I will improve my Digital Discernment
Digital Detoxes: they are all the rage, are they not? Pretty much the answer to almost any ill.
Feeling anxious: have a digital detox!
Stressed out: digital detox!
Exhausted: definitely a digital detox.
Well, here’s the reason why I think we can do better than a Digital Detox:
A Detox is a short-term fix. By definition, it’s a snappy way to rid ourselves of toxins… before we inevitably go and do the exact same thing again. Basically – we detox, we feel great, we make all sorts of good intention promises…then we retox. We are back snarfing the Pringles and the G & T’s a week later like the juice cleanse never happened (despite what we might have proclaimed about vegetables being life the minute it finished).
The principle works the same digitally as with a juice cleanse detox. You go offline for 3 – 5days. Feel really uncomfortable for the first day, twitchingly reaching for your phone by reflex, but by Day 3# you’ve not felt this relaxed in years! You are SO going to keep that up! Who needs a phone! A week later back on planet earth you are checking Facebook and Insta a dozen times a day as per. We detox. We bounce back. The pull to our phones is strong. It’s estimated that we check our phones between 120 and 200 times a day. A DAY. Yikes.
I prefer an on-going process of Digital Discernment over a Digital Detox any day. This is about curating your digital space in a way that improves your mood and physiology long term, reducing stress and comparisonitus. It’s about quality over quantity; gradually improving the quality of your digital life over time.
This might include things like:
- Unfollowing a #thinspiration PT on Insta that although is supposed to be #likesuperinspirational actually always makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Removing yourself from Facebook groups that don’t add value to your life but bore or annoy you.
- Not responding to work emails out of hours. Period. If it’s that urgent THEY CAN CALL YOU. (I know. Old Skool).
- Unfollowing that family member/friend/acquaintance who’s endless #humblebrag updates on their political views / their MLM business selling oil/face cream/shakes or their 900th cute dog/couple/baby pics makes you grit your teeth.
- Reading the comments on anything to do with the NRA, MAFS, GDPR or anything else that drives you to distraction.
There has been much made recently – and rightly so – of the way the data we have (wittingly or unwittingly) put out there digitally has been used to manipulate or sell to us. The temperature has suddenly been raised about the information we put out. What also deserves some focus is the information we are taking in. Our digital diet has a bigger-than-you-think impact on your mood and your motivation.
Get as discerning with your digital space as you do your diet. Does it make you feel good or bad? Is it nourishing your psyche or soul?
Curate your content with discernment. Look for quality and continue to refine it long term.