Labere: Instagram and other social media not worth losing sleep over

Is it time to consider a device detox program of your own?

It’s 11 p.m. on a weekday and I’m listlessly scrolling through Instagram images tailored to my nostalgic preferences.

This, despite the nagging recognition that I’m sacrificing precious sleep for unsatisfactory and, frankly, pointless distraction.

Not so long ago I refused to own a cellphone, but had to give in for professional reasons. Now, I find myself on my cellphone a lot more than I thought I would.

Yes, it is a crucial communications tool for work. It has also taken over the role of other devices. It’s my camera on small hikes and other outings. It’s what I use to listen to CBC Radio in the morning. It’s how I sometimes consume stories and music. And yes, I use it as a phone too (though we still have a landline).

In the words of author and cultural critic Neil Postman, I have surrendered to the culture of technology.

Which is part of the reason why I’m fascinated by the Digital Detox Challenge Sicamous’ Cody Hutchinson has created for students at Eagle River Secondary.

Basically, the challenge involves students not using their devices while at school for two weeks. This is a something of a social experiment, designed to encourage students to reconnect by speaking and interacting with one another in the old-school ways those of older generations, including myself, are familiar with.

For two weeks, challenge participants will be left to socialize without the filter of technology. No corrected typos. No emojis to express sincere, or insincere reactions. No avoiding the sometimes joyful and sometimes awkward learning experiences of person-to-person communication.

Read more: Sicamous student challenges himself, peers to go nine school days cell phone free

Read more: Column: Screen time – the battle is real

I remember in middle school the only computers we had access to were RadioShack TRS-80s with black and green screens. No operating systems; you created your own programs.

They seemed worse than the Commodore 64 we had in Grade 5 or 6, though both are a far cry from the technological devices students have access to now and the world of information available through them. While I cannot imagine myself a student in the a modern public school setting, I do appreciate the utility of today’s devices for work and the sharing of information.

I also recognize, though, that some of the more addictive applications truly only benefit those who profit from our taps, clicks and swipes.

My understanding of the digital detox challenge is that it isn’t so much about doing away with devices as it is about finding a healthy balance. I look forward to hearing how the experience was for students and what life adjustments it might have inspired.

From my own experience, I’ve gotta say, Instagram and other social media are definitely not worth losing sleep over.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of three Sooke men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
Eight sick, 108 more isolating in Comox Valley school district due to COVID-19

District says that all who tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read