Being online too much can have detrimental effects on our heath and mental wellbeing. More and more studies are revealing the damaging effects of working online and for many of us it’s our job to be online! I thought it was the best possible time to start talking about the importance of being offline more than we’re online and how to make that a possibility when it goes against your job!
The potential damage of being online
Spending too much time online can be damaging in a number of ways. The ways most relevant to us are a reduced attention span, anxiety, FOMO, feeling not good enough and being unable to focus on any long-term goals. Social media completely attacks us with a hoard of information. Each app and platform chucks its own fast information at you.
We are consuming media and information at an alarming pace. This can overwhelm us but it can also mean that we expect immediate reinforcement. We are constantly getting what we want at a fast rate and no longer need to have a long attention span or a good education to consume media, news and information.
The problem is that it leaves us feeling drained, feeling pressured to conform and compete and, sometimes, left behind. It also has more physical implications on our eyes, our sleeping pattern and how we process things.
The biggest connection we have to online social media is our mobile phones. I’m not saying that you need to throw your phone off the nearest cliffside to be free and healthy. All you have to do is recognise that more than a few hours of social media is plenty more than you need! I sympathise with others who work on social media 8 hours a day and I recognise that we spend a further hour on our own social media. We use it to catch up with friends, check out what we’ve missed and catch up on the news we care about. BUT, we more than most have to break up with our phones after work! Press ‘do not disturb’ and go do something else.
Let’s get physical
Our jobs are so bad for our health! Sitting down is the new smoking and we have to break out of it! After work, try avoiding any screens for a few hours and spend time outdoors or doing some exercise to wake up your body. Go for a walk, go to the gym, do some toning. It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re stood up and screen less!
Taking on longer projects
Lots of people are taking up crafts in different forms which is such good news when they’re not digital! I’ve heard good things about painting, building and crocheting. If you’re not too artistic, like me, then you’re still not short on options! Sports are good, as are things like reading. Since I know a lot of my blog subscribers are readers, I do feel it important to stress that you read a physical book or an old e-reader, however! Don’t read on a tablet that is ultimately another screen damaging your eyes and don’t let constant buzzing, tones and notifications distract you!
We really need to learn to unwind without more screens and social media. I’m lumping myself into this ‘need a digital detox’ category too! If you’re already good at being offline then leave us some tips and anecdotes in the comments. If you also need to break up with your phone like I do then know you’re not alone!