I'm faded and at what cost?

Written by: Kimberley Smith

I’m faded and at what cost?

The best of social media is to bring people together, be connected and share businesses. Bringing people together is my passion. Using social media, it became my number one goal. A way to connect...especially now. There is a light during our pandemic tunnel.

And it's working. Endless hours of creating, writing, sharing, posting, using multiple social mediums, and many different devices, reaching hundreds of isolated people. And guess what? They're participating, they're having fun, they’re relaxing, but more importantly - they're attending online events. I'm elated.

But at what cost?

Now, during the pandemic and Toronto in lockdown. We are inside more and I noticed I was spending a lot more time on my “many” devices: iPhone, iPad, TV and computer.

One night I lay in bed: watching my TV, listening to my iPad, swiping my phone - all at the same time. Sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been liking and swiping, liking and swiping, watching stories, videos, liking and swiping way more since the pandemic started.

Social media is to build connections and keep up to date with my family and friends yes, but why the extra endless hours? At moments, I would catch myself swiping and watching videos on Tik Tok and Instagram before bed, then again when I woke up in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning. All these devices going. Are we really even focused and retaining what we are watching?

Until recently, on February 9. I woke up out of bed and I could barely move. I was struggling. I could barely get up to work. My head was foggy. I was frustrated. I had been feeling this tiredness for a while now.

Was social media impacting my well-being?

After a chat with my sister, we agreed - Yep! It has to be social media. I eat well. I exercise. Heck, I even have a bike trainer on my bike in my living room. My sister suggested I put my devices on the kitchen counter for the night. I’m desperate and willing to try anything.

That first night, I was exhausted so I fell asleep quite quickly. I woke up part way through the night and was constantly thinking about my phone, constantly wondering “I wonder if anyone’s messaged me? I wonder if I’ve missed any messages? I don’t want to fall behind on messages”. I literally wanted to get up and use the washroom just so I can sneak by my phone and check it. And somehow... are you ready for this? In the middle of the night, my arm automatically reached over to my table where I would usually keep my phone. Except there was no phone there! Hello Kimberley? - we have a problem! My body was so programmed to be able to reach for the phone that it was doing it automatically? That’s freaky.

The next night, I decided to refrain from using the devices for 12 hours. 10pm - 10am I did not go on my devices. The next morning, I woke up with more energy, feeling so much more alive and not really tired at all. But I do recall still thinking about my phone.

Last night was night #3. I did watch some YouTube on my TV and I thought to myself “What’s the point of keeping my phone and my iPad in the kitchen if I’m just gonna watch social media on my TV?” It doesn’t make sense. Why do I feel the need to watch something in order to fall asleep.

This is a behaviour and it’s a pattern. But the cost? It’s costing me my sleep. And if I’m not well and I’m not able to rest, then I’m not able to serve my clients. I’m not able to run events. I mean don’t get me wrong, we need apps to promote our businesses and to stay connected but they don’t need to take over our lives. They don’t need to impact our well-being.

Think about it... If we were all to be able to discipline ourselves on social media we probably have a lot more time to spend together. And we will likely be a lot happier, wouldn’t we?

Kimberley Smith

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IG: @kimberflydesign

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