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Digital wellbeing

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Person using a laptop and phone

The modern world is made up of technology. From your computer, through your smartphone to your TVwe spend a very large amount of our time looking at screens.  

At the moment many of your classes are even done online due to the effects of the global pandemic 

While technology itself is not a good or bad thing, the way we use it can have an impact on our energy, mood and social abilities.  

But when you must spend your time online for your studies, to say nothing of the constant draw of streaming content available, how do you carve out a little breathing room away from your screens?  

Digital wellbeing is the practice of looking after yourself in balance with technology.  

That does not mean you have to give it up, but you should be learning to live with it rather than it controlling your life.  

Digital wellbeing includes:  

  • Gathering data for personal health.  
  • Using technology to help your community.  
  • Being safe and responsible online.  
  • Manage stress, distractions and workloads.  
  • Improve the environment through technology.  
  • Finding a balance between the online and real worlds  

There’s no correct amount of time you should be spending using digital technology. Working out when you need a break is a matter of paying attention to how you feel.  

Start by working out how much time you spend looking at screens. You can do this using apps like MuteMoment and Space 

Then it’s worth asking yourself some basic questions:   

  • Do I have trouble sleeping?  
  • Am I anxious without my phone?  
  • Do I feel good when I use a digital device?  
  • How long am I online compared to talking with people face-to-face?  
  • Does too much social media make me feel stressed?  

If you’re feeling anxious and you think your digital technology use might be the cause, try some of these tips:   

  • Limit your phone usage by putting it on airplane mode for a while 
  • Set some rules like no screens after 10pm and no technology at the dining table etc.   
  • Give yourself limits to how long you can be holding your phone. Use apps like HOLD or Forest to help with this.  
  • Turn off notifications and put your phone into black and white mode to make it less appealing.  
  • When you feel the itch to use technology, replace it with another activity. Try adult colouring books for example.  
  • Help your sleep by putting your phone on silent and keeping it away from your bed.  
  • When you get up have a non-screen routine. That could be exercising, eating a healthy meal or drinking water.   
  • When you get home from work, give yourself 15 minutes that takes your mind off the day and makes you smile.  

Through practice, you can learn to limit how long you’re online whilst continuing to live with it.  

Why not spend the digital time you have interacting with your University of Sunderland in London community?   

Share your tips for a good technology relationship with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.