The Habit that Holds You: Are You Addicted?

Gosh. Where to even start. I took two IB classes on impulse and one of them was English. I definitely do not regret it, since this is the first English class I’ve ever had in my life where I felt like I actually learned something, but to be honest, the beginning was hella rough. I hated the idea of sharing every-single-thought-I-had to the rest of the class which seemingly came so easily to everyone else. I hated being called upon for my opinions and most of all I was so indecisive and critical of every assignent thrown my way. For some reason, I thought that doing IB meant I had to start writing like Shakespeare or something and the mere fact that I could not was driving me up the wall. This assignment was to propose a podcast idea. I was utterly clueless. I do not listen to podcasts. I am a audiobook or music gal and so I didn’t really know what to do this project on. I had just done another part of this project where I found a real podcast ans shared it with the class. This podcast was Under The Influence by some guy at CBC, and it focused on media consumption and hyper targeting if I’m remembering correctly. – Anyway, the title Under the Influence made me think of drugs, which then made me think of addictions and I was like ok well maybe someone would make a podcast on addictions kinda informational style?! I didn’t know if they would or not because I just dont listen to freakin podcasts like all the mad intellectual IB students in the class who can cite Malcolm Gladwell by heart??? Anyway, I was overthinking it wayyyy to far, I shared it with the class and was wayyyy to embarrassed because these people just sprung up these great ideas without a bat of an eye, and most importantly my grade was wayyy to low. (Not to flex but I had become accustomed to my 100 average in English for the past six years.) It was the train wreck of my english class career.

The Habit that Holds You is an argumentative style letter to a podcast company proposing the idea for sponsorship. All of the letter is fictive, but I had to choose “hosts” for the show and determine what each episode would look like. This is mad cringe. But if I’m going to share some of my work with the world, it would be biased if I didn’t show some of my worst work as well since ya don’t get 90+ all the time! It’s taken me two high school math classes to figure that out!

Emma Fackenthall

English 11 IB, per. 1

12 November 2019

The Habit that Holds You 

Emma Fackenthall 

58 Rte. 687, Fredericton, NB E3A 8Y2

November 12 2019 

Ms. Alexandra Brown

2031 POPcast Incorporated, Business Park, New York City, NY 90230

Dear Ms. Brown, 

            I am writing you this letter because I would like you to review a proposal for a new podcast idea that has recently dawned upon me. I have heard great things about your company and the podcasts you have helped produce. 

            I am seeking financial aid from your corporation so that my podcast show can hopefully see the light. The show I would like to launch is to be called Are You Addicted and would focus primarily on different types of addiction and dependencies. My team and I are hoping to start recording soon, but are in need of proper equipment and publicity and are therefore writing to you today. 

We have already assembled a cast to the show. The host will be Christopher Breaux, he was chosen by our group because of his past experience on radio shows such as his own radio series, Blonded. Additionally, Elizabeth Grant, former addict herself and the co-host of this show, seems to have a unique way of thinking and will hopefully contribute greatly in our podcast’s success. Throughout the writing process for each episode, I would also like to incorporate the advice and explanations from certified addictionologists. Lastly, I will be in responsible of outreach managing. Furthermore, I will be in charge of finding guests to appear on the show and to interview them. My team and I envision Are You Addicted to be accessible through many of the widespread podcast sources like the Apple Podcast app and iHeart Radio.

            We intend for this show to impact mostly younger listeners, like teenagers and young adults, since addiction and addictive personalities tend to develop during these years and as we are going through adolescence we seem to figure out who we are and what it is we like to do. Albeit, anyone can struggle through addiction whether it be age or gender, this podcast has a goal to inform society on certain dependencies that are not frequently discussed. Henceforth, if you or a loved one is suffering they can know they are not alone and get the help they need.

            I have personally noticed that in everyone’s lives we seem to hold onto a specific thing as a way to cope and as a way to spend our time. We have these hobbies just to waste our time until the inevitable happens; we die. It seems as if sometimes, these habits or hobbies can consume or damage us. At times, these hobbies are simple and innocent, much like taking your dog for a walk, but others can be disastrous such as abusing drugs daily. We tend to seek out methods in which we can drown out our current lives and forget the elements that bother us by doing activities seemingly enjoyable to us. Euphoria is an addictive feeling. The big goal in our lifetime is to be happy, right? Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity no matter of its causing of harm to oneself because its involvement is pleasurable to the consumer. Being an addict means that your mind starts to depend on something else to function and to feel happy. My question is, where is the line drawn between healthy coping mechanisms (or hobbies) and addiction seeing that we can take any hobby and turn it into something we can emotionally depend on?

Media and pop culture have a tendency to only cover drug and alcohol dependencies, but there are so many other types of addiction that are not taught to the general population and the future generations, like the children and teenagers, who will grow up to be the next cohort of addicts. This is where our podcast show becomes resourceful to society. We aim to inform our viewers on a different type of addiction through every episode. Some examples would be behavioral addiction, compulsive stealing, shopping, cutting, eating disorders, gaming addictions, book abuse, exercising, tanning, music addiction, pulling hair, addiction to unrequited love, and addiction to self-pity, among many others. All episodes would maintain a similar structure. Firstly, an introduction to the podcast series itself, followed by the type of addiction that will be analyzed the specific episode. Each installment will have a duration of about 30-45 minutes and will explore the symptoms of each addiction, the warning signs to look out for in a loved one, and the dangers of being addicted to that certain substance of activity if there are any. Every episode will also incorporate a survivor of that type of addiction to talk about that specific dependency and how they were able to get better so listeners who think they might be affected by an addiction can be reminded that there is a way out. To wrap up the episode, the outro to the show will offer hotlines and accessible online resources so that people can get more information or be assisted by professionals. 

Our main intention with this show is to help people realize when they need help or to inspire others to approach and get help for people they suspect to be suffering. This podcast seeks to inform society on certain topics and types of addictions that no one seems to talk about and to remove the stigma that comes with mental health disorders and addiction. This series might also provoke some thought among the audience because with each episode we will explore certain questions like whether or not hobbies are to a certain extent a type of addiction that just is not causing harm. Moreover, listeners can reflect on their hobbies and passions and see if they depend on them to be happy. In reality, our content should not depend on our phone, our popularity, on stealing things or consuming substances. It should rely solely on oneself and the relationships and attributes we develop throughout our lifetime. 

This podcast will engage listeners being as it is a sensitive topic that can affect anyone. We want our podcast to be a success by leaving an imprint on our listeners, so they can look around and reflect on what it means to be truly happy and if their happiness is influenced by specific people, objects or substances. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in today’s world and can also be developed through addiction. These factors around us influence our every mood and feeling whether we want them to or not. Thus, eliminating the certain things that we have let consume and manipulate us, we can hopefully see the world more positively and spread our joy to those who need it most. The definition of success to us would be to make a difference and to help people out, that is exactly what we plan to do with this podcast. Addiction is something that many of people can make ties to, being as it is very common and can hopefully help those who are suffering or who know others who are addicted. 

A clear link can be distinguished in between the concept of addiction and the theme of identities in the IB’s English B Program. Addiction can easily compromise or conform our identity and can greatly impact our health and well-being. Addiction can also take form as a common activity or lifestyle, as it is something that continues to be a regular habit in our lives, whether or not it is healthy. 

My team and I hope you show interest in promoting and producing our show. It would be a great honor to be able to help out and inform those in need. 

With sincere thanks, 

Emma Fackenthall 

Writhing around my bedroom floor at the thought of someone else reading this after that presentation day. Definitely do not vibe with this assignment.