Shrooms & Social Media? No.

I spoke to an old friend the other night who tried psychedelics for the very first time at age 49. Why not? The world is becoming more acceptable to drug culture, and they’ve been proven to repair pathways in the brain which were previously out of service. The difference between now and the days of Woodstock are quite clear. The modern world can no longer provide a good trip.

Why did this gentleman decide to wait so late in life to experiment with such things? He was the kind of guy who always thought weed was enough. Marijuana takes whatever mood you’re in and elevates it to pure happiness whereas most mind-altering substances just intensify whatever you’re currently feeling. Also, being a fellow writer, he feared what he might see if the hallucinations began to take hold. Let’s face it, people in the horror industry visualize screwed up stuff for a living. We don’t need that shit coming to life and having a conversation with us. Regardless of the multiple warnings his warped brain offered, the man ingested the mushrooms, bought the ticket, and took the ride.

That was when our modern world’s overflow of hate and stupidity washed over him. Enter the smartphone.

Having a tiny computer in your pocket was a sci-fi dream fifty years ago and sometimes I believe it should’ve stayed that way. Thanks to social media, we have a window to the world, but it’s not all good. Hell, there’s not even a small portion of what Facebook, Twitter, etc. have to offer that’s pleasing to a soul in search of answers. In the opinion of my friend, social media has become real life whereas life itself remains imprisoned behind the veil of our communication devices. This type of world is no place for mind altering gifts. It’s pure nightmare fuel, crouched at the starting line, and awaiting the deafening pop of the gun.

This is how his trip went.

He began by watching a lighthearted film he’d seen a dozen times so there would be no surprises. No scares or gore, simply good, clean fun. After that, he dove into some retro gaming with an 80’s glam metal soundtrack. At this point, he described the trip as nostalgic, unlocking his inner child to run free in the fields of yesterday. Then…the ping came.

Today’s world no longer takes a number and endures the waiting period. It can find you no matter where you hide and expects an immediate answer. This was his mistake. His “conscious” brain suddenly overrode the experimental euphoria and social media came rushing to the forefront.

What he witnessed was worse than any monster his brain could conjure. Yes, he witnessed our true reality. He opened his phone to endless atrocities like Chinese spy balloons and orange painted wealthy men attempting to sidestep our country’s legal process. Thousands of attention whores aired out their family’s dirty laundry for no reason other than a pat on the back or a virtual sympathy hug. The dreadful thing is those replying to the posts didn’t even mean the sympathies they offered! Self-righteous, boring bastards with YouTube channels accused other self-righteous boring bastards with YouTube channels of spying on their imaginary worlds and struck back with halfhearted threats and consequences. The mushrooms worked their magic by lifting the stealth filter our conscious selves place upon our devices to reveal the narcissistic, gas lighting beast of reality. That beast is called social media.

Photo by Laker on

My friend said he began to come down, so he attempted to sleep. It was too late. He stared at his bedroom ceiling for hours trying to make sense of it all. Sure, the psychedelics showed him the truth, but it is the harshest truth any of us could ever discover. We, as a society, have surpassed our own desires for knowledge and replaced it with our lust for bearing witness to the misfortunes of others. As long as our friends are living horrible lives, then we’re doing well, right? Self-validation in a world which doesn’t care about YOU. It only thrives on the existence of itself.

I, like my friend, have never tried mushrooms or any other psychedelic drug for similar reasons. Marijuana was always enough for me, and it appeared like everyone else who crossed the line into harder substances was having a horrible time. There was never a need for me to see it all unfold on a more personal level. Also, I don’t want the monsters in my head coming to life to teach me a lesson or sing me to sleep. The interpretation of my colleague’s journey is simple if you think about it. The creatures born of bad trips have spent the last fifty years evolving into something much worse than poorly produced brown acid at a music festival. No, they are alive and well, have taken up residency in our pockets, signaling for our attention constantly, and awaiting the next showing.



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