It’s been over one year of living the new normal life; can it be called ‘New’ anymore? We are at the stage of ‘been there done that’ and done how? We have fared well in the new reality that was thrown at us . We didn’t let the pandemic disrupt our regular routine. We maneuvered ourselves to fulfill our needs and achieve targets both on the personal as well as professional fronts. The personal touch which is the biggest strength of human beings is diluted to a great extent though. Office colleagues don’t meet or interact enough, schools haven’t fully opened yet and children are missing building crucial social skills which the virtual classrooms cannot establish. Interest groups aren’t interacting face to face enough to take those passions to higher levels.
Increased screen time
We have used technology and digital devices to not only fulfill our professional commitments but also compensate for the social interactions. We have got ourselves into a catch 22 situation without realising the repercussions. Last night there was an outrage of some social media sites; people were expressing it on other platforms even though it was well past 11.30 pm. This is the level of digital dependency we have got ourselves into; it can easily be the next big trap for us!
Social media usage and privacy has been the subject of heated debates for quite some time now; these concerns led governments to enforce policy guidelines for users and media companies. Was it really to do with privacy and easy access to our data? Even when one uses search engines, the information is captured and remarketing happens; so personal data is already being traded even when an individual is not using any social media platforms. Social media needs the user’s time and attention- period! We all have been led into this trap slowly and steadily. It has impacted us in more ways than we can imagine, to the extent that it has become an addiction requiring corrective intervention. Digital Detox should ideally be the new normal. It has started to impact our very lives, relationships, productivity, mental health and overall wellness.
Bringing about the change
How many times have you told yourself that you will limit your screen time? What happened to that commitment?
Committing is easy but living it through can be a challenge. Making improvements and digging yourself each day into the task will be required to reach your goal of digital detox. The best things in life cannot be achieved without our devotion and focused attention isn’t it?
So make a list of all things you did during the day before you go to sleep. The answer to the 5 A’s will help you identify the action areas, channelise your energies towards what you wish to accomplish and then achieve it.
Awareness: Awareness drives behaviour. Make a positive difference, built relationships, create value for others, and reinvent yourself. Be mindful of your current screen time; make a note of the time you spend on digital devices for work, social engagement and entertainment, use of social media, gaming, news updates etc. The time you spend on these activities will surprise you.
Agenda: It is your plan to prioritise and de- clutter; it determines what’s important and where your focus should be. Note down what you do when you have a short break, your travel time, the waiting time before an appointment or a meeting and the longer breaks such as lunch time.
Attitude: It determines your mindset or the kind of person you are. A positive attitude is a ‘can do’ attitude; it’s not something you force on yourself but something you wish to work on willingly. We must not create unnecessary stress to achieve things beyond certain boundaries. Be aware of your high screen time and don’t blame it on work alone. Work is only certain number of hours during the day. Take a stock of what you do outside of that, on holidays, leave period or during vacations.
Action: Intention is not enough; action it. It is what you do with that intention and how far you take it to make a difference counts. Decide on a time when you’ll pick your phone in the morning and also fix a time when you will switch it off at night. Stick to the schedule.
Accomplishment: Ask yourself some hard hitting but important questions. Are your actions impacting your wellbeing? How does it make you feel when you are mindlessly browsing through different screens or electronic devices? Do they put you on guilt trips or sap your energies making you lethargic and fatigued?
Review your answers and create your own screen time SOPs. Once on the path to digital detox accomplish it as a way of life.
Our wellbeing requires discipline – exercise, sleep, spending time with our loved ones and managing stress. If digital devices disrupt any of these activities then it’s about time we take charge and exercise self control. Digital detox will help you accomplish that; are you ready?
PS: Pictures are taken from Google with due credits