Digital Wellbeing

Digital Wellbeing

12th March 2020

It is a little bit better than tiktoks latest penny challenge of being blown up by a plug don’t you agree?!….

I have only just started to take Digital Wellbeing seriously. I particularly like it. Well what does that mean?

We live in a world now where technology is forever present in our lives. And this can have both a positive and negative effect.

The definition of digital wellbeing is: ‘A term used by health professionals, researchers and device manufacturers to describe the concept that when humans interact with technology, the experience should support mental and/or physical health in a measurable way. 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.’

The overuse of technology can have some really detrimental effects, especially in the younger generation, who are more often than not suffering from anxiety and depression. On the other hand, it can of course also be used to enhance your life, we just need to be using it in a conscious way and be mindful of how it can affect us.

Some phones actually have a specific internal setting for this feature, however there are many apps readily available from your app store to download, free and paid versions, it’s pretty cool. It’s designed to help android users monitor their phone and app usage. App features include reports on how frequently you use your different apps, how often you check your phone, how many notifications you receive. Some come with daily app timers, enabling you to set limits for how much you use your phone, wind down mode, can set a schedule to fade your screen and automatically turns on Do not Disturb. Point is, they all help users cut down on digital distraction and help detox away from your device. We spend, on average five hours per day on our mobile devices!

Phones have been referred to as sleep’s worst enemy as the brightness and stimulation wakes us up when we should be winding down at night, but the content just keeps us scrolling. Constant scrolling is addictive, it has been attributed to internet addiction which correlates to high levels of anxiety, poor time management, ADHD, depression and so on. Some people may even suffer from FOMO, the fear of missing out. Constantly wanting an update on what is happening socially, so you are kept in the loop and not missing out. This is part of why we love our phones and feel like we would be lost without them. Yet I’m starting to feel like embracing JOMO – the joy of missing out!

So, what do I do?

I switched my phone off last weekend, I switched off my personal phone and my work phone. Even put them away out of sight so I wouldn’t be tempted to play on it/check for messages/ dip into a bit of online shopping…Admittedly I was a bit twitchy the first hour or so, maybe even suffering from some “phonelines “then I actually just forgot about having a phone and concentrated on the day I was having, truly in the moment without any distractions such as dipping into Facebook to be nosey, or sending pointless messages to people that I would rather just make the time and effort to go and visit.

The bad habits I identified in myself were actually checking emails and Faceboook, whilst I was out with friends/family. I even remember checking my messages whilst at a Christingle service on Christmas Eve, even when people speak to me, I am so engrossed in my phone, I don’t even hear what they say... (now that is bad yes, I know)

I’m going to work on setting myself digital boundaries and win back my time to give precious attention to things that are real in life. I personally spend too much time in the digital world, and I am coming to realise that a lot of it is actually quite pointless. My goal is to mainly limit social media time, it’s useful but not always necessary, it just doesn’t compare to seeing people face to face. I keep telling myself its ok to “switch off “! and leave Reddit alone! But come on, the stories are actually pretty funny.

My feeling is, it’s time to disconnect from my phone sometimes and reconnect with who and what matters, more importantly myself. Do you know the feeling? Let me know your thoughts on this and if you have found it hard to disconnect…. Personally, I don’t even walk from my car to my office without being on my phone.

Here at The Armour Group, yes, we are a tech company, our whole working life is digital and we live and breathe cyber, it’s our passion to educate and protect, yet sometimes, we all need to switch off and I think people would benefit from doing this, even just occasionally. It’s learning to manage the digital workload effectively alongside your personal life too. Without just staring at screens all day and all night.

It’s all about getting the balance right and to revaluate your relationship with technology. I am not yet at the stage where I will jet off to a pure digital retreat, but baby steps is my motto…

Here are some top tips I have found for Digital Wellbeing:

  • Adjust your notifications to reduce interruptions and distraction.
  • Delete Apps which aren’t useful.
  • Set a daily browsing allowance for each app, when you reach your time limit that app is
  • paused for the rest of the day.
  • Give your devices a bedtime. Switch your devices of at a set time each night.
  • Turn Push Notifications Off.
  • Ban phone charging in the bedroom.
  • Take up a hobby.

Let’s all try and have a Tech Break and increase feelings of closeness, empathy and connection with those standing by us.

Now, I must try and find my personal phone, can’t remember where I put it when I switched it off!

Written by Tara Manners - Head of Sales and Admin