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Social Media Fatigue

24 Sep

I have been thinking a lot about the social media trend which no longer is just mere trend it has become a way of life. I remember 10 years ago in 2002 when everyone was in the midst of terror and being afraid. I was busy taking photos with my then state of the art 2.1MP digital camera.

Who would have thought that I could communicate with people in different countries over the internet. Oh wait I was. But my e-mails, voice calls and instant messages were private, self contained entities controlled solely by us. I had a lot of online chat buddies and thought MSN messenger, Yahoo, AOL and ICQ would be the extent of my communication.

The whole blogging phenomena happened then fast forward a decade and everyone including my 9 year old niece are using Facebook and “liking” my photos from my trip to Berlin before I could tell her about it in person. After becoming obsessed with remembering to update my check in status at the Bank Cash Point I came to a realization a few days ago while at home recovering from an illness.

Not only has our privacy been significantly impaired but we willingly gave it away. In addition to this silent submission, our private thoughts are being used by corporations for profit. Instead of calling my closest friends I Tweet them and comment on this photos. One might see this as more interactive but after some consideration I think this may be incredibly intrusive.

I am a busy Physician and have to take calls in the middle of the night and lately I have noticed the quality of my sleep has fallen tremendously in recent years. I used to blame this on my work schedule but this restlessness occurs even when off duty. So I decided to do an experiment.

I left all my electronics out of my bedroom and turned out all the lights and went to bed. Image I awoke the next day fully rested wondering how I achieved such a thing. It turns out that each of my social media and message caused mobile to lite up or vibrate which caused multiple disruptions to my sleep leaving me exhausted.

But who do I have to blame for this? No one but myself. So I have decided to rethink my whole embrace of all this technology which is supposed to improve life but really has worsened my quality of life. The challenge will be negotiating the terms of my interaction with the world. I suppose my life shouldn’t be that negatively impacted if I am no longer awoken in the middle of night to see photos of Rihanna openly consuming marijuana and cursing.

So I hereby announce my Social Media Fatigue.

I could read some more into the way companies and intelligence agencies are using all this volunteered information to advance less than wholesome or desirable causes but I won’t. I myself am a bit tired of reading conspiracy blogs. I acknowledge there may be forces which want people to surrender all control and freedoms, even their innermost thoughts to create the best weapon of mass destruction.

I don’t care as much about that as I do about my greatest human right, quality sleep.