How to Control Your Digital Life Before It Ruins Your Real One

Sacha Strebe

Have your energy levels been feeling a little low? How about your memory or creativity? If you answered yes, then it might be time to unplug before you burn out. Jess Davis was a digital brand strategist in New York before she experienced a sharp decline in her overall health and doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. It wasn't until her husband hid all her digital devices that Davis discovered the root of all her health problems. “I was so mad the whole week,” she told Well+Good. “But I remember it so vividly. On the eighth day, I woke up feeling so aware. I could hear the waves, and smell the salt. I hopped out of bed and finally felt like my old self again.” After this, she quit her job and launched her own business that promotes balance and awareness around technology. While Jess understands we can't all switch off completely, she does have a few tips to help us control our technology, rather than the other way around.

Establish Digital Parameters
Just like you would limit screen time of your child, your personal technology use would have boundaries too. And there is such a thing as being too available. “If people think that they can get a hold of you whenever and however (hello, boss’s texts at 11 p.m.), they will,” said Jess.

Get to Know Your Circadian Rhythm
All living things have one. These physical, mental, and behavioural changes follow a 24-hour cycle and respond primarily to light and darkness in our environment. Technology constantly disrupts this, and it’s impacting our health. Jess says we are addicted to the “feel-good jolt” from an SMS, email, or social notification, “but always being on alert and reacting to whatever the virtual world throws at you doesn’t allow quality space for the yummy human stuff.”

Switch Off for Short Bursts
Take time to turn off your devices and let your friends know about it. Jess says a quick message that states you will be responding to texts, pings, Snapchats, or whatever within 24 hours” means you can pre-set people’s expectations and avoid being constantly hassled when there isn’t an immediate reply.

To read more of this article, visit Well+Good.

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How do you balance your digital life with the real one? Are you addicted to your smartphone? Do you set tech boundaries? Let us know in the comments.

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