Technology – can’t live with it, can’t live without it. In this day and age, we’re finding ourselves in a progressively paradoxical world where we are thoroughly co-dependent on technology, yet our reliance is making us mentally and emotionally drained. We spend our lives looking from screen to screen and many have lost our roots in reality. Whether it be for work or entertainment, there has been a total digital takeover and our use of technology is only on the up and up. Read on to understand how to manage your digital dependency, and boost your mental health in a cyber dirven society.
- Understand Its Personal Impact
Some people are more well-equipped to living a life based around technology than others. If your personal hobbies or work is in the digital field then you may love to spend all day on your computer coding or gaming and see the maximum merit in your online world. Many introverts for example find it easier to communicate virtually than face to face, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, many people find living in a digital age stressful and often anxiety inducing. Understanding your personality and stress caused by the digitalisation of the world will help you identify how to tackle your technology use.
- Work Out Your Usage
All smartphones record time spent on apps so check out your usage. Make a note of what your spend the most time doing on your phone and then you’ll know where you need to cut back. Monitoring your usage is a great way to creating a plan to keep your digital time down. You can limit your screen time on an iPhone in your Settings, whilst Android users can manage theirs on their ‘Digital Wellbeing’ app.
- Limit Your Social Media Time
This one sounds obvious but limiting your use of social media channels will improve your mood, anxiety levels and production levels. It’s common to find influencers and self-described gurus at a click of a button. People who you hold yourself up to as a standard that is impossible to reach. Social media is more likely to impact your mental health, with a recent study showing four out of five 16-24 years olds reported social media has made their anxiety worse. This is an incredibly high statistic and can be prevented with just a little self-control.
Think about how much time you spend aimlessly scrolling through app after app, watching dance videos, couples’ challenges and hacks to while the hours away. Now think of all of the useful things you could have been doing such as hitting the gym, doing laundry or indulging in a hobby. It can be all to easy to lose track of time on social media, so why not try setting an alarm for yourself. Kick back and relax, phone in hand for ten minutes, and when those minutes are up move on and invest your time in something more productive.
- Set A Bedtime
Lack of sleep is no good for anyone and can have severe effect on our mental and physical health if sleep issues are long term. Cutting down on screen time before bed is a proven path to a better night’s rest. Blue light from screens reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone that rules your sleep patten, whilst viewing stimulating content will get your all fired up and unable to relax. Switch off your screens 30-60 minutes before bed and you’ll notice the benefits immediately.
- Get Out Of The House
With working from home looking as though it’s set to stay for a while longer, we’re finding ourselves stuck in the house more and more. If you’re spending your whole day trapped on Zoom calls or glued to your emails, make an effort to get out and about. Why not take a twenty-minute walk on your lunch break, or drop into family and friends in the evening or a face to face catch up? It will do you the world of good.
- Recognise The Positives
Living in a digital age is not all bad. The scope and possibilities that technology enables our society to have is truly mind boggling. Education, communication and medical advances are all enhanced by the presence of technology and the internet. Using them as forces for good in a safe and controlled way can be a tricky balancing act, but once you find the right level for you, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your mental wellbeing.
Are you a self-confessed technology addict? Let us know how you balance your emotional health with your love of the cyber world in the comments.