Technology was a great invention. Maybe it was like being a horse when the car came along!? Technology makes things faster and saves time. A flawless advance, right? Except the same technology we brought about is, the same tech that now has a hold over us, and not in a good way.
The pandemic has made the situation worse, not better. The dust is still settling on new working patterns, but let’s assume an element of hybrid working. The line between the home place and work space is getting even more blurred. E-presenteeism is an issue already in play according to the CIPD. That’s even more screen time on top of existing digital consumption via laptops, tablets and smartphones.
I was asked to present about social media marketing strategy recently and a question was asked about digital wellbeing. What could be done to help stop people from becoming screen slaves? Some in the debate asked what was out there that could help? I preferred a self-help response as I believe too often people look outward for help when the answer lies closer to home. If we want to, it is possible to take control of a situation and try and turn it around. So here are some digital wellbeing suggestions to reduce your digital consumption (if that is what you want).
How to reduce the hours in your day spent in front of a screen
- Wake up without your smartphone. Start the night before by putting your device in a room that isn’t the one you sleep in. Try it and see if your quality of sleep improves.
- Turn off or limit notifications. Use the ‘Do not Disturb’ feature. Set your device to mute all calls, alerts and media. Exceptions for certain apps or certain times can be set up.
- Challenge yourself to limit your check-in frequency. Try to think about your phone as a person. Would you let a person constantly interrupt when you were working on something important?
- If you are setting boundaries for yourself, tell people what they are. That way you can gauge their support and people will learn to appreciate your new digital patterns.
- Be mindful of the content you are consuming. We are drawn easily into negative stories but try and balance this with positive narratives as well.
- Leave your phone at home when you go out for a walk or go to the gym. If you listen to music/podcasts while you’re out, get an iPod or similar which is for that purpose only.
- Enjoy the moment. Take time to take in what is around you; allow your senses to appreciate the wider world away from the screen.
- If you’re fighting a losing battle, but still want to reduce your reliance, reach out for help. Smartphone addiction is know as nomophobia. Professional help is available. With every illness the first port of call is a GP.
Social media is a large part of the digital marketing mix. As an agency that runs digital marketing campaigns for clients, we are a net contributor to the problem. We would say that our digital output focusses on specific audiences, and aims to meet identified challenges or expectations that they have. We always advocate quality over quantity when it comes to customer-facing communication.