I know we all need time to unplug. It isn’t good for us mentally, socially and even physically to be glued to social media all of the time. We need time away from our phones, tablets and desktops so we can focus on things that are happening in our own world right in front of us.
But when you have a chronic illness like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, our phones and tablets can sometimes be a huge savior. Becoming immersed in the screen and lives of other people offer the kind of distraction you can’t really get elsewhere. You also have the ability to shut off the stimulation whenever you choose which you can’t really do with people in real life.
When I was at my worst, I didn’t spend much time on social media. I may have talked to close friends through texting but that was it. Once things calmed down a little bit health wise and I reached for my phone, it was an amazing way to waste time. It gave me hours sometimes of not thinking about the pain I was in. It allowed me time not to worry about what the future had in store or the guilt I was feeling about being a burden on my family.
If you know anything about me, then you know I suffer from major insomnia. I know good sleep hygein practices say to keep electronics away from the bed and while I agree with that 99percent, I also think it has been very helpful to have it close to me.
The inability to fall asleep is deadly. It can cause you to feel psychotic. It makes you frustrated and anxious when all you want to do is rest your brain but for some reason cannot. It allows your mind to wander and think about things you never would really focus on if you were able to sleep at night. Thus making sleeping even more difficult if you get worked up over some negative/upsetting thoughts.
I have noticed that if I am unable to fall asleep for hours, or am just laying in bed (I don’t believe getting up and doing things is helpful, even though it is recommended) thinking instead of sleeping, I reach for my iPad. I spend however long I want checking messages in certain locations (I leave heavier emails and things for the morning), browsing through my facebook newsfeed to see what funny things my friends post, looking at pictures of dogs on Instagram and before I know it, I am either sleepier than I was before or the morning is almost here.
I have been thinking about this a lot and while I agree it is wise to have time away from technology, feeling connected to others online when you aren’t doing well can really help you with feelings of isolation.