We often talk about well-being, physical well-being, mental well-being, and even emotional well-being. What is well-being? Well-being refers to the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
That being said, let us consider this thing called digital well-being. Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea such a thing existed, but the moment I discovered it, the more it made sense. This constant noise in my head, this buzz of activities that seemed to be on continuous replay, the instant alerts of notifications of emails, and the different social media sites I am subscribed to. It was like the world in my smartphone was always awake and lit. It didn’t matter what time it was in the real world, there was someone somewhere in the digital world who was awake; and of course, it didn’t help that the world was becoming more and more of a global village, our workspace, now in our hand-held devices. When then, do we get time to breathe? To just be?
According to research, mental health issues like depression and anxiety are contributed to by technology and the use of social media. Is there a need to draw a mental picture of that? Shall we talk about the influx of information, whether wanted or unwanted that our brains are flooded with every time we pick up our phones?
Someone somewhere is constantly trying to sell something to us – different ads popping up in our faces selling us a product and even worse, an idea! And so we find ourselves under pressure, subtly but surely.
How do we make it stop? How can we be more present in the real world? How can we take back control, and ensure our digital well-being?
A few years ago, I made a decision that has helped me a lot in managing my digital well-being and creating a balance.
Recently, I added a few more decisions to that one because I realized that the more the world evolves, the more we are prone to losing control of our lives. See the decisions below:
- I stopped going into the digital world first thing in the morning: because I realized that I want to control how my day starts. I want to control the first thing I see, the first thing I think about, so social media stopped being my first port of call in the mornings. I made this decision a couple of years ago and it has been a tremendous help. I replaced this habit with a new one: spending time with my Father.
- Recently, I turned on my timer for Instagram. Instagram has the capacity to suck you in and drain you mentally and emotionally. It’s like a ball that never stops rolling. Discovering the timer feature was a beautiful thing because my phone now alerts me when I have spent my allotted time daily. I love it! It is giving me balance! Now, I only go to Instagram with a purpose.
- Recently also, I discovered the “Digital Wellbeing” feature on my phone that lets me freeze distracting apps for a certain time during the day. I enabled it too, and I am glad because it helps me remain on task during the day.
- Finally, I set up my phone to shut down at a particular time at night, so no more late-night scrolling for me. Yaay!
I think it is pretty amazing and thoughtful of those who invented Smartphones to include a failsafe feature like the “Digital Well-being” feature. Apparently, they realized how our phones could end up turning against us if we did nothing to control it.
Today is a good day to start looking out for your digital health; start with your phone, it is empowered to help you.