Alison Garwood Jones

While you were sleeping

June 21, 2010

Social Sleeping

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Here’s an update on two earlier sleep posts, “You snooze, you lose” and “Rubin Naiman in conversation.”

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Hey all you cool kids! When it comes to apps, Caveat Emptor.

Technology’s war on boundaries continues with “Social Sleeping.” Here’s another case of, just-because-you-can-doesn’t-mean-you-should.

The iHome + Sleep app lets you “post updates to your social networks in the morning and at bedtime, and even wake to a summary of what your friends did while you were sleeping.” And, get this, you can also “check the weather, track your sleep habits, and sleep and wake to your iPod tunes,” and it’s FREE!

One-third of your life just got a lot more fun,” say the creators.

OK, this is a slippery slope. Tell this dealer to go on his way. Get out the shotgun if you have to. You don’t want what’s in his pocket.

Writer Judith Warner observes, quite rightly, that our inability (and disinterest) in controlling ourselves is the defining social feature of our time. “Something is amiss in our inner mechanisms of restraint,” she tells The New York Times, because we’re losing the ability to self-regulate our appetite, emotions, impulses and cupidity. I like that word. It means “an eager desire to possess something.”

We’re hooked on bursts of pleasure, and this, says Peter Whybrow, director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, has disturbed “the ancient mechanisms that sustain our physical and mental balance.”

So keep “social sleeping” to spooning, not fretting from a horizontal position about updating your Twitter account or following posts from that awesomely epic barhop down College St. you missed because you were tired.

Sleep is not for wimps, so keep social media out of the bedroom, and “Just Say No!”

Image:  iPhone Handbook (Spring/Summer 2010, p. 21)

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One response to “While you were sleeping”

  1. melanie gao says:

    A wise friend of mine told me once, "Sleep is not a luxury, it's a weapon." I loved that quote And I am so with you on the Sleep app. Social media can be addictive.

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