What is Digital Wellbeing? Simple Steps to Taking Care of Yourself

Our lives intertwine with technology more today than ever before. It shapes how we communicate, work, and relax. But this digital integration often comes with the stress of always being ‘on’ and the anxiety of non-stop information flow.

Listening to the Warning Signs

Back in 2019, a survey from the UK revealed startling insights. An overwhelming 86% of participants felt technology hurt their well-being, mainly because it blurred the lines between work and personal time.

About 70% admitted that electronic devices often disturbed family moments. This constant interruption affects our social interactions, with 75% of couples feeling they couldn’t engage in meaningful discussions due to digital distractions.

These figures are more than numbers; they’re a wake-up call. They show us that being mindful of our tech use is essential for mental and physical health.

What Does Digital Well-Being Mean?

So, what’s this idea of digital well-being? It’s about more than just limiting our screen time. It involves forming a relationship with technology that respects our life goals and personal values. This positive relationship helps us lead a satisfied life in today’s wired world.

For instance, studies have shown that just reducing screen time by an hour can make a difference in our happiness and stress levels for months.

This concept also supports our cognitive abilities, helping us think more clearly and creatively. It builds our resilience against information overload, a common issue since the digital boom. Plus, it aids in setting clear distinctions between professional and personal life, a critical factor for mental peace in our new normal of remote or hybrid work.

Your Values Lead the Way

To start this process, we need to identify what’s truly important to us. Our values act as a guide, giving us a clear path among countless distractions and information. By understanding what matters to us, we can make conscious decisions about how we use technology.

It might be helpful to reflect on moments of happiness and fulfillment, understanding which values were at play during these times. Contrarily, think about times of dissatisfaction, identifying which values might have been overlooked.

Applying Your Values Daily

Once we know our values, we can bring them into our everyday digital decisions. For instance, if family is your priority, ensure you’re fully present during family time, keeping devices away. If learning is your focus, choose apps that encourage this. Regular reflection is helpful, as values can change over time.


Daily Goals: More Than Just To-Do Lists

Plan your daily goals in the morning instead of immediately losing yourself in social media. Making these small choices helps your online time serve your life aims better.

And remember, being intentional doesn’t mean you need to fill every minute with tasks. Rest is important, too.

Making It a Habit

Setting up an environment that supports digital well-being is key. It’s like what Ivan Pavlov showed with his conditioning experiments: our surroundings shape our behavior. This concept applies to our digital habits as well.

To do this, you could clean up your digital clutter or pick places in your house that are tech-free. Using things like app blockers or settings to manage your screen time on your gadgets can also be handy. The aim is to make a place that helps you stay focused and calm.

Living with Digital Well-Being

Here’s what this might look like on a regular day:

  • Ending your day with a 30-minute digital blackout for better sleep.
  • Starting your day with 15 minutes of meditation or setting intentions, rather than reaching for your phone.
  • Keeping notifications off and the phone out of sight during work for better concentration.
  • Avoiding phone usage during quality time with loved ones.

We don’t need more things to do. We need habits that lower stress and cut out interruptions. We should get back to basics, see what improves our life, and make routines that include these things. This way, we focus on what makes us truly happy.

Join Others on This Path

Embarking on this change can be more enjoyable and effective with others. Participating in group challenges or discussions can provide motivation and accountability. The IE Digital Wellness Challenge is one such initiative, offering weekly inspiration from experts in the field.

Improving how we manage our online worlds won’t be quick or easy. Staying focused, seeking assistance, and recognising what truly counts will lead us to a more enjoyable and manageable digital experience. So, start now. Think about how you could use that extra hour and a clearer mind. What good things will you let in?