You know the news is terrible, but you can’t stop scrolling.
A friend posts about their life, and suddenly yours pales in comparison.
Information is available at any time, anywhere. And now we are too.
We’ve all been there.
A massive shift to online work and learning environments in 2020 has only made us more aware of the negative impacts technology can have on our health.
How can we balance the benefits of using technology with the costs to our well-being?
My Digital Wellness Story
When I started studying digital anthropology, I had no idea it would lead me down a path to burnout. The potential for learning with technology excited me, and I took to all of the social media and online courses I could get. As I learned more about working with and developing digital systems to do my research and learn many valuable things, I noticed some adverse effects. My sleep suffered along with my attention, and relationships became strained as digital communications became passive and filtered.
I found myself wondering if it would be possible to continue my career using technology while maintaining my health. After taking time for personal reflection, trial and error with boundaries, and a few digital detoxes, I learned a solution lies in mindfulness and a digital wellness lifestyle. In my personal and professional life, this manifests as regular learning about how digital systems work and then setting boundaries for myself and communicating those boundaries to others. Looking back, I wish there had been someone advocating for these practices as I was learning to be a researcher.
On that note, I’ve got some news to share with you: I am officially a certified Digital Wellness Educator! I took part in a 10-week program with the Digital Wellness Institute, where I learned concepts and strategies to help people overwhelmed with technology. I am one of those technology overwhelmed people myself, but now I am a technology overwhelmed human with some certified skills to make things better.
Building a better relationship with technology doesn’t happen overnight, and it can’t happen with one person alone. My goal now is to create online content mindfully and purposefully.