The evolution of technology has been so fast that we haven’t had a chance to stop and think about what effect it has on our lives. Stephanie Reina explains what digital wellness is and provides some tips on how to achieve it.
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Technology keeps evolving so fast that we haven’t had a chance to stop and think about what effect technology has in our lives. So, digital wellness is about implementing strategies or adopting habits that are going to help us have a healthy relationship with technology. The Digital Wellness Institute provides a model, it’s called the Digital Flourishing Wheel, where our life domains are divided into eight parts, such as: relationships, environment, physical health, mental health, communications, productivity, citizenship, and digital enabled health.
If we think about our relationships, for example, some of the negative effects are that because we are able to keep in touch with so many people through social media and through the Internet, the quality of those relationships gets diluted. Also in terms of our relationships. We use our phones when we are with people in real life, and we are creating a physical barrier between the person and us.
Also in some social settings and we feel awkward if we’re not with our phones. So we tend to make less eye contact with other people. On the other side, there are positive effects from technology on our relationships. Technology has enabled us to stay in touch with people that we really care about. Technology also has an impact on our productivity. Some of the negative effects include distraction, of course, because we have many notifications that pull our attention and it’s very difficult to focus. Another negative effect is that we are connected 24 hours a day, and so sometimes there is an expectation that we should be responsive 24 hours a day, and that doesn’t allow us to recover and rest so we can be more productive the next day.
On the other hand, technology has enabled us to work from anywhere at any time so we can answer emails from a taxi, we can work from the airport, technology has enabled us to work from home. In terms of productivity, for example, we should set time aside every day when we do focus work, when we do work undistracted. For some people it works to turn off notifications for their mobile phones on airplane mode, lock their phones in a drawer, setting specific times to check and take care of emails, instead of answering them as they come.
If we really want to foster a relationship, we need to meet with the people that we care about in real life. Another recommendation is to set up rules about how we use technology when we are with the people that we care about. Establishing tech free zones, so the dinner table, for example, during meals we will keep our devices aside. Digital wellness, it’s an ongoing process, technology is not going away, it’s part of our daily lives and it’s part of progress. And this is why it’s important to adopt habits that allow us to have a healthy relationship with technology.