If it weren’t for my iPhone, then I would undoubtedly get a sufficient amount of sleep at night. If Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were never created, then I wouldn’t feel obligated to post the daily happenings of my life, no matter how mundane or exciting (although most of the time people don’t care either way).
But because these things do exist, I am a sleep-deprived, media-obsessed 23-year-old woman who gets an annoying ping in the gut of her stomach each time she thinks she’s lost her phone when usually, it’s just “hiding” somewhere in her black hole of a purse.
I’ve become so consumed with technology and social media that the mere thought of not having service on my phone for five minutes makes me cringe. Why is it that us young folk are so attached to social media and technology, and why do so many of us claim we’re going to take a “break” or “quit” social media when we just end up getting sucked right back into it?
So many of us, myself included, keep our phones or tablets beside our beds at night just in case someone happens to text or tweet us. When those little objects of our affection light up with a notification from Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, so do our faces. Someone liking our most recent Instagram picture or one of our favorite celebs retweeting or responding to one of our tweets puts us in a lingering state of euphoria. Anything else that we may have been in the midst of doing in that moment suddenly gets thrown to the wayside, and all of our attention is set on a hypnotic LCD screen.
I’ve never really been a deep sleeper and have always envied those who say they can sleep through an earthquake or fire alarm (but in these extreme cases, my self-proclaimed insomnia would be a lifesaver). Ever since I’ve had an iPhone, though, my sleeping habits have gotten considerably worse. I didn’t fully realize the extent of my sleeping woes until I told a friend of mine about my inability to actually go to sleep when I hop in my bed. She then told me that my phone could be the culprit. After deep thought, I began to see how my phone could be the reason for my lack of shut-eye. Because I keep my phone underneath my pillow every night for easy access, I am on it constantly to refresh my Twitter and Instagram feeds, which consequently keeps me up way past my bedtime. My friend also informed me that the bright light from the screen has been proven to keep people up longer because it stimulates your brain and does some weird scientific stuff to your internal body clock.
After hearing all of this information, I immediately began thinking of ways to solve my problem. The first solution I came up with was to put my phone on the other side of my room so that when it goes off my laziness would take over, thus leaving my phone unanswered. But alas, my one attempt at my new plan failed within minutes; I underestimated the extent of my diligence and sprung up from my bed right when I heard it vibrate.
I haven’t given up completely, however. I know there is still hope for me; there’s hope for all of us. The main problem is that we feel we need to know what is going on all the time because we’re human. We seek knowledge in order to better understand our reality. Aside from that, though, we live in a society that is inundated with information on a regular basis, so it’s only natural that we desire to know the 4-1-1. Let’s just try to remember that we don’t really need our phones by us 24/7, and that sometimes we need to get comfortable with the unknown.