‘Digital wellbeing’ is becoming a necessity. Receiving too much information, not getting enough messages and constantly checking our phone can make us feel exhausted and anxious.
We are more dependent on technology than ever- App analytics company App Annie found that in April 2020 people spent around four hours and 18 minutes on their mobile devices, an increase of 20% compared to 2019.
We live in a digital world and there is not an instruction manual that we can learn from how to manage being connected 24/7 without saturating ourselves. The time we spend surfing the internet brings us many benefits, but also threats. Understanding our habits, the things that are good and bad for us, and the time we spend on them can help us find the perfect balance.
Here are three easy steps for a healthier relationship with technology:
Monitor the hours you spend on devices
How many emails do you receive per day, how many messages, how many hours do you spend on each TikTok or Instagram? Keeping track of screen time is important. Studies suggest that we tend to underestimate the time we spend browsing and swiping, monitoring will provide insight and give us an idea of the changes we can make.
There are usually built in apps on Android and iOS that can help you monitor your activity on particular apps. This could be used to minimise your time spent on social media, for example.
Beware of your image and the information you put online
Have you checked what comes up when your name is typed into a search engine? How many times have you given information when registering on websites or apps? Does anyone read the terms and conditions? We all have WhatsApp, bank apps, Google Maps, our calendars, etc, and one can basically monitor our entire life through our phones. We need to assure our information is well protected, with strong passwords and two factor authentication if possible. Not only to protect your identity and data online, but also to help you minimise anxiety about hacking and fraud.
Screen time sometimes also equals joy
Our devices can be a source of stress and worry, but also of joy. The things we enjoy doing with our devices are also important. Gaming, learning, connecting with friends and family, watching your favourite shows, helping you organise your day – these are all things our electronic devices help us with. If it’s something you enjoy, you need to factor screen-based activities into our daily schedule in the same way that we include sport or work.
We are going through a time of unbelievable technological advances – AI, Quantum Technology, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality… There is nothing wrong with spending some time on your favourite apps and activities, if it brings you joy, embrace it!
Sudden and radical changes in our technological behaviour risk making us feel even more isolated but there are many things we can do to improve our digital experience. Start small and try to answer the questions we posed and become more digitally aware:
- How many different e-mails or social media accounts do I have?
- What information appears when I search my name on Google?
- What protection do I have so that no one can access my computer/smartphone?
- Do I spend many hours online without knowing what I’m looking at, and then feel tired?
Wellbeing at CodeClan
Hundreds of hours or code-alongs, labs and homework require a healthy routine that works for you, with a foundation of self-care, the ability to focus and good energy levels.
On CodeClan immersive courses, we take wellbeing seriously and do our best to instil good habits through a series of workshops and talks.