Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Terms like Digital Burnout, Digital Detox and Zoom Fatigue have become prominent themes since the pandemic, as we shifted our lives to the online world. Digital Technology has become ubiquitous. It impacts every aspect of our lives, so one cannot think of wellbeing without considering how our connection with technology and the relationships we have with our devices impact our physical and mental health. We can refer to this as our Digital Wellness or Digital Wellbeing. The concept is easy, it’s about how we maintain a healthy relationship with our digital technologies so that they support our goals and values rather than distracting us, interrupting us, or getting in the way of having a happy and balanced life. When we think about our own digital wellness, we can look at it under two strands:
Digital Mindfulness - What is our awareness and intention behind how we use our digital technologies like our smartphone for instance. Do you find yourself getting sucked down that Instagram vacuum? Scrolling through newsfeeds, endless TikTok videos for 30 minutes when you only intended on 5? Do we use our technology to serve our goals and values, or do we serve theirs?
Digital Nutrition- Psychologist Jocelyn Brewer came up with a fantastic concept of looking at our use the same way we look at food consumption. Device use is neither good or bad, but we should be aware of how much and how we use it and bring awareness to the quality of our consumption. For example, there is a big difference to mindlessly scrolling through our Instagram feed, verses opening our podcast app and listening with intent to a topic of choice. We are bound to devour some junk along the way but in general we should aim for consuming tech which does the job of nourishing and enriching our mind, body & soul.
We know our devices are an integral part of our lives and they can help us achieve amazing things, and provide us with so many opportunities, which would have been unthinkable in the past. However, when we are not in our optimum state of the use, it can have a negative impact on all key areas of our lives- our Mental Health, Wellbeing- Physical Health, our Productivity, Relationships and Personal Growth. One of the issues we face today is that our tech use tends to mean unintentional use, and in most cases, we are not even aware. It has become habitual. Only by brining awareness to one’s own digital habits and how they make us feel and re addressing any imbalance, can there ever be true path to optimum wellness.