d put out anything to get a click.

13:14          Especially when I first started on Instagram. I didn’t know any better anything to get a click, anything to get a view, anything to get a follower like I was doing it. It didn’t matter if it was shallow or deep or whatever, I just did it. But I’ve grown up and I’ve read a lot. I’ve done, you know, apologetics and physics and wisdom books in the Bible and all sorts of just crazy good books, right? I read and study all the time. I’m, I’m a much more mature person now at 25 then it wasn’t 21 when I first started all this. And as I look back, I go, okay, I did all of that and now I’m here. I would not go and do those things and I don’t want to dilute my message in order to get more views or more clicks. Yet. I know that’s how social media is programmed and so I constantly struggle with this battle in my mind of does the ends justify the means?

14:00          I like, I’m really good at getting views on social media. I know how to do it. I’ve generated hundreds and millions of views, hundreds of millions. I bet you billions of impressions probably to this point. I mean grown five, we’re going to manage 5 million followers on social media. You’re going to generate a lot of impressions. I know what to do. I know how to do it. My problem becomes in that oftentimes to get those views, you have to dilute the message because guess what? People don’t like reality. Reality is boring and people don’t like boring stuff. The truth hurts. The truth is boring. The truth is not exciting. The truth on how to fix your life, the truth on how to become a better person, the truth on how to be insert, whatever you’re trying to do here does not release dopamine. It does not go viral. It isn’t the thing that when you posted on Facebook is going to get 10,000 likes.

14:47          It’s going to get 500 or two instead of 50 depending upon the audience size. And so I’m sitting here and I’m going, this is one of the reasons that I started the podcast just to talk about topics just like this, because you know you, you’re going to listen to the podcast or not based on the title of the episode. And I the first to admit, and I’ve talked about this before on the podcast, I frame some of the titles of my podcast to get more clicks. Why? Because I know the content is really good and I don’t have a problem with that. Now I always, I just not click bait. I was keeping on topic or whatnot, but I wanna I want to create the most enticing title that I can so that you listened to the content. I don’t think that’s a problem, but my struggle comes on Facebook, on Youtube, on Instagram.

15:25          I can create a pretty viral video with a pretty generic message and get a lot of use bringing a lot of followers, a lot of people. Is that okay or am I just feeding into the dopamine hits and the instant gratification of everybody else out there? I don’t know, but I’d love to know your feedback and thoughts back on this. I actually really would. I’d like to know whether or not you’re okay with this or what your thoughts are. Hit me up on Instagram at Josh Forti j o s h f o r t i. Shoot me a DM. I reply to every single DM on Instagram. It might take me a week or two, but I do do it, but I want to know your thoughts on this because I’m sitting here and I’m trying to figure this out. I want to change the world and I plan on changing the world is what the thing different theory is all about.

16:01          We’ve got some big stuff coming in July. By the way, stay tuned. We’ll sneak peek into their big stuff. We’re going to be an awesome giveaway off from suite guests on. It’s gonna be awesome. Think different theory. Two Point Oh is coming out. It’s gonna be awesome. Anyway, I struggle with it because I go, I got a message. I believe I’m a smart person. I believe that not by any, you know, doing of me being so smart, God to God be the glory. But I believe that I’ve put myself in a position to win. I’m a pretty intelligent human being because I have gone out and I’ve read a lot of books and I’ve studied a lot of people and I’ve watched a lot of videos and I think I’ve actually gone out and study this. I haven’t dedicated my life to partying or becoming the coolest kid on the block.

16:41          I’ve spent the last three or four years of my life literally head in the books, head in the videos, studying everything from sales to marketing to mindset, to religion, to apologetics. I mean the, you name it, I’m studying it and I’m learning it. So I feel like I have a pretty good view on the world. I feel like I have a pretty good view on, you know, these different things. I have a lot to learn, so, so, so much to learn. But comparatively to the average person that has not done that, I have a pretty broad perspective and that’s why this podcast exists. Now. Let me be very clear so that no one ever takes my words out of context. I am not better than anybody, nor do I think I’m above anyone. I simply have a broad perspective because that’s what I’ve done and chosen to do with my life.

