Technology Fatigue

 

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I think I have given myself a dose of it, accidentally; or rather, by over-enthusiasm. I fell in love with blogging almost straight away after writing my first post, and never looked back. From then, I couldn’t contain my excitement as I researched topics to write about and thought of stories to tell. Blogs were flowing from me every day, and I loved it.

I was amazed that I was getting likes and followers; so many, so soon. It was more than I expected in my first month of blogging! So, I decided it was time to create social media profiles for my blog to help spread the word. I guess that was the point I opened the door to technology fatigue. Having created Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr ‘My Bonkers Brain’ profiles, I then became consumed in social media like I never had before. Reading, liking, sharing, searching for those like-minded folks to follow and paving the way for my own followers. Who knew it could be so absorbing and time-consuming? I loved every minute of it, though, don’t get me wrong – it was, and still is exciting, not to mention, fascinating.

Having bipolar disorder, I can very quickly develop an obsession and become solely fixated on that thing, to the exclusion of everything else in a day. That is what happened to me and why I had to drop off the face of the earth for a few weeks. I became obsessed with the blogosphere and social media and just couldn’t walk away and do something else. There were so many blogs lined up in my reader, and I just had to read each one; each new blog took me on an exciting journey through other people’s experiences. There were so many tweets in my Twitter feed, more pins on Pinterest than I could keep up with and Tumblr, well, I just haven’t quite figured that one out yet.

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The obsession took hold straight away but after a few weeks, I was able to spot the warning signs; which for me, is a great achievement – having self-awareness of the symptoms of my illness. Okay, so I knew I was obsessed, but could I do something about it? No. WordPress and My Bonkers Brain social media profiles were in my waking thoughts and never left me throughout the day, and I didn’t mind. I was doing something worthwhile, and it was boosting my confidence no end.

The obsession became a real problem when fatigue set in. But, still, I couldn’t let go of the laptop, I was in danger of becoming ill, and I knew it, but couldn’t quite stop myself. My head was buzzing with ideas for blogs, stories and poems and they each deserved a chance of digital life. My social media profiles needed nurturing, and my topics needed researching, so I didn’t stop for a rest, despite being aware I was becoming too obsessed.

Fatigue jumped out at me and bit my brain – hard. I was suddenly exhausted every moment of the day and had hit a blank wall. I couldn’t think of anything to write. Nothing; not a sentence, not a single word flowed from my fingers. The choice to slow down had been removed from me, and that was not a bad thing. I was pushed into a period of forced rest to recover from the fatigue. I was so tired I couldn’t even watch television for a couple of weeks. When I tried to keep up to speed with my personal Facebook wall, I was overwhelmed and just had to switch off and leave it. So, there I was, unplugged from technology completely to recover from the fatigue and able to overcome the obsession by forced rest.

I have resumed my relationship with technology, but my lesson is learned. The social media profiles are not as important as I had originally thought. My head is not buzzing with blog topics, so there is no pressure to blog every day. My self-imposed pressure for non-stop social media surfing and blogging created the obsession; I know the signnotebook-1071775_640s and danger of it now, so won’t – or, with the best will in the world, will try not to make the same mistake again!  I will blog, but not every day. I will surf social media, but not as if my life depended on it. I will research, but only topics on a controlled list of things to write about. Management is my key to wellness.

I am sure I am not alone and many other people have walked this path before me.  Hopefully, this blog will help others spot the warning signs and take action before the fatigue kicks in!

Dying to Sleep or Sleeping to Die?

Photo of clock face with 'time for bed'

I heard the phrase “I will sleep when I am dead” so many times during my time working for a global technology company . I would usually hear this response when team members happily agreed to work late. Hell, I started saying it too, as, not only was I a perfectionist and workaholic, I have an agreeable personality type, so didn’t want to let my seniors down.

Working late nearly always means ‘Burning the candle at both ends.’ It’s ok to do this for a short period, but when we do this regularly, it can have a detrimental effect on our wellbeing. Doing it all the time and not getting enough sleep will eventually bite hard and do lasting damage. It did for me and I am paying the price for it now.

Dying to Sleep

So many people don’t have a choice when it comes to sleep. There are not enough hours in the day for working mothers or the people working two or more jobs to make ends meet.  Shift workers don’t even get to sleep at the best time of the day, let alone the right amount of hours.

Photo of a candle burning at both ends

When we burn that candle at both ends for extended periods of time, it might not be apparent that our brains are dying to sleep until it is too late and long-term chronic sleep deprivation kicks in. It can take years to recover from this, if ever at all.

Sleeping to Die

Choosing not to sleep enough hours every night is basically ‘sleeping to die’ because of the long-term chronic sleep deprivation it will cause. This is pretty much the worst thing we can ever do for our health and wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can result in a whole host of associated illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and seizures, not to mention the detrimental effects on the brain. It can cause cognitive impairment, memory loss, lack of judgement and can lead to diseases of the brain. WebMD has an excellent article on their website that covers other risks: 10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss

What is your reason for sleeping to die? Is it late night movies; social media addiction, too much partying, staying on gadgets instead of sleeping, or video games?

Don’t Wait Until You are Dead!

Charlie says “get some sleep!” The most important thing we can do is SLEEP!cat-1270657_640

The most important thing we can ever do for our health, wellbeing and mental health is – SLEEP! We need to sleep the right amount of hours that our brain and body need. You might not need 8 hrs. You might only need around 6 hrs, or it might be as long as 9 hrs. However long our own brain needs, if we don’t get that amount, it will suffer in the long run – trust me, I know!

If I got £10 for every time, I heard the phrase ‘I will sleep when I’m dead’ when I worked in the corporate world, I would be writing this from a sunny beach in the Carribean, outside my second home!

Related Blog: Can’t Sleep – Can’t Wake Up

 

Photo credits: (c) Can Stock Photo