Written by Chua Peh Siang and Faith Tan
Do you experience digital burnout?
In this digital age, we are constantly surrounded by screens. Every day, we consume so much content from a multitude of digital platforms that some of us suffer from physical health issues such as eye strain, back aches and poor sleep. Digital burnout, referring to the anxiety and exhaustion resulting from too much time on digital devices, often develops gradually and many people do not even realize they are digitally burnt out until it is too late.
What are some signs of digital burnout?
Decreased physical energy as a result of continuous digital exposure
Cognitive issues such as difficulties concentrating and remembering things
Loss of motivation - not wanting to do work in front of the digital screen
Taking back control
How can we then take back control and improve our digital wellness?
1. Focus on one thing at a time
Avoid multi-tasking, such as checking your social feeds while working or accessing multiple desktop tabs and phone applications at the same time. This can easily get overwhelming as our brains can only focus on one task at a time. Studies show that having our brains constantly bounce back and forth between tasks renders us less efficient and more likely to make a mistake. To combat this, try to stick with one task until completion if you can.
2. Remove information sources you don’t need
Do a spring cleaning on your followed social media accounts, email subscriptions and activated app notifications.
Unfollow accounts that bombard you with too much content (which you aren’t that interested in).
Unsubscribe to those pesky promotional emails that never seem to let down.
To avoid constantly picking up your phone due to notifications, reduce the number of apps that can push notifications in your settings.
Take control of your digital wellness by opting out of information you don’t need!
3. Engage in offline activities
Create time away from screens, for self-care and other hobbies. Living in the digital world, it can be easy to lose sight of the other beauties in life. We might find ourselves drawn in by the endless entertainment choices that we fail to take breaks away from digital content. To reconnect with life outside the digital space, try to actively include offline activities in your day. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Rent a bike and cycle down your nearest Park Connector Network (PCN)
Try out new recipes
Give scrapbooking a go
Care for an indoor plant
Get your friends over for boardgames
In more busy times, set a daily routine of short breaks in between your day. Use these breaks to take a breather, practise some meditation or simply have a look outside your window.
Start today, commit to just one action and see how it gives you the control over your digital wellness!