Longtime ago, we asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What will be the “turns out cigarettes are bad for us” of our generation? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.

1-5 Unhealthy Lifestyles


01. Hearing loss. A study of New York college students showed that more than half of them listened to headphones above 85 dB, which enough to cause damage. One in five teens in the U.S. has permanent hearing loss. Doctors warn about it, but no one seems to talk to their kids in the same way they would about cigarettes/drugs/sex.

One rough way to know if your headphones are too loud is to hold them at arm’s length in a quiet room. If you can still hear sound, it’s too loud. A general rule of thumb is to stay below the halfway point on the volume control, which is below 80 dB on most devices. Finally, be careful in loud environments (planes, busy streets) where you might have to turn your music up higher to hear it properly. Use noise-cancelling headphones rather than ear buds, so you’re blocking outside noise rather than drowning it out.

02. Our living and working habits. The incredible population density of our cities and suburban living spaces exacerbates stress and conflict from any source. As for work, it’s not the hours, it’s the culture. It seems like most people in America are working without any sense of investment in their community and without any hope of loyalty or worthwhile reward from their employer. Without these, work is a soul draining, body wrecking endeavor. You need to be engaged and invested in your work or all you’re doing is selling pieces of your life and no one feels good about that. The confusion about the mental health crisis in America seems to stem from a refusal to consider these factors as valid sources of anxiety and ennui.

03. Looking down at your phone all day is not doing wonders for your back and neck. Also sitting for hours on end isn’t good enough either.

04. Tanning beds. Everything about them looks like a really bad idea.

05. I swear my smart phone gave me ADD. I never had problems focusing when I had the old Nokia. It really concerns me how addicted I am to my phone when I’m bored. I can put it away when I’m actively doing something but sitting at work I check my phone every 2 minutes. I can’t watch TV or movies without the impulse to use my phone every five minutes.

We’re definitely going to see internet addiction being addressed as a thing more in the next few decades. The issue is that it sounds so stupid at first – addicted to something so broad? – but the mechanics of dopamine controlling compulsive internet tendencies are a lot less silly and a lot more identifiable.

6-10 Unhealthy Lifestyles


06. Misuse of Antibacterials and antibiotics. As opposed to inoculating with good harmless bacteria, we’re just creating superbugs and creating people with weaker immune systems.

Antibacterial hand soaps aren’t that big of a deal. It’s the antibiotics that are an issue. Someone described it to me this way. Antibacterial soaps that use alcohol to sanitize are like setting off an atom bomb. They create an environment that is totally antithetical to life. Antibiotics work essentially by exploiting a small flaw in the bacteria, thus causing it to die. It’s a lot easier for bacteria to patch up that flaw than go become resistant to alcohol.

Though some antibacterial soaps don’t contain alcohol, but contains triclosan (an antibiotic) instead. Triclosan is a major problem. It is ecotoxic, tends to accumulate in animals, and no major studies have been done about the potential for cross-resistance with other antibiotics.

07. It’s already SUGAR. Just like cigarettes, it’s everywhere. The “It’s really bad for you” phase has already started. Then the outrage will come. 50 years from now people will find it unbelievable that sugar was in almost all our food and all our drinks. Sugar isn’t evil, but the insane levels we consume it in is.

My father is a diabetic (Type 1). It is really hard to find food that fits within reasonable amounts of carbohydrates. I mean why do they sugar in whole wheat bread? They also put sugar in f**king tomato sauce. Guess what you’re buying when you’re buying low-fat food products? That’s right, more sugar. Turns out fat free food doesn’t taste as good as full fat food, so they dump in the sugar to compensate.

08. Not getting enough sleep. There’s already plenty of proof that neglecting sleep causes all sorts of health hazards, not just emotional/physical.

I’d like to think I lead a pretty simple (most would call boring) life in the sense that I know my limits and don’t load up with too many responsibilities. Because of this, I always make sure I get at least 7-9 hours rest a night, sometimes 10-11 if I’ve worked multiple double shifts in one week. People are absolutely baffled/jealous when I tell them my regular sleeping habits. I can barely function on less than 7. I have no idea how people manage having a family, multiple jobs, go to college, and spend time with friends all at once.

09. I don’t know exactly, but I have this terrible feeling that something we consider the norm right now, and all of us are 100% sure about will become the unpopular opinion and be considered bigoted. 50 years ago homosexuality was considered unnatural and hated widely. Now, most people support gay rights and everybody’s open about it.

I have two kids. I wake up every morning and wonder if I’m slowly turning into my racist grandpa. Not that I’m actually racist, but I see things like the SJW movement, “gender fluid” and bizarre pronouns as the stupidest things I have ever seen. Every time I see the phrase “trigger warning” or people losing their sh*t about safe spaces/free speech etc. I want to smack these kids.

I worry that there will come a day where I’m the old guy that is out of touch with society and say things like “that Ni**er down the road is such a nice guy” (Something my grandpa actually said once). But instead of saying ni**er I’ll say “lady” instead of “foxkin” and be shamed for being out of touch.

10. I know the latest trend around “vaping” nowadays, but that would be my guess. We really have no idea of the long term effects. I think we can all agree that inhaling anything into your lungs that isn’t air won’t be good for you.

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Last Update: September 16, 2016

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