As we all know, there isn't a one size fits all when it comes to technology consumption; for some, it’s essential to make a living and for others, it’s simply a form of entertainment.
In this blog piece, we take a look at the term Digital Wellbeing and how to improve yours, so you can make more time for the things that matter most.
As Digital Wellbeing is a relatively new idea, we took to DigitalWellbeing.org to find out their interpretation. After asking 29 experts their take on the term, they summed it up as the following; a state of personal wellbeing experienced through the healthy use of digital technology.
Essentially, it’s about reflecting on our technology habits and determining whether these habits add value to our lives or causing more harm than good.
During the height of COVID-19, our time outside plummeted, and consequently, our time online was at an all-time high. As we slowly come out the other side of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever we reflect on our relationship with technology.
Looking at your habits
Do you tend to lose track of time on your phone? Do you stop whatever you're doing to check a notification? How about scrolling mindlessly before bed?
The first step to improving your digital wellbeing is by understanding your own experience with it. As you start to focus on your time with tech, you will likely notice a mental shift within yourself and possibly some inner dialogue, “Hmm, is there a reason I just picked up my phone?”.
Ironically, technology is also a useful tool to understand your habits. If you are an iPhone user, you can analyse your activity via Screen Time. This will reveal your daily average screen time, pick-ups, notifications and most used applications. For android users, Google has released a Digital Wellbeing Dashboard, which offers the same data sets.
Tips on finding balance
If bad habits were easy to break, nobody would have them. We’ve researched and selected some of our favourite tips to help improve your time with tech.
Be available on your own terms
When we get a notification, our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. However, this feeling is fast and fleeting, which leaves us wanting more. Switching off notifications, especially push notifications, is an incredibly beneficial way to minimise distractions and ween yourself from addiction (and yes, it is quite simply an addiction).
Be social on your own terms
Staying connected with friends and family from afar through the use of social media is great, but is that really all your using it for? For most, social media has turned into a time wasting vortex of seemingly endless content to scroll through. Try to be mindful about your consumption of content on social media, as the time wasted on these applications isn't even the main issue.
Mindless social media consumption has been linked to mental health problems, body image issues, and even romantic relationships. Don’t be afraid to take the trash out, e.g. unfollow, unsubscribe or mute any users that may be detrimental to your digital experience.
Unplug more often
Technology has allowed us to be available 24/7, and for most of us, this means that we’re never fully switched off from work either. Depending on your situation, completely unplugging might not be an option. With this in mind, let us introduce you to the idea of taking a tech sabbath.
This concept was a creative project designed to encourage people to take a weekly day of rest from their technology - phones, computers and television included. Having a once-weekly break from technology allows us to reflect and slow down. What’s the worst that could happen?
Being honest with yourself about your behaviours around technology is imperative to improving your digital wellbeing.
Now more than ever, technology has become a centrepiece to many people’s lives. As social norms continue to change and technology continues to evolve, it’s essential we remain in control.