Almost every social media platform we use is designed to be addictive.
Since the introduction of the various digital tools and services, we possess on our smartphones, our lives have changed considerably in a way that it has transformed our relationship with time, effort, and action. To put it in different words, we are no longer capable of controlling the digital tools as we are of the physical tools around us.
The following examples can help you discern what you might have been experiencing.
Action: A tool such as a lawnmower has to be manually initiated by its user, but that’s not the case with our digital devices, which often interacts with us first. Think about all those unwanted notification you receive during the day.
Time and effort: When you decide to start a physical task such as cleaning the house or doing laundry, you have an estimate of how long it is going to take and how much effort you have to put into it. That’s not the case with the endless feeds we are exposed to in our social media apps. Think about apps like Instagram or Snapchat, which automatically loads more content for you to consume.
Recently there have been several discussions around our unhealthy relationship with technology, and some companies are starting to act-but at a slow pace. Take, for example, the latest iOS update, which lets you keep track of the time you spend on your phone, and it helps you set certain limits.
Here are eight steps you can integrate in 2020 to find a balance in your digital life.
- Create a list of limits.
- Be respectful of other people when using your phone, smartwatch, or any other digital device.
- Deleting unnecessary apps might help you reduce the number of notifications. Not everything is important.
- Think about your personal objectives and measure what you value.
- Think about how the apps you use every day makes you feel. Happy, sad, angry, etc.
- Do the apps you use cause unhealthy behaviors? Such as depression, anxiety, addiction, exclusion, abusive relationships.
- Plan your time accordingly, don’t use your phone or computer when others are present.
- Respect other’s use of tech.
Unlike any other diet, you get to design your own tech diet. The best thing to incorporate in your tech diet is to set a number of hours to go offline during the day. Planning a tech diet should begin by designing the environment around you. Share your tech diet with friends, family, coworkers, and others to help you keep accountable and influence others around you.
Use the eight steps above to create your own tech diet. Feel free to incorporate more items from the following list.
- Turn off badges and notifications on your phone
- Turn off your phone or set to do not disturb for a few hours a day
- Delete unnecessary apps
- Move apps away from the main home screen
- Charge your phone outside the bedroom
- Set time limits
- Be physically and mentally present when around others
- Don’t rush to reply or follow up
- Use paper or whiteboards
- Help others develop a tech diet
To conclude, short-term diets don’t create long-lasting change.
And more than a digital detox, think of this as a process to find the right digital nutrients for you. Creating new habits helps you stay in control of your technology consumption.