As a blogger I use my phone much more than the average person. If I’m not creating content, I’m either scrolling looking for inspiration or engaging with my community. My screen time is through the roof and my eyes are pretty sore because of the unhealthy relationship I’ve developed with my phone. Sadly, the lockdown hasn’t helped much, neither has the theatrics of 2020. With all that that has been happening in the world I was more glued to my phone then ever. Things were starting to affect me so over the last few weeks I’ve been working through new ways to improve my digital wellbeing online.
After completing the Intro to digital wellbeing course via Google Digital Garage it inspired me to make some changes. Prior to embarking on this course I didn’t even know that ‘digital wellbeing’ was a real thing. So far I’ve managed to tap out and reduce my online activity. Let me just say it’s been super difficult to find a balance. However, I’ve made lots of great progress but still have a long way to go to improve.
Below I’ve outlined ways you too can look into ways to improve your own digital wellbeing. Check out the full post below and do let me know your thoughts.
What Does Digital Wellbeing Mean?
Digital wellbeing is a concept that focuses on how us humans interact with technology. It also acknowledges the potential harm that constant exposure to our screens can cause. The goal of improving digital wellbeing is to design technology in such a way that it promotes healthy use and proactively assists the user to maintain a healthy lifestyle with their digital devices.
How To Improve Your Digital Wellbeing
When taking advice from someone on the internet use wisdom and be sure to pick sense out of nonsense 🙂– Jenna’s World View, July 2020-
Understand your daily usage habits
In order for you to make changes to your digital habits you first need to work out your daily usage habits. Most of us already know where we spend most of our time. If you don’t know, your smartphone will be able to tell you.
I have an iPhone and I’m able to look at this data in settings via the ‘Screen Time’ option. Most up to date smart phones have a similar feature. If you’re an Android user and want to know more, save this page for later. I’ll be honest when I first saw how much hours a week I was spending on social media alone I felt completely sick and embarrassed.
When you work out the hours spent on both your personal devices and work devices you’ll probably collapse. With many of us working remotely now I’m confident we’re spending most of our time glued to technology. Before you make any positive changes work out what is what.
Create realistic time limits for yourself
If you discover that you spend way too much time on a certain app set yourself a realistic daily time limit. Be honest with yourself and think about why and how you use that app. Do you really need to spend 4 hours on Facebook? probably not.
I currently have a time limit in place for IG which is the social app I use the most. I use IG to share travel & lifestyle content, interact with my community, repost relevant info and tell stories. Nowadays I use the app more intentionally than ever before. Having a time restriction in place really helps to keep me on my toes. Now that I know I have a limited amount of time to use it a day I utilize my time there wisely.
When I first out this measure in place I struggled miserably. I’d always go over my set time limit and ignore all the reminders. But now that I’m used to it I’m much more mindful and rarely breach my daily allowance. Give this approach a go and see how you get on. Remember you use the apps they should never use you.
Turn off your notifications
If setting time restrictions isn’t up your street then you can always turn off your app notifications. Personally, I find this to be much more effective especially where social media and messenger apps are concerned. For me seeing notifications pop up on my devices constantly was super distracting. My notifications would always lead me astray and before I knew it my to do list would get abandoned. Plus I secretly felt like I was becoming a slave to my notifications and I didn’t like how that made me feel. I felt too accessible to others and I had to put a major stop to that quick and fast.
With notifications on you’re somewhat unprepared and potentially could be caught off guard by triggering content. For me, turning my notifications off allows me to pace myself and not be thrown right into something. When I go into apps now I’m aware that I might see something triggering but I’m more mentally prepared to do so.
Try turning off the notifications from your most used apps and see what impact that has on your day and wellbeing.
There are many things that you can give your attention to rather than your digital devices. Pick up a book,write in your journal, start some home renos, declutter your space, sleep, work out, do some gardening etc. The recent lockdown has made me realize there is so much more I can do that doesn’t involve technology. Figure out ways you can unplug throughout your working day.
If you’re working remotely be strict with yourself and be sure to log off and stay offline. Do not work past your contracted hours checking emails and preparing briefs for the next day.Clock out and stay out until the next working day. With all of the recent conversations surrounding race I find peace and escapism through books. Reading has become another secret place for me to dwell and unplug from the world. I encourage you to find ways to unplug and tailor it to suit your needs.
Take regular digital breaks
Unplugging yourself from the digital rat race might not necessarily work you straight away.We all know that it takes 21 days to form a habit so it will take some time for you to adjust. So I suggest that you start small to ease yourself into it. To do this, schedule regular digital breaks throughout your working day.
This way you can tap out and recharge yourself at more of a digestible pace. By doing this you’re actively taking steps to using your digital devices in a much more healthy way. Put your devices down and go outside for a walk. Get some fresh air and stretch your legs. You’d be surprised how by just doing that will revitalise you.
In the digital age that we live in today it’s important that we take our digital wellbeing seriously. We must try and make a conscious effort to develop healthy daily digital habits and find a reasonable balance.
This week take it upon yourself to spend some time evaluating your digital habits and challenge yourself to make changes. If you have any more suggestions on how to improve your relationships with your digital devices let me know in the comments below.
Lots of love