Digital well-being is the term used to describe the state of your mental and emotional health concerning the use of technology. It encompasses everything from how much time you spend online to how you interact with others on social media.
With technology becoming an increasingly integral part of life, it's important to be aware of your digital well-being and take steps to ensure that you’re healthily using technology and devices.
Mental health risks
Social media can affect your mental health if you constantly compare yourself to others or feel left out and lonely.
Dating apps can also be detrimental to a person’s digital well-being. Studies have shown that these apps can impact body image and self-esteem. When people are constantly swiping left and right, judging people based on their looks, it can lead to feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Physical health risks
Too much screen time can lead to eye strain, headaches, and neck and back pain. Eating disorders are another condition that the use of technology can exacerbate.
If you're constantly scrolling through images of thin, perfectly-posed people on Instagram, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and body dysmorphia.
It's well-known that a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and well-being — but did you know that your digital life can also impact your sleep patterns?
Using screens late at night can disrupt your natural sleep cycle by limiting the production of a hormone called melatonin, which makes the body feel sleepy. The blue light emitted by screens can also trick the brain into thinking it's still daytime, making it harder to fall asleep.
Additionally, spending time on social media or surfing the web stimulates and excites the brain, making it difficult to wind down before bed.
What can you do to ensure you get a good night's sleep?
- Limit your screen time in the hours leading up to bedtime. If you must use screens, consider using blue light filtering glasses or apps that reduce the blue light emitted by your device.
- Create a bedtime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before sleep. This can involve reading, listening to calm music, or taking a bath.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool to create the ideal environment for sleep. This will help you to drift off more easily and enjoy a deep, restful night's sleep.
By following these tips, you can ensure you get the sleep you need to stay healthy and happy.
Work, school, and life balance
Your digital life can greatly impact your work, school, and life balance. To be fair, technology can also make life easier — particularly with school or your career — but there’s a very real possibility you could be overdoing it.
Healthy digital well-being can look like using digital devices and the internet for good. Instead of messaging back and forth or shopping on social media, you may look for job openings. Or, studying which career you want to get into.