I spend roughly 90 percent of my day on a social media platform. If I’m not on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, or Bloglovin’, I am creating content for social media. I’m a content creator therefore it’s my job. However what are the long term effect of staring at a screen all day? How much is too much? Am I addicted? What are the dangers of social media. Murad recently approached me for their #EYESUP campaign. At first I was confused. What are they wanting me to sell? What is the product I should test out? It is rare for a brand to approach me without an ulterior motive. But, Murad wanted to bring attention the dangers of “Cultural Stress, the stress of modern living, is negatively affecting our health and happiness in profound ways.” (murad.com)
So what was it like going dark for 24 hours?
On March 9th, I took the pledge to go dark for a full 24 hours and posted this photo and caption on Instagram.
At first I thought this would be a breeze. 24 hours no work. I’ll enjoy a day off.
Let me tell you how hard this was for me! The first 3 hours I found myself reaching for my phone to check Instagram. Catching myself, I would stop and then justify trying to check twitter or Facebook. Then I’d want to check my email. I was so afraid to be disconnected or missing out on something someone posted, it was actually getting me down.
Guess this is why the urban dictionary has FOMO as a term. (Incase you needed the definition, FOMO is fear of missing out) Clearly I am addicted to being online. Mostly I justify my addiction to work. I work for myself, therefore I have to be online. It’s my job… duh… It’s not bad if it’s work, right?
I should look up and appreciate my surroundings. Enjoy the fresh air, warm weather, and the people I come in contact with. So often I hide behind my phone. Conversation runs dry, check my phone. Awkward feeling of being in a group environment with a bunch of strangers, I know! I’ll look important by checking my phone. Let me like my friends photos on Instagram instead of making new ones with the people in front of me. Hubs is talking and I’m board, so let me check twitter and answer questions there while he’s talking. How rude is that?!
These are all things I do on a daily, hourly basis. What a horrible person? Okay not really, I’m just a little too okay with how our current culture is. It’s become acceptable to behave this way. Besides being rude and missing out on life, there are real issues at hand. Being plugged in all the time wears on us as human beings. LOL as I’m blogging about this. The irony is not lost on me. Unfortunately, online platforms are the only ones I have and the way to help Murad spread their message. If you want to reach people these days, social media is the way to go. Sad, but true. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media! I love the internet. It’s a freedom and tool I enjoy and appreciate to it’s fullest. Life is amazing because of the internet. Communication is incredible! I can stay in touch with friends and family from all over the world, for FREE! However, there is a downside. Isn’t there always?
DANGERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
“Today’s teens spend more than 7 1 / 2 hours a day consuming media — watching TV, listening to music, surfing the Web, social networking, and playing video games, according to a 2010 study of 8- to 18-year-olds conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.” (thewashingtonpost.com)
This study is from 2010! BTW, I didn’t spend 7 1/2 hours doing any one thing as a teen or a kid. Maybe attending dance classes with other kids and learning social skills as well as developing a physical skill set that kept me in shape as well as give me body awareness, but no, I never would have stared at a screen for 7 1/2 hours consuming content. No wonder there are more and more health concerns with kids these days. Not to mention my own health. I will spend hours working on my computer before realizing I’ve gone a whole day without eating. Probably TMI, but I’ll hold my pee to finish what I’m doing on my computer, that’s not good for my bladder. I am literally depriving my body of it’s needs.
Spending so much time focused on a screen does affect your overall happiness and wellbeing.
Murad does a great job portraying this in their video here.
Back to my experience
As the day wore on, I noticed I found myself organizing the clutter around the house. When I was hungry I ate, when I was thirsty, I drank. If I had to pee, I peed. Taking time away eventually forced me to listen to myself, be with myself, and give myself what I needed. My workout was relaxing because I did not bring my phone. Walking home, I noticed the people I passed and smelled the air, which smelled like steak and made me hungry. So I went home and made myself dinner. The steak I made was delicious, because I was focused on cooking, everything came out the way I wanted and my smoke alarm did not go off! The first time in our new place this has happened. Score!
By the end of the night, I realized something I already knew, but now need to act upon. I need time off. There are things I should enjoy. Stress less about sharing everything and just enjoy the moment. Life is short, it’s great that I can document everything, but I want to see it with my own eyes first, not through a lens.
Since this day of going dark, I’ve taken more time to put my phone down and just focus on what’s happening in front of me. As the weather warms up, I will walk more and not walk and work, but really walk and be aware of my surroundings. I like to think everything in moderation.
Find out more on Murad.com