In other words people are using pain killers because of the lack of human connections. It hurts terribly when people feel unconnected to others especially if people don't feel like they have friends or loved ones they can turn to, so people turn to drugs instead.
Being deeply social animals, sending people to solitary confinement for extended periods will drive them insane.
We fundamentally need each other, desperately so. So much so that I suspect our subconscious craves the sight and sound of humans around us.
So turning on TV, especially when they are unemployed, there are humans is an easy and quick fix (literally and figuratively), as it were to the need for the sight of humans. However the human's on TV who never look us in the eye, they never involve us, don't care about our input or opinion, never acknowledge us and completely exclude us.
If you are actively excluded from a conversation with real people where your presence is never acknowledged we can feel annoyed by the exclusion. Usually we don't stick around a conversation we are excluded from and some of us know how it feels to be a third wheel on a night out with two people who really want to be alone.
And many people spend hours glued to the TV every night for years and years. I rather suspect this can make us feel irrelevant or angry. And in extreme cases anger that leads to violence.
I think this is the cause of road rage - or internet rage - we are angry we are constantly made to feel completely irrelevant for extended periods of time.
Even if we watch TV with loved ones - we don't have conversations with them when the TV is on. Our lives are boring and disappointingly unglamorous in comparison to those we see on TV. On TV they very seldom clean, shop and stand in lines at the supermarket. People on TV very often look great - and have lovely homes and they completely ignore us. We are utterly irrelevant to them yet people watch them for hours on TV every night.
Yes I know, we know its just entertainment - but tell that to your subconscious. I suspect that we feel deeply disconnected because these people completely ignore us and never involve us. And this ultimately dis-empowers us.
People prefer to watch these glossy people on TV who ignore us rather than engage their family who are often sitting beside them on the sofa.
In this article they write:
The writer George Monbiot has called this "the age of loneliness." We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. Bruce Alexander -- the creator of Rat Park -- told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery -- how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.
The loneliness is caused by TV. Parents ignore their kids because they are busy watching TV. Everyone is looking at a screen - and our subconscious doesn't yet realize we aren't looking at our loved ones who sit beside us, we are looking at strangers instead who completely ignore us.
This is where society is breaking down - this is why society can dehumanize whole classes of people because we no longer see them as people, it's why we can walk past the homeless without even noticing; because if we don't like those people on TV we can change the channel by waving the remote in the air - effectively killing those people with the press of a button - we don't want to see them, we don't want to hear what they have to say.
It is eye contact that we are missing. They don't make eye contact with us on TV unless they are selling something to us. I have noticed the impact so many times of looking people in the eye - I remember the double take a homeless beggar did when I apologized to him for not bringing my wallet along and looked him in the eye when doing so. He nearly fell over. I remember the double take a black guy did when I looked him in the eye.
When do you look others in the eyes?
If we are going to fix the loneliness of society we must turn off our TVs - I am not saying don't watch great entertainment - but I do suggest for every hour you watch TV spend two hours with friends and loved ones.