17:22          But I had this message I want to share. But the further I get into it, the more I look at social media, the more I look at the masses and I go, you’re all wrong. Like if the masses are doing it, if it’s commonly accepted by the masses as good, it’s probably not. It’s probably just jacked up. Whether that’s money or relationship advice or whatever. Like it’s just, it’s just all super, super bad. And so I look at that and I go, well, is it okay for me to use their tactics to share the message with them, to bring it to this other side of things? I know and it’s something I’m working through and obviously it’s something that I’ve done and continue to do to a certain extent, but to what level it is. Okay. That uh, you know, I’m still figuring that out, which is why I really ask you to share the podcast.

18:01          You know, I told you at the beginning, please leave a rating, leave a review. Why? Because that helps us grow organically to where I’m not having to go out there and you know, be like, I’m so great. This probably has amazing when other people can come and talk about it. And that’s what I’m trying to do here is create content that people want to talk about. The reason I’m having this conversation, the reason I put out the content that I do is I want to have it really, really good quality so that it gives you a reason to go share it with someone. And when you share it with one person, if you were to go and share the podcast with, you know, one person a day, let’s do sell one person a week in a one person that we can share the podcast with and then that person goes and does it in a year from now.

18:36          You’ve shared it for 50 people in a year from now. That’s a 100 people and now each one of those go and share it. You know what I mean? Like it’s this ripple effect and that’s the type of audience necessary. But the movement, I want to create not something that’s based off of clickbait, not something that’s based off of feeding into the societal norms of feeding off of dopamine and you know, playing the algorithms and ruining people’s lives. I don’t think I’m ruining anybody’s life. I don’t think you’re ruining any people buddy’s life by posting content on social. But it’s something that I have to think about, something I have to be aware of. And I think it’s, you know, in our society today, it’s like, do you dilute the message to get out to the masses? Some people do. Maybe I will at some point. Maybe I’ll, you know, have two different too.

19:13          I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure the whole thing out, but I just want to make you aware of, you know, this is how these things work. I mean, social media is literally the equivalent, if not worse than alcohol, a drug, cigarettes, like you name it and it’s highly, highly addicting and I just don’t, I never want to be the person that feeds into that. Um, with that. So always, you know, always be aware. So anyway, that’s kind of the episode for today. That’s what was on my heart to share. I’m weird. I know. I mean these are the things that I think about on a daily basis. Who does this stuff? I don’t know. I have no idea. But I’m excited about the future of everything. I’m excited to go change the world. I’m excited for taboo as part of the journey. So thank you.

19:51          I really mean that. I appreciate it. I actually wrote a status on Facebook today about, and for those of you that follow me on Facebook, you’re going to kind of know the day that I’m recording this, but I wrote a status on Facebook today about kind of, uh, the identity of the thing, different theory and kind of what I’m creating in the group and how we’re not just entrepreneurs. We’re more than that. You know, I do love entrepreneurship and I love that entrepreneurship journey. Um, but it’s about, it’s about a bigger mission that is about a bigger vision than that. And a, I’m excited just to, to further that vision and to bring you along as a part of that. And I just thank you for being a part of all that. So without further ado, I’m gonna wrap up the episode. Thank you. And seriously, I want to know your feedback on all this.

20:27          I want to know your thoughts on all this. Hit me up in the DMS on Instagram @JoshForti. Follow me on there, share it with a friend and um, I would love to hopefully meet you all someday. I mean, if you’re listening right now, I’d love for you just to be like, Hey Josh, show me a damn. Like, Hey Josh, I’m Sally, I’m John, or whoever your name is. Uh, listen to your podcast. I want to say thank you or whatever you want to say and I hope to meet you someday. I really hope to meet you someday too. I really, really do. And we’ve got some exciting stuff coming up later this year. Um, actually we have three speaking gigs in October already, which can be awesome. So, all right, I’m done. I’m done. Ranting as always, hustle, hustle, God bless. Do not be afraid to think different because those of us that think different is going to be the ones that change the world. I believe it. I know it. It’s not a question in my mind that you can change the world, that I can change the world as long as you can think different. I love you and I will see you on the next podcast episode. Take it easy fam. Peace.

21:19          Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call, “A new paradigm of thinking”, and real quick, I got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow, and that will spread this message of positivity and making the world a better place, is if you leave a review, a rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is, it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff, and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating, and a review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @JoshForti or via email