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  • Writer's pictureHersh Thaker

Looking after our Digital Health in 2019

Technology is fantastic, but we’ve got to be more conscious about how we use it. Let's use 2019 as an opportunity to have an honest conversation with ourselves and re-think our relationship with the smartphone.

Technology makes our lives easier and helps to bring us closer together; ironically it also seems to be making us hopelessly distracted and driving us apart. Everywhere everyone is spending too much time on their screens. It’s affecting our work, our relationships and our health. It does feel like we’re at a tipping point in our relationship with our digital devices, in particular our smartphones. How can we take care of our digital health by using technology in a way that makes us healthier, happier and more productive?

(Disclaimer: I don't have the answer but this article is an attempt to hold myself accountable to make changes in my own behaviour)

2018 has been a tipping point for me; realising that the unhealthy attachment to my phone is reducing my attention span, creativity and at times making me miserable. I'm basically addicted. Whats more, coming home this Christmas to see adults, teenagers and children glued on their phones unnecessarily was just sad to see.

Technology is fantastic, but we’ve got to be more conscious about how we use it.

I asked my self where the urge to constantly look at my screen comes from and the following reasons emerged;

  1. Routine. Checking my social media feeds, emails, amazon seller central account and news feed are the very first thing i do upon waking up and usually before bed too.

  2. Boredom. Whether it's on my morning commute, walking to the shops or needing a break at work my phone is the first thing i pick up.

  3. FOMO. There is a sense of anxiety that is born out of a belief that i'm potentially missing out on an important email, message or social media update.

  4. Unconscious habit. I have developed unconscious habits where i will just have the urge to check my phone every few minutes.

  5. Genuinely need to. The final reason is when i have a genuine need to send a message, make a phone call or check something online for example.

Reflecting on the reasons above, apart from reason 5 and to some extend reason 2 (watching Netflix on my daily commute!) i could think of no good reason why i couldn't reduce my screen time. Screen time is usually dead time and having already gone a few days with no phone at all over the Christmas period; i felt like i have had time to think, i allowed myself to be bored, to read and not feel; pressure about what messages, instagram updates or emails i might have been missing out on.

I don't plan to go cold turkey on the smartphone in 2019 but i will make an active effort to be reduce my screen time and report back in a few months how it's going for me!


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